coolwebfriend

ant

@coolwebfriend

in my bee era

LA | 27 | online

(avatar by shinji_zone on twitter)


I think it's obvious a lot of people on cohost are at the very least games industry-adjacent.

And it's obvious a lot of people who are games industry-adjacent are in some way supported by a financial safety net, because working on games certainly doesn't fucking pay much.

Class is hugely overlooked as a factor in the game industry. I basically never hear class discrimination being talked about, and it does really limit the types of games that are gonna get made. The more money or support you have, the longer you can stand at the door and knock. The more shots you're gonna get to take.

That's the end of my recommendation but if you wanna hear why this video hits for me, read on in the comment. And I am not saying my particular story was super hard, it was not. But it makes it hit for me.


As someone trying to do more on the publishing side, who grew up poor and did not have the benefits of social mobility that college brings (or a decent primary/secondary education, or even just a relatively stable and encouraging environment growing up), I feel this in my bones. And it's not just the stuff that affects the process of creation and how readily it comes to you, either. Networking when you don't speak the right language or know the right people is very nearly thankless; meeting those people is possible, but making helpful contacts who can connect you with opportunities is vital, and you have to speak the language to even form those connections a lot of the time.

This is a particularly thankless industry, often, and even having the benefits of class access is no sure guarantee of success. There's a reason they say "don't quit your day job." But if you think that's tough, just try not having it.


in reply to @MelloMakes's post:

I have to believe that being lower middle class and from the midwest/south (for reference, it's that huge blob in the middle of America that doesn't exist in the game industry) was a large part of why I have never successfully gotten even an entry-level job interview at a well-paying game company. I have never been able to move to a bigger city. At this point I likely never will be. I've been too afraid it would become quickly unsustainable and not allow me to make art as much as I can now.

I had to remotely use the internet and social media, become un-ignorable, work ten times faster and make my music go ten times harder than everyone else's to get attention and jobs. Be present to the point of annoyance (and I know I've annoyed people). I am almost a ten-year veteran of contract game work now and I've still never figured out how people make a living from it on the indie side without being at a major company--I think the most I've earned from games in a year at my peakest peak was 20-25k. And maybe that's because I just cannot or will not play the game everyone else can. I can't be at every event, I can't lowball all my prices or work revshare, I can't like... pretend to like people I don't like or be okay with compromise. I can't mercilessly network or open up multiple revenue streams and become an advice guy or other online grifter with the music being the side shit. And without getting into details, though I'm doing fine now, I am now part of my family's safety net rather than the reverse which was the case when I started trying to do games.

As fate would have it, I broke into music instead. And when you're in the position of saying music is a kinder industry.... you know it's real grim in games. It's real sad that the games that get to be made are mostly dictated by the upper middle class and rich. I'm still reeling from the statistic in the video that 76% of the people with good game jobs in the UK are from well-off backgrounds. If you're in a meeting with 7 people at your company, 6 of you have never wanted for shit. It's weird.

Games freelancing definitely does not (in general) pay rent. It simply doesn't unless you're in an unusually good position, either due to connections (nepotism) or already having a financial cushion of some sort. Some of the successful freelancers I know are partially reliant on a partner who has a regular day job (which is fine! do whatever works.) The only time I've previously had a brush with being homeless is when I was freelancing full time, despite being fully employed - clients simply weren't paying on time and stuff like health insurance and taxes was eating into my income too much. Thankfully I was able to get out of that position, and I've stuck to having a day job since then.

My career is almost entirely due to nepotism and I definitely would not have it if not for a lucky interview early on (a very hostile interview, incidentally. still not sure how I passed.) and in the same sense you describe I was barely able to afford to move for the job. Extremely grateful to the people who helped me out early on (the studio's finance manager rented me a room for dirt cheap and my mom let me take the family's spare car.)

<3 Yeah, I find that for a lot of the people working in games I've been able to talk and relate to, it's safety net + good combination of events that allows it. I can't imagine anyone being like "I'm here because I'm well off!" but based on the stats, there just has to be this weird silent majority of people who come from good backgrounds in game dev but don't want to look it

gamedeveloeprs should overthrow TheWorld and make it so we can all just make watever games wewant and be able2 live comfortably without havin 2 worry about Capitlaism or MakingA Game That Is Marketable or Business Executives .. oh one can dream . . .