Best part: meeting people in person and sharing their passion - for the game, for whatever they’re into.
Worst part… hard to say. Not because there’s lots of worst parts, but because some days one thing is the worst, other days it’s something else.
I will say that often the worst parts of a community manager’s job are not caused by the community or by themselves. :)
It’s hard but it’s not impossible. I like to think I’m smart enough to know which folk are just interested in the game and which are actually friendly towards me as a person. I also think I have a pretty good sense about who is ‘creepy’ and who isn’t.
Generally speaking, by the way, very few people are ‘creepy’. People are often different than the norm, but so are we (although arguably, not so much in today’s geek saturated culture). I try to always remember that whenever I talk to someone, especially as generally speaking I’m not that much different from them myself.
You might just be looking at the last few years - then again, perhaps your definition of a long time differs from mine! In the games industry (and previously working in the internet or journalism industries) anything above two years is generally seen as a ‘long stint’. Before 2008, I had three jobs that lasted about 3-4 years each.
Since then, two things have usually happened to move me onto a new job - one, I find something else that I want to do, and two, I get laid off. The latter is depressingly frequent in the games industry and I’m never been the only one affected.
The former is what you’re asking about - knowing when it’s ‘time to go’. In most cases that’s going to be entirely personal. Generally I have started looking when, for whatever reason, I’ve felt that things are not going to progress much further along my own career track at that company. In the last few years I’ve been lucky to go to a few companies who’ve wanted me to join them. It varies.
Easy part first: there’s one opportunity I really, really wanted and didn’t get - but it was outside of gaming. I got down to the final rounds of being Editor of Total Film magazine in the UK, in something like 1996. My life would have changed quite a bit if I had gotten that job!
As for dealing with adversity, you talked about rejection and about changing jobs.
Taking rejection first. Rejection is an unfortunate and often frequent part of life for anyone who’s looking to break into a creative industry of any kind, whether it’s games or movies or TV or comics or whatever. There are never enough jobs to go around.
Everyone deals with rejection differently. The first thing is, you have to accept it’s going to happen. It’s going to hurt every time. But then you’ll apply somewhere else and go through the process again.
If you can’t do that, then you’ll never break in. The world is full of people who try things, fail, and never try again. If you try, fail, try, fail and try a few more times you’re already ahead of them and more likely (just by the law of averages!) to succeed.
In other words, the difference between success and failure is usually hard work. Luck is a factor, but not as big as you might think.
Apart from realizing that you just have to keep plugging away, one thing I would say is, it’s vitally important to learn from your rejections. While sometimes you can be rejected by a company that just doesn’t ‘get’ why they should hire you, often they have really good reasons. Here’s the tricky part: they often won’t tell you what those reasons are (and they have very good legal reasons to not do so, so don’t ask!). So, you have to figure out your failings by yourself. You might fail at the application stage (get relevant experience, write a great cover letter), you might fail at the interview (practice, practice - but know you won’t always ‘connect’ with people), you might fail at a job-related test. There’s also the very real and frequent possibility that you just weren’t the right person for the job. When that happens guess what? Apply again elsewhere. Sometime, the wheel will spin right for you.
Changing jobs isn’t that hard, if you’re the one who decided to change. Moving from one position to another is generally a step up and forward, so I don’t see that as adverse. Changing jobs because you were laid off is very tough. That’s really the ultimate rejection. Really though, in the end, you do the same thing as you do when first applying.
Moving? That’s tough too, believe me. Ultimately in my opinion you’ve got to remember that home is where the heart is. Good friends go with you no matter where you move to. And that there are interesting people and fascinating opportunities everywhere you go in life.
Hey Torley, I’m afraid I don’t think I have a copy anymore… maybe buried on a laptop somewhere. I’ll look for it when I have a chance and if I do find it, will be happy to post it.
If we take my time ‘in the biz’ to start from when I worked for AOL, as I did recently, then I’ve lived in London, Brighton, San Francisco (well, just outside) and here in Austin.
It’s a tough pick. I’d say from last to first place though, probably London, SF, Brighton and Austin. All are good in different ways and I have great memories from everywhere I’ve lived.
I think that question is probably best addressed to Satan. He’d probably ask for a DNA test, though.
Yes and no.
First thing to realize: you’re obviously not ‘gaming’ when you’re working. Working in gaming, while a lot of fun, is a lot like a lot of other office jobs - it just tends to be more lively and the end product is a lot cooler. So, you don’t spend time at working playing your game, unless that’s part of your job (and even then, most of the time no-one is really playing for fun).
Now to the ‘yes’ part of the answer. Yes, I still enjoy gaming in a wide variety of different settings and platforms. I play games quite a lot (although I do plenty of other stuff too). I’m always happy to play something good whether it’s on console, mobile, PC or anything else. I also play quite a lot of boardgames too.
Sometimes though, because you’re more aware of how games are made, you can get annoyed by games in different ways to other people. You can have a shorter tolerance for games too. That can break your ‘immersion’ and bring you out of the game, which is unfortunate. That’s when you stop enjoying it.
Doesn’t happen too often though. :)
Gordon Freeman held down a job before all hell broke loose at Black Mesa, right? That. :)