Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Monkey + Games Part 2: Finding Your Dream

Hola, everyone.  This is part two of a two-part post by Monkey about his recent discoveries via Facebook online games.

Hi everyone.  So last week I talked about procrastination, and how, if you're a semi-spastic, easily distracted person like myself, you can turn it into productivity.   Today, I wanted to talk about how you can find out what you really want by really looking at your actions.

The title of this mini-series is "Monkey + Games."  You see, I've long had an adversarial bout with gaming.  As much as I love playing games, my addictive and competitive personality really used to put game playing at odd with my life.  A slightly embarrassing truth is that Seal and I have had only three major issues to overcome in our relationship, and World of Warcraft was one of those three.

I would get repetitive stress injuries from computer use, but not from typing, but from playing WoW or Bejeweled Blitz.  Sometimes my shoulder would hurt too much to paint.  Other times I'd be playing board games with friends for 14 hours straight.  People would be absolutely exhausted, but I would want to keep playing.  Not the healthiest way of pursing a hobby.

However, for games to be such a large part of my life (I also played Magic: the Gathering fervently for nearly 8 years), I still couldn't reconcile them in a healthy manner.  I always saw them as a guilty pleasure, or a waste of time that could be better used elsewhere.  However, I recently came to (at least what seems to me) a life-changing conclusion.

I am meant to be a game designer.

I came upon this conclusion when talking to Seal one night.  I shouldn't really say that I discovered it or anything, as Seal just straight up told me "You know, you should be a game designer."  We were talking about me and whether I would ever be able to go back to a "day job."  We agreed that a majority of jobs with fixed work hours and a fixed location probably wouldn't be for me, and somehow Seal came upon the epiphany that I should be a game designer.

So after being intrigued by the notion of this new job I had never really thought about, it all made sense.  While I love painting and illustrating, I also love writing stories.  I also really really love games.  I like playing them, and discussing how to tweak sometime ambiguous rules in order to create a better game.  I made a board game in elementary school, and created my own card games in junior high.

Okay, so it's obvious I love games, writing, and painting.  What sort of crazy job would let me do all three at the same time?  I thought no one in their right mind would pay someone to, you know, design a  game that has really cool art and a great storyline...


So while I am in no way giving up my dreams of being an established gallery artist, or of having short stories published in major magazines and anthologies, I have now found a position that might be able to encapsulate all my interests into one package.

I  think that if you look at what really gets you excited and can keep you up at night, maybe you can find a job you never knew existed.  Like reading celebrity gossip magazines?  Maybe you should be in the guest relations industry, where you get to talk to lots of people, or maybe you should go into journalism or blogging.  Really into beer?  What about becoming a professional brewer, or a bartender at an establishment that has a huge beer selection.  Maybe a buyer for a beverage store?  Like doodling?  What about becoming an illustrator?

My point is that if you have any reservations about a hobby or interest because you think it's a waste of time, or that you can't get paid for it, think again.  While it might be hard to find a job that pays you to eat pizza all day and watch television (TV producer, maybe?), you can find something aligned with those interests.  Just as I don't expect to be illustrating all the concept art for a game but I can offer my own illustrations as ideas, maybe you can find a job that allows you to do an aspect of your interest that is the most appealing part.

So while games might have been my muse for these past two posts, games don't have to be your inspiration.  Whatever inspires you, and makes you happy, and makes you want to keep on living doing just that - well, you should go do more of it (in a productive way, of course).