Why making games is for the young

Is the development sector leaving its veterans behind?

In the 1970s sci-fi Logan's Run humanity lives in an underground city full of sexually promiscuous party people.

At least they do until they hit 30, when they're toasted by the authorities.

Does this happen to 40-year-old developers, who don't even benefit from the Bacchanalian revelry beforehand? After all, most game developers are young, as we discussed last month.

Assuming managers aren't taking older staff out the back and shooting them, why do the years of long activity of making games involve so few individuals over 40?

Here are a few guesses...

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Anon19743254d ago

We have so many years of gaming experience, it's impossible to put a value on that. I recently decided to switch careers after a decade in the brokerage industry and follow my heart. Sitting in my game programming class, the instructor showed off a couple of levels of an old game he had recreated for demonstrative purposes (Gods which was on the Amiga) I loved that game. It was the first platformer that really embraced it's puzzle elements. I mentioned this to the guy sitting next to me who replied "Dude. I was 3 when that came out."

I'm not knocking young guys, but I think older gamers are just as passionate about gaming. And we've got the life experience to get the job done. Looking around my class I wonder how some of these guys can get to school in the morning, let alone work productively in a group environment, they're so socially dysfunctional. And that's a good 50% of the class. Why would anyone possibly hire a guy who spouts transformer names at random and asks the instructor if "That's his real name"? If you've got two, equally qualified programmers in the room, one is, how should I put this, sane and the other wants to ramble on on about the differences between anime and manga in the interview, seriously. Which is a developer going to pick?

Nineball21123254d ago

Haha... exactly.

I agree with you. The younger generation sometimes seems... ummm... not "serious" enough about things. Generational gap thing, I suppose.

Ju3254d ago

Well, not sure. I am 39 and started to write my first line of codes when I was 14 or so (C64). While not in PC/console gaming, I am in the gaming industry since a while now. And in all honesty, I want to be out at least at 45 (maybe even next year). It just burns me out. Its almost like in sports. You grow older and the young guys push from the bottom. Keeping up just is getting harder. Not saying, you (I) couldn't but at some point you just get tired of it. Times change, and with it customers. Games change in that regards and expectations. What we thought was cool back in 85 is not necessarily what kids want these days. Some things can be used as an inspiration (and I miss the old games), but if that is not part of your experience, you grow up with what we have today. Its very hard to imagine how games were experienced those years ago. I still have a passion for games, and I will not loose it, sure thing. But making them is getting harder for me.

MazzingerZ3254d ago (Edited 3254d ago )

My guess is that before it was young developers making games for young audience. today VG has become a huge market where many companies in order to survive demand(ed) to the same (now "old") developers to develop games for the same target audience (young)...

many of those devs want to do a game they would like to play or more according to their age, just like they did before when they were younger but NOP, they are asked to make a a game about a guy with big muscles and a big gun...who cares if voice acting is terrible and there's no really a plot, as long as there are explosions and co-op and the game is a "blast" to play it's many probably just get tired of the whole thing...

it's like any job, you have goals and don't want to keep doing the same thing forever, you learn more every year and you expect to get responsabilities accordingly.

I guess that's one of the reason why many companies stick with SONY or are happy of colaborate with them like Quantic Dream.

Double Toasted3254d ago

...I was just thinking about that...

Blaster_Master3254d ago (Edited 3254d ago )

I remember when rpg's where just little sprites, but had grander stories then most rpg's these days. I remember the magic, and spirit people use to put in their games and movies alike. Now there is just no soul in the industry. Its all about crunching those numbers Im afraid.

djfullshred3254d ago (Edited 3254d ago )

I disagree whenever someone uses the technology moves too fast reason when someone says a job is for the young. I work in a technology field for a large corporation. Our more experiienced people are usually the ones most up to speed on changes, and they coach our younger people. It is just a stereotype, because at least in the USA, there is a superficial part of our culture that does not respect people as they get older.

My thinking on this has more to do with what people want from a career based upon where they are at in life. When you are older, you have been through the ropes, and gone through the ups & downs of working in unstable jobs. Youget more pragmatic about how many more years you expect to work, and want to plan your career path more carefully. Many of us start moving into management positions to mentor the younger workers that are on the front lines doing the work.

Zorda20973254d ago

I personally think that we need more new designers to circulate.
My step-dad was lead designer on that new Leisure Suit Larry game. (he used to work on titles such as Dungeon Keeper/Populous along side Peter Molyneux, he is now working at Team 17)
LSL was such a suck up game, when compared to his previous titles he worked on. It features fetch quests, linear gameplay with very little immersion into storyline argh I could mention 50 others. but going off topic slightly.
I feel that games have evolved faster than this older generation of designers and such we need an influx of this generation to keep up the fresh ideas and new experimental games.
Of course Im not saying ALL of the older generation are a bit outdated, we wouldn't have hits such as GOW, Uncharted etc.

darx3254d ago (Edited 3254d ago )

The 80's early 90's games were great!

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