I saw this piece of drivel linked from Kotaku a couple minutes ago about some guy who tried to get into the game industry, failed, and is publicly whinging about the fact that he wasn't given a fair shake.
There are a LOT of things about this article that I could go on for pages about, but let's just hit a couple of the big ones:
1.) "Two years ago, I moved from Ohio to Arizona to pursue my dream of becoming a part of the industry. I attended a school that offered the promise that with hard work, the school would provide the education and support I needed to learn skills I had never learned before. I was told that over the course of my studies, a powerful portfolio would be created and my degree would confer confidence to game developers because the school was known and accredited. "
A piece of advice - if you're looking for an education that is relevant to a specific field, rather than looking at the advertising brochures (or worse, the late-night TV commercials), you should figure out whether any of the graduates of a program *actually* move on into the game industry.
I did a quick Google search for game education programs in Arizona, and nothing came up. Frankly, in terms of game education programs, if it wasn't Full Sail, USC's game program or the ETC at Carnegie Mellon, game-specific education is functionally worthless, IMO. If you want to break into the industry as an artist, go to art school and get a well-rounded art education. If you want to break in as a programmer, get a well rounded software engineering education. If you want to break in as a designer... good luck. But the industry is only 30 years old, and is one of the fastest growing, fastest changing industries around.
Game development depends at this point on people of wildly varied educational/experiential backgrounds to bring new perspective to the industry. If your education has been solely focused on game development, and your hobbies/passion are games, what new perspective do you bring?
2.) "I believe the industry needs to allow for outside and inexperienced people to reinvigorate the game development process. I believe that those who have a shipped title on their resumes, while talented and dedicated, perhaps are closer to burning out than an individual out to make his or her mark."
Awfully presumptuous, don't you think, to talk about the people who have shipped games without actually having gone through the process? The people in the game industry are incredibly talented, incredibly energized creative people. There is almost no shortage of ideas, and no shortage of people who want to push the envelope. There are a lot of issues that make that difficult - the business model, the money involved, blah blah blah - that's probably a hundred posts on its own. Fundamentally, though, everything in this paragraph is wrong.
Yes, new people bring fresh perspective that is great - but that's balanced with a naivete about how development actually works. If you want to break the rules, *learn* the rules first. Yeah, maybe you'll be the new face that destroys the paradigm and revolutionizes the genre, but even in those cases, generally the people are smart enough to learn what's going on before flipping the table over and peeing on the floor.
3.) "New studios understandably don't want some inexperienced person with a mixed portfolio and no projects or titles. It's very risky. However, I believe that a new studio should take some risk to recruit hungry and fresh outsiders instead of just looking for people who may already be disaffected by their own careers."
Again, it's infuriating that you're talking about how burned out and wasted developers are when you have NO IDEA WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT. Yeah, hiring someone with no shipped games with a "mixed" portfolio (whatever that means) is risky. And yet it happens all the time. People find incredibly creative ways to break into the industry. Create a mod. Make a map and get people to play it. Get involved with community sites. Write a Flash game. You're an artist? Make some models while you work another job to pay the bills. Bust your ass and don't give up.
The fact that you've quit - walked away with your tail between your legs is a *sure* sign many companies would *never* hire you. Game development is a tremendous pain in the ass. It's an industry that you're *only* in because you have a ridiculous, overbearing passion for game development. If you wanted it so badly you gave up, you didn't want it badly enough.
4.) "Individuals with base skill sets and true passion are ready and waiting to be given a chance to shine."
And they'll keep waiting until they get off their ass and go grab the opportunity, or they turn those "base" skill sets into extraordinary skill sets. Passion doesn't get you shit. No one gives a flying fuck that you *want* something. You show them you *need* it, and more, that they *need* you, and maybe - just maybe, you'll open those doors yourself. No one's going to give you a chance. You've got to earn it.
5.) "The industry needs to do something to bring in new talent and prevent scores of people from wasting money on schools that won't help them when they're done."
It isn't the industry's responsibility to keep you from making bad decisions. It's not the industry's responsibility to keep you from giving up. Yes, there could probably be better sources of information out there, but did you check the easily discoverable ones, like the IGDA or Gamasutra? Probably not, but that you're putting it on the "industry" shows me where you think the responsibility lies.
6.) ""The game industry needs more women because it needs more games that appeal to women, thus allowing the market to grow further."
Your wisdom is inspiring. None of us have ever thought of this before.
7.) "My own lack of a mind-blowing portfolio and lack of completed projects -- due to many factors both within and beyond my control -- is not the reason I set out to publicly harangue the industry."
Here's where you're mistaken - your lack of a mind-blowing portfolio is your fault, and your fault *alone*. And your public "harangue" of the industry is such an embarrassment that it boggles the mind - it's like those guys on Craigslist who post how nice they are and how much they love and respect women and how those fucking whores never give them a chance.
8.) "I just want the industry to be aware that there are people out there with deep passion and love for this medium who simply want a chance."
Just to make this absolutely clear, the chances you make are the only chances you get. You wanna sit around and wait for someone to hand you a job? Fuck you. Get a job in test. Prove you're passionate and willing to bust ass for the job. Build up your portfolio with amazing work. Persist. Passion and love don't get you shit - show me you're *talented*. Show me you bring something new to the team. Show me why we can't live for one more second without you, and then, when we talk, it's because you made that opportunity happen.
Otherwise, keep waiting.
9.) "I believe the game industry would be pleasantly surprised to find that those on the outside really just want to make appealing games, the same as someone with a Grand Theft Auto title on her resume."
You know who wants to make awesome games? EVERYONE. The reason you go with the guy with GTA on his/her resume is that they've busted their ass on a crazily ambitious project and finished it. You know they've got the passion, the drive, and you can see their talent in their work. What do *you* have to show?
10.) "I am now pursuing my "plan B" and have no doubt I can lead a productive and happy life outside the game industry. All I want is for those with base skills and the deep desire to make a difference get a fair shake, too."
Good luck on Plan B. Seriously. Game development is clearly not for you - you have *no idea* what it's like. I'm not sure what you think happens, exactly - that there's some inner circle that conspires against n00bs or what - but the game industry is one place where a lot of the entry level positions are genuine meritocracies. In most cases there are so many extraordinarily talented, driven people vying for the same jobs that it's *easy* to give the job to the best of the best, and completely ignore everyone else. You're not in that 99th percentile with a portfolio that'll blow everyone's mind?
Cry me a fucking river.