One of the last things a game design student can hope to experience when they enter the gaming industry is stardom. Game developers are finding out that it is exactly the opposite now. To walk out onto a stage and hear the cheers of fans as they unveil their latest “hit” is a common occurrence.
Game design students understand that they work within a niche market and that the mainstream media has yet to FULLY embrace gaming as a medium of art. These days though, the faces behind quality titles are being focused on and celebrated. People flock to conventions to meet these developers and get autographs and to learn.
Game developers like Cliff Bleszinski (pictured above) and Hideo Kojima find themselves posing for magazines and drawing crowds of rabid fans.
These days, it is easy for a game developer to become a rock star and it is a phenomenon that game design students should revel in.
One of the major reasons behind the growing popularity of game developers is the social media revolution. Beyond being able to use Twitter as a means of promoting and advertising their game, a developer can also use their personal account to communicate with people playing their games.
This open field of communication offers chances never explored in the past. Gamers communicate with developers so often that they feel almost like “e-buddies”. So when there is an opportunity for a developer to go to a big convention and to give a talk about the work they do, there is already a level of comfort between themselves and the crowd that goes beyond the gameplay experience.
Though the “popular” game developers are usually the heads of a project, small development teams are on the rise, and as such, so are smaller developers.
On top of that, many of the big events in the gaming industry are televised and showcased on a number of websites. With more eyes on these (once private) events, there needs to be a certain level of showmanship. Developers work with big companies to make big shows out of these events. As such, over the last few years, these developers have also developed certain charismatic features.
TV cameras and the endless badgering of games journalists have turned these programming nuts and artists into celebrities.
There is even a documentary out there that shows the world of game development from the inside called Indie Game: The Movie. It highlights the fun and frustration of being a independent game developer and shows that these mysterious game developers are people too. YouTube channels even feature these game developers as guests in interviews and they help them to promote their games in new and fun ways. Much like social networks, the openness of video sites like YouTube also provides developers with a platform of communication between themselves and the fans.
Game design students entering the industry today (or students looking at studying game design) find themselves with a new attractive benefit for joining the industry. They have the possibility of becoming a geek superstar, which is definitely a fun possibility to explore. With independent developers on the rise, anyone looking to enter the game design field should not hesitate. Enroll!
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