The rise of mobile technology has changed the way we see career paths. Back then, kids were sparked to become a doctor or an engineer someday because these were the professions considered as real jobs. But some of the kids in school now when asked what they want to be when they grow up, they come up with a response like “I want to be a mobile game developer”. Then this elicits a skeptical face expression from the teachers.
I encountered this same kind of story line when I attended the career day program of my son’s school. When all other small kids wore tailored pilot uniform and doctor’s white coat, one of his classmates effortlessly wore a t-shirt and pants as his professional attire. He wore something like that because it’s what he had seen being worn by his father everyday to work. He said he wanted to be like his father who is a successful flash game developer. It was an unfamiliar career among all the traditional professions known in school and it made his teacher think that it’s not a real job. Little did the teacher know that this kid’s father has been earning 50,000 dollars out of making mobile games and the kid actually chose an excellent career.
I have known the kid’s father in the same event in school last year. He was once an architect and he decided to set aside his rulers and drafting table a few years ago to follow a different career path. He made a full time career as a game creator in his 30’s. He has always been compelled by video games since he was a kid. When he had the chance to learn programming when he was 16, he took designing simple games as his hobby.
Making a transition from being an architect to a game developer had put him in an odd position.
His parents and his wife were incredulous about this decision. But he never looked back. Instead, he became more driven when the mobile technology industry started to boom.
His job as a game creator never really required him to put on expensive office attire and go to a sleek modern office to work. He just used his home basement in Oxford as his work space. It is where his skills in crafting games were honed. It is where he developed discipline and persistence while being bugged by skepticism and misconceptions of other people.
It’s time that people embrace the fact that technology has allowed a remarkable shift in the job titles in the world. Being a game developer is something he and his son are proud of.