The Nine Faces of Dave
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2003-06-25 18:37:02 (UTC)

playing a game of my own devising

I'm not sure what was going on with my last entry. I guess
that's what happens when you write about depressing stuff at
3:00 AM. At any rate, I'm feeling better now that I've had
some sleep. Not EVERYTHING is falling apart, anyway.

It would seem, however, that the washing machine is falling
apart. Apparently after my mother headed out yesterday, the
damn thing got off balance. Now unlike a decent washer that
stops running when it gets off balance, ours "walks" across
the basement floor for a bit. So apparently it shook loose
some part, and now it won't run or even drain. We're going
to have some fun with this, I can tell.

I haven't fixed the downstairs computer yet, mainly because
there's been a considerable amount of stuff going on around
here. My mother was watching my nephew (my brother's son)
yesterday, so I had to help with him, and didn't really have
the space I needed to work. I should be able to get it back
up and running tonight, though it's anyone's guess how long
it will be before full functionality is restored. It'll be
interesting, starting from scratch and seeing what all we've
taken for granted over the years.

Yesterday I discussed strength training with a friend, and I
now have a fairly sound repertoire of abdominal and pectoral
exercises. I intend to start doing those every other day,
probably trading off with my arm and shoulder weight routine
(don't want to be doing too much in one day). I'm thinking
I might forget about using the rowing machine on my off days
from weight training, since it's mostly for cardio, and I've
been getting plenty of that from running.

And now, some discussion of my future.

I've been thinking a lot about what I want to do career-wise
once I finish college. My intent is still to complete the
computer science program, and I'm thinking I'll go for grad
school, at least a master's if not a Ph.D. The question is,
what will I do after that?

I originally got into computer science intending to become a
game programmer/designer. After all, I got into video games
when I was 3 years old, and I've been playing ever since, so
it makes some sense for me to take the next step and create
them. At least that's what I thought last fall.

But now, I'm not so sure. My gaming habits suffered greatly
in college, and I'm having a hard time getting back into it,
though I can't quite figure out why. I still enjoy my video
games, especially the old classics, and I still like to play
when I get the chance. But it's not as much fun as it used
to be, and that concerns me.

It feels like gaming is starting to bore me, and I find that
distressing. On one hand, it might be a motivation to break
into the field of game development and try to make something
new and revolutionary. On the other hand, it could be more
an indication that I really don't care about it anymore.

I wanted to be a game programmer when I started out. Now,
I'm not really sure what I want to do. I'm thinking I might
want to get into applied research instead, perhaps something
in robotics. Based on my very limited experience, it seems
like it would be a lot of fun, and extremely interesting.

The problem is, I still feel like I should do something with
game development. I keep getting ideas for games, and if I
had the skills, I'd try to implement them in some way. But
I lack those skills, so instead of seeing how my ideas will
actually pan out, I'm stuck just running through them in my
head. And while that may be fun for a while, it's not very
productive, and won't make me any money.

Game development is still a pretty hot field, even with all
the recent debacles and idiocies. And entering it could be
socially beneficial as well; I'm not sure what the public as
a whole thinks about it, but the subculture is strong enough
that someone with creativity, talent, and skill could become
something of a minor celebrity. Furthermore, if the public
perceives it as less "geeky" than other applications of CS,
that could be helpful in impressing women. After all, which
sounds better: "I'm lead programmer at [name of company],"
or "I'm in robotics research?" Still, I'd hate to let my
career choice be influenced (or worst case, decided) by
hormones and frustration.

What's most distressing is that all of the ideas I've cooked
up are for games that I would like to play, but they aren't
necessarily anything that would sell very well. And so I'm
forced to ask: "Is this really a good idea, or just my idea
that sounds cooler than it actually is?" I think most of my
ideas have been pretty good, but I'm not sure how feasible
they really are, or how marketable.

The question becomes, can I enjoy a game that I created? If
yes, then it just might be worthwhile for me to pursue some
sort of career in the game industry. And if the answer ends
up being no, then I'll have to see where my education takes
me, and make a decision later on down the line.

This is Dave, signing off to ponder his future.