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March 12, 2005

Something in the water ?

Game developers have long had the reputation of being geeks/nerds that never leave their computer (except to get a caffeine fix). It's a pretty good generalisation - or at least it used to be... but obviously the guys at my office have found some spare time.
Several of our development staff are expectant fathers. Not just one, not two, not even three... 5 different guys are all becoming fathers at the moment. 2 have already dropped, 3 are due within two weeks of each other in the middle of the year (including myself). There's definately something in the water over at Melbourne House - thats about 10% of our development staff.

How does this change us as game developers ?
Apart from the obvious lack of sleep, and spending more time with our families and less at LAN parties - not much.
Most game developers are pretty smart people. Those who already have kids (many of them do) already know the types of games that are suitable for children, and those which are not. In fact, game developers probably have a better idea about what is suitable than most parents, simply because we play enough games to understand they are not all suitable for all ages.
There is hope for our society as gamers of the last 10 years start to have kids, and actually understand this. I've seen parents in EB buying games for kids that are obviously not suited to young children (just from reading the box) - but these parents have the attitude that these are "just games", so must be safe for kids. On the other hand, gamers that I know who have kids are usually much more sensible about this.
Still, as the development community matures it does rub off on the games we make to some degree, and the males in the industry are probably even beginning to think of new games and genres that appeal to our wives/daughters. Thats not to say everything will change overnight, nor will current game genres disappear, but much like film/tv grew over the years I think that game development will grow as well.

Posted by Zaph at March 12, 2005 05:03 PM

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