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Game Dev as Addict?


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I'm curious what people think about game development as a gaming addict? Do you think its possible to be a game developer without triggering your addictions? I've always loved art and programming and have dabbled in game design a bit. I think it might be a good career choice for me as a have many connections in that industry. Is this something worth pursuing? Or should I avoid it? What do you think?

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Yes! That's the path I'm currently pursuing, after coming at a point in life where games are just not interesting to me. Though, some games are still addictive, and therefore frustrating- I plan to simply never play or be involved in the development of such games. I only want to develop games that discourage addiction and encourage connection w/ other people and the real world. 

I'm happy you have such a possibility lined up for you, good luck on making this decision and exploring its consequences!

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  • 2 weeks later...

yes- I only play games that don't trigger addiction. I am fortunate enough to have figured out how my addiction works, what triggers me and what is ok. I think there is always a risk of relapse, however, when you're testing the grounds.

I had already over 100 days of detox when I decided to tap into video games again, and those 100 days of experience allowed me to just tap in and tap out fairly easily. I only played for maybe 5-10hrs total, and then quit for another 6 months. I kept bringing games in at a very strict and structured manner, really trying to focus on studying them instead of just playing. Eventually, I figured out what games allow me to do that, and which are too addictive. 

Since then, playing only non-addictive games has allowed me to restructure my perception of all games, and now only the games intentionally designed to be addictive, to keep the player in for hours are those that trigger my brain. Everything else I am able to study quite easily. However, playing any game purely for enjoyment always results in triggers; it's just how my brain works. 

Hope this helps 🙂 

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Hi, a fellow game dev here. I work for a AA game studio that I don't want to mention for privacy reasons. 

I personally avoid playing the games and focus on observing what others like about the reference games through videos or by letting others test the game I am developing. In my opinion finding the fun in games through other people can be very rewarding since people see and enjoy different things in each game. 

I would start by asking who are you making the game for? 

You might want to read the book "The Art of Game Design" by Jesse Schell as it touches some different ways to approach game design that doesn't require you to play video games. 


If you work more on the programming or art side, getting usability feedback or opinions from others is even easier since you don't need to experience the addictive parts of the reference games in order to analyze what makes the game "so much fun". 

Edited by Markus
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