Ah social media, how I love and loathe thee in equal measure for simultaneously making it so easy to communicate with my fellow humans while creating an environment where no-one actually has to talk to each other.
I will make it firstly known that prior to attending SAE I used my Facebook (steam too if that counts) and little else in the realm of online networking. I can see it’s uses and will be applying myself to establishing a more concrete online presence I can actually be proud of in the coming weeks, but there are still certain elements I’d rather not touch. There were a few points that got me thinking of what I wanted out of the experience presented in the lecture this week, so this post is going to be a bit more of a procedural dump of my thoughts than those previous.
The first and primary thing that spoke to me was choosing 3 major goals for my online activity. From the suggestions put forward in the lecture material I feel than I should first be looking to establish a network with people already involved in animation, then aim to seek feedback from this community and hopefully become part of the community in the process. Polycount is a good place to learn new skills for computer animation and has a vast community of industry professionals and hopefuls in its userbase. So naturally I’m creating an account there this week (no more lurking).
The second major point was professionalism online. There seems to be a lot of stress put on being a person and avoiding an apparent preconceived notion that professionalism is mutually exclusive to personality. While I’ve never really felt this is the case, I do think there should be some separation, and that’s in quite a literal sense. Everyone has a life. I like drinking, and parties, casual swearing in conversation with friends and having an opinion of everything under the sun just as much as anyone else (probably more than most), but I don’t feel that’s awfully relevant to someone who’s doing business with me. Being a ‘creative’ doesn’t mean there’s any great difference between how we conduct ourselves with any other industry.
Phil Fish, creator of the indy sensation FEZ was brought up as a topic this week. In my humble opinion his story is an excellent example of how not to conduct yourself with your potential audience. Despite the relatively large following he managed to accrue across the development of his game he made it his personal business to reply to every baited comment pitched to him across the internet, and in doing so wound up alienating a great number of people who were previously his fans. Do I think people were particularly cordial with Phil in some of their discussions? Not really. Do I think Phil treated people the way he should have in return? Not really. What would I have done in his shoes? Well, ignoring people on the internet is a pretty simple task, but assuming I really felt this burning itch to strike back I would probably have just done what Phil finally himself decided upon. Delete my twitter…
…except I just now find he’s reactivated it and is getting personally offended by everything in the games industry again…
What I most enjoyed from this final week of industry lectures though was the video from GDC 2012 titled Killer Portfolio or Portfolio Killer. Hearing from some of the men who hire for the biggest studios in the industry exactly what THEY are looking for in a good application. I’ve said before that this is where I want to be in the future and now I have a very solid benchmark to aim for with my work in the coming year, and more specifically with the platform I will be setting up in the coming weeks to house the content. Keep it short, make it impressive.
Something to aim for.
Dena, C. (2015). Week 6: Social Media and Your Career. Medium. Retrieved 20 March 2015, from https://medium.com/self-directed-practitioners/week-6-social-media-and-your-career-21ec52b2b003
Poisson, P. (2015). @PHIL FISH. Retrieved from https://twitter.com/phil_flsh