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Magazines, novels, articles, poetry, interviews or other textual (and sometimes illustrated) media that's currently caught the mind of Adam Creighton ...

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Get in the Game: Careers in the Game Industry

I'm reading Get in the Game: Careers in the Game Industry, by Marc Mencher.

I'm reading this book for a bunch of reasons.

I'm fairly accomplished at the director level (program/project/service/account manager(ish) at my current BigHugeCorp in the financial services vertical market. Companies in other vertical markets -- medical, IT, oil & gas, and even construction -- all look at me as a positive acquisition. However, I've gotten static from the gaming industry for my "lack of experience in the game industry".

So, I'm trying to find out the differences. I've been a bit frustrated, because while there are differences, there's really no greater variance I can see than in other vertical markets. I wonder if there's less of an influx into the video game industry than between the other sectors I mention above, so maybe there's a false perception of difference? I don't know.

So I'm reading books like this to see what I don't know. This particular book appealed to me because I know (or know of) a bunch of contributing and reviewing folks for the book. Also, Mencher was working with the US Air Force prior to games, and I was working with Lockheed and the Department of Energy at one point in my career. Plus, the book has some actual differentiating sections, like "Traditional Software QA versus Games QA", and some stuff that strikes a chord with me, like, "Networking -- It's Focused Socializing. Do it for Life"; and the fact that day 1 of any new job should also equate to day one of your informal job search. I say more about that idea here.

I've also been digging into a bunch of IGDA articles, and looking at specific differences in the independent film, gaming and comic book scenes. I figure non-indie stuff could really benefit from some of the stuff indies do out of survival necessity.

Back to the book, I'm only 30 pages in, and so far there's nothing new (which is both encouraging and frustrating). There are a few typos and font errors, which are a personal pet peeve of mine.

I'm sure I'll have more to say on this later.

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Monday, January 02, 2006

What If? Starring Captain America

As a Captain America fan, I was pretty disappointed with the recent Marvel What If? Starring Captain America.

I'll write later in a more thoughtful post about the importance and touchiness of Captain America as a literary icon, but it's enough to say this alternate Captain America story (putting Steve Rogers in the Civil War era), misses the mark of both the character, and the What If? premise.

What If? is supposed to be about alternate tellings of marvel tales, in a way that matters when things are changed up, or changes history by putting characters in disjoint time periods.

This story does none of that. It arbitrarily changes the role of Bucky, it changes the Red Skull to the White Skull (for white supremacists), and creates a legacy of Captain America's, where the current-day (great-great-grandson) is "General America" (ostensibly because progeny is supposed to supersede the accomplishments of ancestry). Overall, not really important stuff.

Anyway, not great overall, not even on the art front. I'd recommend a pass.

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