I just saw a commercial on TV for a (presumably) local college, and they touted their program by showing a bunch of “video game developers.” This motley crew of students looked no older than 20, and one girl commented “Can you believe we get paid to play games?” The people who put together this advertisement clearly understand nothing about the game development industry. I would hazard to guess that game developers spend less than 5% of their time actually playing games. Few people, if any, get paid to play games; the real glory, as well as the real money, is in development. And game development isn’t an easy task.
In college, I had the privilege to take two computer graphics courses. Both were challenging, and both gave me a new appreciation for game development. The folks who create today’s game engines are literally pushing the envelope in computer graphics. I shudder to think of how complex the math is behind games like Half-Life 2, Far Cry, and Quake 4. To think that your average college kid can do this fresh out of a no-name school is a little hard for me to believe.