If you have attended any game convention recently, you see more and more families attending with their children who are as passionate and involved as their parents in all the geeky and gaming fun. Family game night is growing in popularity again, game cafes are open to try out games, and even public libraries are starting to host game nights. We are passing our passion for gaming along to the next generation, but are we also encouraging the next generation to be the next creators and leaders in the game industry? Who will succeed us as the designers, artists, writers, editors, proofreaders, and publishers?
succession [suh k-sesh-uh n]
– the coming of one person or thing after another in order, sequence, or in the course of events
– the right, act, or process, by which one person succeeds to the office, rank, estate, or the like, of another
Those of us currently in the industry are not getting younger. We should be actively seeking out and encouraging our successors. In my personal experience, it can come naturally if we openly share our involvement in the game industry with our children. As you work in the game industry, share as much as you can with your children, your nieces and nephews, or mentor others who show interest in what you do.
My daughters turned sixteen recently. Discussions about their future are ever increasing in frequency as more letters arrive daily from colleges wanting them to apply, as we prepare for their upcoming driving skills test, as we discuss Junior prom coming up this school year, and as we discuss their first time working at Gen Con. Yes, you read that right, my daughters will be working alongside me at Gen Con this year. My daughters are so excited to get to experience Gen Con from inside the booth and get to know many of my friends in the industry. I look forward to sharing this experience with them.
As they watch me managing the preparations for the Modiphius booth, it has led to some very interesting discussions also. One of my daughter is now thinking about having an artist booth at a future Gen Con. We have discussed what is involved and what it costs. So, this year she plans to visit the artist booths with a more critical eye and talk seriously with some of the artists she really likes about what it is like to have a booth. My other daughter follows my freelance work and has been asking if she could help me with my proofreading of games sometime. She would like to learn more about RPG design. She is also my daughter showing interest in trying her hand as a Dungeon Master soon, so we are starting to discuss game mechanics, storytelling, and how rpg books are designed and organized. These conversations have come naturally with them seeking out the information. I cannot say if they will someday work in the game industry, but I am at least introducing them to the creative and business sides of gaming along with the joy of playing games.
Have you encouraged a young relative or an interested youth in their interests in the industry side of gaming? Have you thought about mentoring someone?
NOTE: Another way I plan to encourage this succession planning is to co-teach a course on Game Studies at Taylor University in the Spring. As we finalize more details in the Fall semester, I will write up a future post about the course. Really looking forward to where a course like this might lead these college students.