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What makes someone a game designer and not a wannabe?

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lewpuls
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Any yahoo can call himself (or herself) a game designer (like more than 10,000 on LinkedIn). Where do we draw the line between game designer, and NOT game designer? Any suggestions?

At one extreme, it would be, you have to have had a game published. At the other extreme, it would only be that you call yourself game designer. Surely there's an in-between?

larienna
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I know there is a lot of

I know there is a lot of confusion with the term "Game designer", it could refer to:

Video Game Designer
Game Software designer
Board game designer
game designer (any medium: TV show, RPG, sports, etc)

Sometimes, when I said I was a game designer, people assumed I made video games. Also people that clone Mahjong or Candy crush will call them selves game designer. But in fact, they have not designed any game mechanics, they just implemented them into a program. So they should better be called Game Software designer. What they designed, is the program, not the game.

As for beign a newbee or not, it's hard to say unless there is a association of designer that standardise the requirement to be a game designer (like many other profession does). I guess having a new game published (with new mechanics) makes you a game designer.

Else they say that to be an expert at something, you need to spend 10000 hours. Even I who is probably close to that number, was reconsidering my self (in another thread) if I was really capable of designing games. I was looking for alternative "jobs" I could do with the skills I had developpped (ex: reviewing games). Or define clearly what are my limits when designing a game.

So in conclusion, it's very hard to define as any body can self proclaim himself game designer.

Locus
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Why?

I'm genuinely curious: what is the benefit of gate keeping the designation of 'game designer'?

Especially in the context of a forum for 'game designers' that explicitly purports to be inclusive of all levels of experience.

let-off studios
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Double Why

I gotta side with Locus on this one. This same question has been posted a few times in the past few years... What has the community here learned from such discussions?

questccg
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Sensitive Topic Dr. Pulsipher

let-off studios wrote:
..This same question has been posted a few times in the past few years... What has the community here learned from such discussions?

That people are very sensitive about this topic. I've been told directly when I responded to this topic last that everyone can and should consider themselves "Game Designer" if they have designed a game.

I agree with Dr. Pulsipher ... That there needs to be some way to distinguish between Hobbyist, Independent and Professional members. I think this is the easiest way to classify members.

Hobbyist do it for FUN and as a creative outlet. They may produce PNPs or only have their game for their circle of players, etc. But not serious.

Indies do it to self-publish. They produce games that they TRY to KS and are not affiliated with any particular Publisher. In short, if they look for a Publisher, it is on a per-design basis.

Pros get published and sometimes design 1 to 2 games a YEAR. They often submit ideas in "incomplete" status and try to entice Publishers with the CONCEPT (and/or a sell sheet). They are in it because they want to sell as many designs as possible.

I personally am an "Indie" Game Designer because I want to bring my designs into a state such that I can self-publish my games. I'm not a Pro because I fail to understand how to SELL "concepts" and/or ideas when I have a hard enough time finding a Publisher for a COMPLETED game design (including all the art and components that go along with it).

So I think this is the most FAIR way to distinguish between Game Designers... Let me know what you all think!

larienna
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I also do not like much the

I also do not like much the idea of acrediting designer as it could lead to too much discrimination. Also determining those criterias could be prety arbitrary.

You might require some way to validate that the person in front of you have experience in game design.

I think the only way to currently validate this is through a portfolio. A list projects related to game design you have accomplished.

If you are like me, since I dreams more than I can produce, the project list should be relatively small.

pelle
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10000 sounds low. I would

10000 sounds low. I would expect that many to graduate with some degree in game design every year now. Seems like there are game design educations everywhere.

I consider myself a hobby game designer. I design games as a hobby. Even if I had not had a game published I would still be a hobby game designer. I never say "I am a game designer" without the hobby prefix, as that sounds like I work in the industry full-time designing games all day, and that is not the case.

Designing games is a reasonably well-defined activity, and does not require any special degree or certification. If someone is actually doing that I have no problem saying they are a (hobby) game designer.

Rick-Holzgrafe
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So which one am I?

questccg wrote:
Hobbyist do it for FUN and as a creative outlet...

Indies do it to self-publish...

Pros get published and sometimes design 1 to 2 games a YEAR...

Not disagreeing at all, but curious where I'd fall in this trichotomy: I've had three titles published (two are major expansions to someone else's game) by two different professional publishers. But that's over something like 15 years of playing around with game design. I have zero intention of ever going to the trouble of running my own Kickstarter campaign. I might someday put a design up on The Game Crafter, but so far the cost of print-on-demand for any of my (actual, finished, good) designs is too high to be worth the trouble. Does that make me a hobbyist because I mostly do this for fun, an Indie because when I do get published, it's on a per-design basis, or a professional because I've had a few designs professionally published?

Again, not disagreeing, just curious how you'd see it--and you did ask for discussion. Categorizing is hard because there are always exceptions and outliers. I may be such an outlier. :-)

[Edit: I see that Pelle above seems similar to me, and regards themself as a hobbyist. I probably agree with that myself. But there's no easy way to say "I don't do this for a living but I do get published occasionally" so when I'm talking to people about what I do, I tend to fall all over myself making statements and then qualifying them...]

X3M
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I might add

That everyone so far on this forum. Has been the real deal. Or openly admit that they are only doing this as hobby. If it is neither of the 2. Then they dissappeared...

In real life, I have met 3 people who said to me that they too, are game designers. In turn I correct them that I only did it as a hobby.

I aksed plenty of questions. But so far, all 3 where dumbfounded at the slightly more serious questions. Which I can only ask because I have seen plenty of posts about it, on this forum.

questccg
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I agree with you 100%

Rick-Holzgrafe wrote:
Not disagreeing at all, but curious where I'd fall in this trichotomy: I've had three titles published (two are major expansions to someone else's game) by two different professional publishers. But that's over something like 15 years of playing around with game design. I have zero intention of ever going to the trouble of running my own Kickstarter campaign. I might someday put a design up on The Game Crafter, but so far the cost of print-on-demand for any of my (actual, finished, good) designs is too high to be worth the trouble...

That probably made you (in the past) an Indie Game Designer ... But just because someone WAS an "Architect" doesn't mean that they still ARE. They might have been a "Architect" and are now a "Project Manager" (for example)

Rick-Holzgrafe wrote:
Does that make me a hobbyist because I mostly do this for fun, an Indie because when I do get published, it's on a per-design basis, or a professional because I've had a few designs professionally published?

So you were an Indie Game Designer and now you are more of a Hobby Game Designer. Because by your own admission, you do it mostly because it is something you ENJOY.

But you could also say that you are a Hobby Game Designer who is waiting for the right kind of INSPIRATION to move back into a role of Indie Game Designer... But ATM you'd rather contribute to other people's projects and discuss with other Game Designers about their own concepts.

I think the difference between NOT a Game Designer and a Hobby Game Designer is that you are actually STILL INTERESTED in "Game Design". You actively are a part of a larger community, you pen down ideas/concepts and you enjoy discussing Game-related issues with others.

Some people come and stay for a while and then they DISAPPEAR. That fact is what makes them "NOT" Game Designers. I.E. They endeavored in the craft for a year or two and have moved on to other matters and are not actively DESIGNING anymore. Maybe they've move on to being a GAMER and actively still have interest in the industry ... But not as a HANDS-ON Game Designer.

That to me sound also FAIR to state...

AdamRobinGames-ARG
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To the original Question

I understand why this question comes up periodically. In several other careers and professions, there is a minimum standard to earn the title. But in many art related fields (and I would say any design fields fall in this category), the quality of the finished product is subjective and creates a large gray area for when you "earn" the title. It does make it harder for people who do this for a living to get noticed, because their is so much "noise" in a publisher's search.

For those who are hobbyist or one offs, I don't think this comes from a place gate keeping. I think it is more of a case of getting recognition for the work they got published. With so many claiming to be game designers, it really buries those who are trying to make a career of this. On the flip side, those of you who have successfully published, there are no shortage of people to claim the title elsewhere. Attacking, or even just discouraging people, on here for calling themselves designers I think does make someone look petty.

I remember a previous discussion on the topic. I called myself an Aspiring Game Designer. Regardless, for anyone who claims the title, I think the first question to them should be how many games do you have in what part of development/publishing.

Just some thoughts from someone who has 4 prototypes in playtest and nothing published.

Juzek
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I tend to think of game

I tend to think of game design as an art, and feel that anyone who practices game design should be called a game designer. The few who can support themselves have a following and a portfolio of successes similar to any artist.

Also like any artist there is a huge curve in becoming better. I have called myself a fledgling game designer for the last 5 years.

Accreditation comes into play in different fields in relation to risk you cause others. An engineer who designs a bridge or building must maintain a professional license. Most jobs in the medical field also do. Even teachers get a certification.

Game designers may be judged at the quality of their products without fear of injury or damages yielded from a sub standard product.

larienna
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Comparing as an artist is

Comparing as an artist is interesting. I did some paintings and drawings, but am I really an artist, not sure. My art is not decent enough to be consumed by somebody else. Nobody is going to buy my art or expose it on it's wall.

Could it be that what makes an artist is the desire to be seen by others. Paying for it is just an option but not necessary.

Can the same rule apply to game design?

I Will Never Gr...
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How about ..

If you design games, you're a game designer. Period. There are no lines to define there.

"Game Designer" and "Published Game Designer" would be the only distinction that can be realistically made.

Simple, easy to decipher and non-discriminatory (beyond "have you had a game published?").

As for the definition of Published: Anything that is available to the general public in some form (either to purchase or free), provided through any means accessible to the general public.

lewpuls
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Game Designer

Most "game design" degrees are in practice game development degrees, programming and art primarily. But "game design" is a sexy phrase, so that's what they call themselves. Even though the people who teach game design specifically, rarely have significant experience of game design.

Before retiring I taught (video) game development. The students were working toward a two-year game development degree. I had to bring realism to wishful thinking (there was a LOT of it). In those circumstances I did NOT want any student calling themselves game designer until they had *achieved* something. So "game designer when they decide to call themselves game designer" was a BAD idea. (And still is.)

Do we suppose anyone who calls themselves a sculptor is a sculptor, anyone who calls themselves a physician is a physician, anyone who calls themselves a football player is a football player, and so on? Not only no, but Hell No. Get in touch with reality.

If you think everyone is a game designer, or that anyone who calls himself such is a game designer, then aren't you saying that it's a hobby and not a profession? And of course it IS a hobby, for some. So likely there are two criteria, one for hobby designer, one for commercial designer (if you're trying to extract money from people for your game, you're acting commercially). I suppose you could go further and differentiate commercial designers who do it on the side, from those who (try to) do it for a living. Or self-publishers from those who convince someone else to publish their game.

By the way, I got the "gatekeeper" reaction very badly on twitter. The idea that when someone wants to define a phrase, they must want to gatekeep, is Utter Bullshit. Not only jumping to conclusions, but rushing to judgment.

Where does gatekeeping occur? Yes, it happens (you need to pass a test to practice as a lawyer or physician, e.g. - and I did encounter someone who had an MD degree from a foreign university, but could not pass the American test). Yet I think it's often something people imagine rather than something that's real. It's expedient to blame failure on mysterious "gatekeepers."

Locus
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Okay.

The difference between being a hobbyist and a commercial designer is, necessarily, a very different question than the one you so succinctly posed as "What makes someone a game designer and not a wannabe?" And conflating the two is, pretty much definitionally, gate keeping.

Is your question actually 'what is the difference in criteria between a hobbyist and a commercial game designer'?

I Will Never Gr...
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..

Locus wrote:
The difference between being a hobbyist and a commercial designer is, necessarily, a very different question than the one you so succinctly posed as "What makes someone a game designer and not a wannabe?" And conflating the two is, pretty much definitionally, gate keeping.

Is your question actually 'what is the difference in criteria between a hobbyist and a commercial game designer'?

^ This!

Lewpuls wrote:

Most "game design" degrees are in practice game development degrees, programming and art primarily. But "game design" is a sexy phrase, so that's what they call themselves. Even though the people who teach game design specifically, rarely have significant experience of game design.

I'm sorry, being a game designer does not require any kind of formal training.

Quote:

Do we suppose anyone who calls themselves a sculptor is a sculptor, anyone who calls themselves a physician is a physician, anyone who calls themselves a football player is a football player, and so on? Not only no, but Hell No. Get in touch with reality.

if I sculpt and call myself a sculptor, yes, I'm a sculptor.
To be a physician actually requires school and extensive training.
To be a football player .. I assume you mean "professional", in which case you must be part of a professional league.

I can be an *amateur* game designer (unpublished, unpaid, etc)
I can be a *professional* game designer (paid, primary source of income perhaps)
I can be a *published* game designer (paid or not, published)
I can be a physician, by profession (trained, certified)
I cannot be an *amateur* physician (untrained and/or non-certified)

Straw man argument, at best.

Quote:

If you think everyone is a game designer, or that anyone who calls himself such is a game designer, then aren't you saying that it's a hobby and not a profession?

No. We're saying if you design games, you're a game designer.
You can have subsets of that and qualifiers, but game designer is an all encompassing term, just as "artist" or "actor" or "musician" (I can be any of those in either a hobby/non-professional, or professional form).

I can be a board game designer and never have published a game (amature/hobbyist).
I can be a board game designer and never have finished a design (hobbyist)
I can be a board game designer and have published a game ('published' designer)
I can be a board game designer as a profession (professional game designer).

As you see, those are all game designers, regardless of the qualifier added to the title.

Quote:

Where does gatekeeping occur?

When one tries to say "you're not" something when you, explicitly, are.
Such as your question, "Where do we draw the line between game designer, and NOT game designer?".

Quote:

The idea that when someone wants to define a phrase, they must want to gatekeep, is Utter Bullshit. Not only jumping to conclusions, but rushing to judgment.

Not in the least. You are, quite literally, trying to define (or rather refine and restrict) a phrase that already has a definition.

"Game designer" is someone who designs games. Period. This is not a professionally certified field (such as your comparison to a physician)

AdamRobinGames-ARG
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This all goes back to what I said earlier

When it comes to Art or any field that is dictated by (almost entirely) the subjective tastes of others (whether it be professional, hobby or a one off), anyone can unfortunately claim the title.

An actor who only does one roll as an "extra" is still an actor.
Any artist who creates one piece of art is still an artist.
Any person who can competently play an instrument is a musician.

That is why there are so many "starving artists" or actors/waiters. These are stereotypes that came about from actual struggles and have been around for centuries. The title is over saturated due to so many being able to claim it and only the best of the best or the well connected actually make money at it. (Unfortunately, in Hollywood, more of the latter and less of the former have taken over and produced complete crap.)

Whereas with other fields, people can get hurt or die if not "gatekept" through degrees and/or certifications. A bad engineer could lead to the death of construction workers or future users of the structure. A bad physician, mis-diagnose. Even a bad hair stylist could transfer blood born ailments by knicking someone with improperly cleaned tools. No one is going to die from looking at ugly art or or watching a bad movie.

I understand the frustration Mr. lewpuls is having and the desire to elevate the title above a passing interest. But regardless, I don't think it can be done. There are just too many who claim it. I think that is why so many on this thread are adding the qualifiers. It seems the most practical way of distinguishing individuals who are trying to make a career of it from hobbyists. I think it would be more helpful at this point to define the qualifiers (where you have to be in the design process), rather than argue over the base title. But I would welcome others thoughts.

To recap, I think the title "Game Designer" should be used for anyone actively creating a game or games. Then maybe apply the following qualifiers I've seen thus far:
Aspiring (No functional game yet; drops upon functioning prototype)
Amateur/Professional (Unpaid but moving toward getting paid/Paid)
Hobby/Commercial (Done on the side for fun with family and friends/Done with intent to make available to the greater public)
Self-Published/Published (Published your own design/Published by others)
Video/Tabletop/Sport (self explanatory)
Indie (Does this pair with one of the above or does this have a unique meaning?)

Just me thinking out loud. Feel free to modify, add or disagree.

larienna
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Quote:I cannot be an

Quote:
I cannot be an *amateur* physician (untrained and/or non-certified)

You can. it's called a charlatan

I Will Never Gr...
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larienna wrote:Quote:I cannot

larienna wrote:
Quote:
I cannot be an *amateur* physician (untrained and/or non-certified)

You can. it's called a charlatan

I cannot legally be an amateur physician.

questccg
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If you do ART are you an "Artist"???

Artist to me has two (2) meanings:

1> You did some art and you want to display it in a museum collection.

2> You did some art for someone else's benefit (remunerated or not).

If I do a "painting" do I SAY that I am an ARTIST?!?!

That's the fundamental question. And in my opinion is that I DON'T call myself an ARTIST just because I did some art. I may dabble in art and do some oil paintings ... That doesn't make me an ARTIST. It makes me be someone "Who did some art"! At least that is how I feel about the term "Artist". I work with ARTISTs and I know the difference between them and I.

Why do I state those two (2) clauses above?! Because like I said, I have friends who are artists. Some who have done art for me, others who just work on their craft making illustrations (or toys -- yes one wants to be a toy maker)...

They also have an active PORTFOLIO of their art... Even if when I was a teenager, I did several oil paintings when I went to Saturday Art Class... I was never an "artist". And we did have an exposition and some people did want to buy some art... I never considered myself an ARTIST. It was just something that I DID.

I Will Never Gr...
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Already defined in the dictionary ..

questccg wrote:
Artist to me has two (2) meanings:

1> You did some art and you want to display it in a museum collection.

2> You did some art for someone else's benefit (remunerated or not).

If I do a "painting" do I SAY that I am an ARTIST?!?!

That's the fundamental question. And in my opinion is that I DON'T call myself an ARTIST just because I did some art. I may dabble in art and do some oil paintings ... That doesn't make me an ARTIST. It makes me be someone "Who did some art"! At least that is how I feel about the term "Artist". I work with ARTISTs and I know the difference between them and I.

Why do I state those two (2) clauses above?! Because like I said, I have friends who are artists. Some who have done art for me, others who just work on their craft making illustrations (or toys -- yes one wants to be a toy maker)...

They also have an active PORTFOLIO of their art... Even if when I was a teenager, I did several oil paintings when I went to Saturday Art Class... I was never an "artist". And we did have an exposition and some people did want to buy some art... I never considered myself an ARTIST. It was just something that I DID.

Artist (noun)

a person who produces paintings or drawings as a profession or hobby.

questccg
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Define "Game Designer"

I Will Never Grow Up Gaming wrote:
Artist (noun)

a person who produces paintings or drawings as a profession or hobby.

Game Designer (noun)

a person who produces board or card games as a profession or hobby.

questccg wrote:
Can it be that simple???

This is good because "Hobby" is defined as:

an activity done regularly in one's leisure time for pleasure.

"Profession" is self-explanatory as is "regularly" too. That's the key I believe: you have to DO IT. Not just about doing it "once" or "twice" ... It has to be a REGULAR activity ... even if just done for pleasure during leisure time.

I Will Never Gr...
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It is simple ..

questccg wrote:
I Will Never Grow Up Gaming wrote:
Artist (noun)

a person who produces paintings or drawings as a profession or hobby.

Game Designer (noun)

a person who produces board or card games as a profession or hobby.

questccg wrote:
Can it be that simple???

This is good because "Hobby" is defined as:

an activity done regularly in one's leisure time for pleasure.

"Profession" is self-explanatory as is "regularly" too. That's the key I believe: you have to DO IT. Not just about doing it "once" or "twice" ... It has to be a REGULAR activity ... even if just done for pleasure during leisure time.

The definition of artist is from the dictionary. There is no such definition for game designer from the dictionary, which I assume must be Lewis' issue (wanting to define "Game Designer" as some sort of official designation that has requirements meeting some nebulous standards).

If we take what you say above, that means those who have designed and published one or two games cannot be qualified as game designers. That sounds as preposterous as saying those who do it for fun and are never published are not game designers (albiet "amateur" or "hobby" game designers, vs "professional" or "published").

It really is simple.

If you design games in any capacity, as a profession or a hobby, you are a game designer.

If you have at any time designed a game as a profession or a hobby, you are a game designer.

Anything beyond that is sub-sets of game designer (professional, amateur, hobbyist, published/unpublished, active/former, etc) but they are all under the broad scope of "game designer".

questccg
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Here's where I DISAGREE!

I Will Never Grow Up Gaming wrote:
...It really is simple.

If you design games in any capacity, as a profession or a hobby, you are a game designer.

If you have at any time designed a game as a profession or a hobby, you are a game designer...

Here's where I DISAGREE: if in the PAST at some point in TIME, you designed a GAME or several... And that at the present time, designing games is no longer a Hobby of yours ... meaning that you are not ACTIVELY involved in the industry... We can say YOU WERE A GAME DESIGNER (Past tense). But because you are no longer actively pursuing Game Design (even as a Hobby), I feel that you should use WAS/WERE vs. AM/ARE.

That accounts for MANY, MANY people. Some do it for a year and then move on to something else, maybe something more lucrative or something that is more of interest to them NOW, etc.

So they WERE a Game Designer but since are no longer practicing, they ARE not a Game Designer ... It was in the PAST. I think this might be what Dr. Lew was looking to point-out!

I Will Never Gr...
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questccg wrote:I Will Never

questccg wrote:
I Will Never Grow Up Gaming wrote:
...It really is simple.

If you design games in any capacity, as a profession or a hobby, you are a game designer.

If you have at any time designed a game as a profession or a hobby, you are a game designer...

Here's where I DISAGREE: if in the PAST at some point in TIME, you designed a GAME or several... And that at the present time, designing games is no longer a Hobby of yours ... meaning that you are not ACTIVELY involved in the industry... We can say YOU WERE A GAME DESIGNER (Past tense). But because you are no longer actively pursuing Game Design (even as a Hobby), I feel that you should use WAS/WERE vs. AM/ARE.

That accounts for MANY, MANY people. Some do it for a year and then move on to something else, maybe something more lucrative or something that is more of interest to them NOW, etc.

So they WERE a Game Designer but since are no longer practicing, they ARE not a Game Designer ... It was in the PAST. I think this might be what Dr. Lew was looking to point-out!

So where is the disagreement as that is exactly what I have said?

Oh, I see; You cut out the rest of my statement and so you're disagreeing with an incomplete statement.

questccg
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Please don't paste entire comments...

I Will Never Grow Up Gaming wrote:
...So where is the disagreement as that is exactly what I have said?

Oh, I see; You cut out the rest of my statement and so you're disagreeing with an incomplete statement.

No I just cut where I had a difference of opinion. I don't paste entire "Quotes" because that is redundant. You can read the other person's comment without the NEED to paste it or repeat it in subsequent comments...

Anyhow ... You did touch on the TEMPORARY nature of the title a bit as an understatement:

I Will Never Grow Up Gaming wrote:
...Anything beyond that is sub-sets of game designer (professional, amateur, hobbyist, published/unpublished, active/former, etc) but they are all under the broad scope of "game designer".

You say ACTIVE/FORMER are sub-sets. But I think that FORMER is that you WERE a "Game Designer" at some point in your life. And ACTIVE means that you are CURRENTLY designing games ... It is one of your active leisure activities (if it's a Hobby).

questccg
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This means that by the temporary nature of the Title...

Most people ARE NOT "Game Designers". They might have been a part of the industry at some point in their lives ... But like I said, they have moved on to other "Hobbies" or no longer earning an income from making and designing games ("Professional").

That's how you can account for most people... They WERE "Game Designers". But currently they are not practicing the craft.

Note #1: Dr. Lew ... Does this explain how probably MOST of those 10,000+ people are not necessarily "practicing" Game Designers?!

But I mostly agree with James ... That it's an EASY "Title" to earn. All you need to do is start "designing" games and you are a "Game Designer".

How long you LAST as a "Game Designer" is the more interesting question. Because I've been on BGDF for a plethora of years, I've seen a lot of people "come and go". Usually under 6 months of activity and then they "sorta" disappear ... or as I have suggested stopped DESIGNING.

When you "stop" and are not involved with a community... Well what is in the past should stay in the past. If you continue to practice designing games but alone or with a close group of colleagues or even Friends ... Well then the title should stay and reflect that you are indeed a "Game Designer". How long?! That remains to be seen.

Quantification in the DURATION of your interest for the field.

lewpuls
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Good heavens

'You are, quite literally, trying to define (or rather refine and restrict) a phrase that already has a definition.

"Game designer" is someone who designs games. Period.'

I'm glad you've decided that your definition is the only one that counts. Oddly enough, your definition is not already agreed upon, and it differs substantially from many other definitions of "game designer". Enjoy your little island.

Look at usage. E.g. when someone says, "Game Studies people tend to ignore game designers, because as extreme academics they are very wary of practitioners," that's a reference to published designers, not to anyone who calls themselves a designer. Nor to anyone who designs games.

And you know, there had to be a limiting definition of physician (or lawyer) before they became professionally certified, or there could not be a certification.

Yes, you can say that anyone who can play an instrument is a musician. But that doesn't include people who call themselves musicians, but cannot play an instrument, does it? And how well do they play, for that matter?

If you say a game designer is anyone engaged in creating games, you exclude many people who call themselves game designer. As I said before, most of you suggest definitions that do exclude most people.

"Game Designer (noun)
a person who produces board or card games as a profession or hobby."

That's a reasonable definition; and excludes those who call themselves game designers but do not produce anything. But would not be sufficient for some purposes, for example the Game Studies phrase above. It works for others, such as my situation teaching game development.

Good grief. I am fully aware that being a game designer does not require formal training. I have none but have about a dozen games published (one video, rest tabletop). Yet when you are teaching people in a school, you are providing formal education, and they should be better off for it. Telling people they are game designers because they say they are, is poor education!

Accreditation is almost always a bad idea. As someone said, only if poor practice could hurt someone else (as in physician, lawyer, etc.) does it make sense. You may know, in teaching, the accreditation bodies are made up of academics, who are interested primarily in boosting academia. Hence teaching practitioners and practical expertise are discounted for accrediting college teachers, and only degrees and courses count. It did not matter that I, for example, had taught computer networking at graduate level for 20 years, that I'd worked as a networking person and supervisor for more than nine years, I was finally deemed unsuitable to continue teaching because I did not have a networking degree. Even though, when I got my last degree (1981), there was no such thing as a networking degree. THAT is gatekeeping. (Likely there was a bit of age-ism as well?)

This can go to the extent that a PhD in zoology was deemed (by accreditation people) unqualified to teach freshman biology. (Zoo being half of biology.) They fired the teacher. I got this from the college president himself. I was disgusted that the college didn't fight for this person, but colleges and universities are terrified of accreditation.

We have become a nation of pieces of paper (accreditation), partly to avoid being sued. You can't get sued for hiring someone with an appropriate degree. You can be sued if you hire someone without the degree, regardless of their qualifications.

X3M
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@Lewpuls

Would adding words to "game designer", like "certified" or "accomplished" be of any use?
Likewise, "hobby" would be something more suitable for someone like me.

As example, I would be a "hobby game designer". And you would be... I think "accomplished and certified (PhD) game designer". Correct me if I am wrong.

Something along those lines. That would make sense and give a certain "degree" to "game designers".

It would also reduce the discussion about what makes a game designer. Because game designer would be a more general name for the "job".

***

I dislike it though, if people give me a name that is higher than I am actually on paper. It can give great discomfort if more and more people assume the same.

This situation might apply to "game designer" as well.

let-off studios
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Pretty Great

According to mathematical analysis:

The probability of this discussion thread single-handedly pushing people away from BGDF and simply hanging out at BoardGameGeek or just -anywhere else- is approaching 80%.

Keep up the great work, y'all.

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