Man, August was a hell of a month. I won't bore you with the details, but given how most of August went, I wanted to wait until September to start posting so the site wouldn't explode or something. I really hope yours was better than mine.
The other day, I saw someone post a quote to Twitter that went something like this: "We are doing our children a great disservice by telling them to follow their dreams. Instead we should be telling them to work hard. Nobody ever was successful without hard work." This kind of thing drives me nuts, because it's counterpointing "follow your dreams" and "work hard", and frankly, the two aren't opposites. The fact of the matter is that nobody ever was truly successful without both following their dreams and working hard.
The example most people give is playing video games. "Oh, your dream is to play video games all day. Good luck with that." And they roll their eyes and mark the person down as "wasted potential" in their judgy little internal checklist. The thing is, though, there are professional, full-time video-game players, and they work their asses off to be able to do that. We're talking 60- to 80-hour weeks mastering and retaining mastery of games so that they can compete on a world-class level. There are video game tournaments where the prize money for the winner rises to six figures.
Tell me again how someone who's doing something they love to do and making more than a hundred thousand dollars a year, and working half again to twice as long as the average American office worker, is wasting their potential.
Obviously we can't all be the tournament winner; this is a job that a very, very select few have, and unless you're in the very top of the very top tier of players, you won't be making a living just playing video games. But that doesn't mean you can't make a living playing video games and doing something with what you get out of it. There have never been more ways to make money reviewing video games than there are now - but you still have to work hard and be good at what you do. Video game testers play video games for a living, and it's a real live job - they sit in a cubicle for eight hours a day, trying to get games to crash or bug out and then writing down how they did it so the programmers can fix the problem. Video game developers, artists, writers, etc. all practically have to play video games on a regular basis just to know what the state of the art is.
The point is this: we're not doing anyone a disservice by saying "follow your dreams". Following your dreams is a good thing. The disservice is when we don't say "and bust your ass following them". Because on one level, the quote is right: if you just sit around playing video games all day and don't actually do anything with it or try to improve, then yeah, you're probably not going to get anywhere. But if you do make that effort, the opportunities are out there; you just have to make it work.