I remember my very first CS class (the intro one) had the head of our department yelling about how everybody who wanted to make games for a living should leave now or forever hold their peace. He wanted them to go to more specialized community colleges or silly things like “game design” schools, but sadly only a minority listened.
To most CS majors, working anywhere in the game industry would be far less tolerable than even something like working in an entry level business job (that didn’t involve any CS). After all, in the game industry you would be at the bottom. You would be the programmer with no say, forced to do whatever dumb things the genius ‘designer’ says. The difference between that and the entry level business job? You would have no chance, or next to no chance, of changing your lot in life no matter how well you performed; you would be the programmer forever, somebody nearly as bad as those darn marketers and business types. To make matters worse? The designer -thinks- he knows how to do your job as well. He’s read about computers, you know, and made “Hello World” once so if he really wanted he could program the whole thing himself. I’ve heard the same complaints from Music Majors who’ve gone on to work in the game industry too…the ego of the ‘designer’ is just astounding.
Yet, you still had these hardcore gamers stick with the major! And everybody hated them. More than any other major perhaps, CS is about working in teams so most every class will have you working on big projects in randomly assigned teams (even some with journalism students and others with business students to simulate different real world teams). Oh, how unlucky you were to get stuck with the hardcore gamer on your team (they were worse than the journalism students by far!). If there was any bright side to such an occurrence, it was all of the ‘problem management’ stuff the hardcore would give you to talk about in interviews.
The hardcore gamer was of a particularly bad brand of ‘bad teammate’. Rather than just plain not contributing, he’d be the type to -say- he would do this this and that or that he’d ‘already done’ or ‘already knew how to’ do hard portions of the project while at the same time not actually knowing anything. Maybe he’d read an article once or twice or maybe he thought his hardcore gamer forum buddies would pull through for him and give him code or something. Or maybe he thought he -wouldn’t- just play video games and not do any work, but whatever the case the hardcore gamer would never pull through in the end. So, naturally, you’d have to divvy his work between the rest of the group after his uselessness became apparent, hopefully early on. With any luck, the rest of your team rated him low to ruin his grade and with more luck still the bad project grade would be enough to ensure he failed to never haunt future classes again.
On a funnier note, the hardcore gamer CS major would almost never actually try to make games in their spare time. More often than not, all of their time went to not failing completely (since the major was too hard for them) and, surprise surprise, playing video games. To increase the schadenfreude further, they almost all hated everything about the major itself yet somehow thought they needed it to enter the game industry. By the end, most -had- dropped out but man did they make the ride to the end worse for everybody.
My brother sailed through Computer Science at the University of Texas by completing classes many months in advance. He said it was easy. But then again, he wasn’t interested in making games. He did come from a family of engineers.
I suppose everything is hard for the hardcore. All this time playing games is just making the rest of their life harder.