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 Post subject: Justifying this hobby?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 1:38 pm 
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My cousin and I are members of this forum, both working on (separate) side-scroller engines. But we're under increasing pressure to justify our hobby to other family members who see us as "sitting and playing on the computer all day and not doing anything productive". I know NES games don't sell, but what marketable skill can one build by programming for the NES?


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 2:22 pm 
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Try making them understand that they don't understand your hobby. Tell them it's a complex combination of designing, programming, problem solving, drawing, composing, ...

Someone that doesn't know what it implies to write a book, or solve a big mathematical problem, would think the same as those family members.

And, you don't need to justify your hobby. Your hobby is yours. :P


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 2:24 pm 
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How bout this, I assume your a grown man just tell them its none of your business and I'll do as I like.

But to contradict what I just said if u really spend all your spare time on it I would advise that u get a life. Not to be rude but there is so much out there and its most important for us to find our places in the real world. Not everyone has a place but you still gotta try. I don't mean work I ment personal life just so I'm clear.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 3:01 pm 
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- It's like seeing a videogame as a toy. ^_^;;


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 3:17 pm 
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A video game is a toy. There is no question about that, if not what is it?


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 3:44 pm 
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I would just explain to them what programming is and its benefits (intellectual development maybe?). If you're coding, you're being productive. But it's your family with their own set of social values/ethics and measurements, and any of our advice probably won't be of any real help since each family is different. For instance, my ex believed 100% that all hobbies are totally useless and meaningless. You could probably guess why she's an "ex" ;) One thing you should look at, if anyone in your family "reads" as much as you do your hobby (i.e. bookworms). You might be able to persuade them and give credit to your hobby by drawing the parallels.

Hobbies in and of themselves are a way for you to live out your personal dreams and goals and can be key to personal growth or just a way of balancing yourself. Sometimes, for whatever reasons, our dreams/goals just aren't compatible/suitable/implementable as a job option and a hobby option fills that void. But like anything (even a job), too much time can be a bad thing. It looks like your families perception of your balancing of hobby and other activities are not in line with your own.

I'm not sure how old you are, but when I was a teenager - I'm sure my parents would have loved my staying home with such a productive hobby VS going out and getting into/causing all sorts of trouble (which I did).


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 4:40 pm 
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tepples wrote:
My cousin and I are members of this forum, both working on (separate) side-scroller engines. But we're under increasing pressure to justify our hobby to other family members who see us as "sitting and playing on the computer all day and not doing anything productive". I know NES games don't sell, but what marketable skill can one build by programming for the NES?


Some people, especially old people, don't understand computers. They seem to believe that when you sit at the computer you are automatically doing something pointless and unproductive simply because they don't understand what you are doing. So maybe you should try to explain it to them and when they don't understand because it is too complicated maybe they'll STFU.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 5:35 pm 
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hap wrote:
Tell them it's a complex combination of designing, programming, problem solving, drawing, composing, ...

Which don't immediately lead to making money or earning school credit.

peppers wrote:
How bout this, I assume your a grown man

I am a grown man, but I don't yet earn enough at work to afford my own place. (That's part of why I want a hobby I can monetize.) And a lot of this is about my cousin, who's still in middle school, and he can barely afford dev equipment out of his allowance.

Quote:
But to contradict what I just said if u really spend all your spare time on it I would advise that u get a life.

He already has a life:
Image
But seriously, what kind of life is an eighth grader supposed to have during summer vacation? But I don't think he wants a life: whenever his family tries to take him out to do something, he complains about having his time wasted.

tomaitheous wrote:
If you're coding, you're being productive.

One problem is that my productivity isn't necessarily anything I can put on a resume because the platforms that employers might want me to code for are nothing like the 8-bit home computers of the 1980s.

MottZilla wrote:
Some people, especially old people, don't understand computers. They seem to believe that when you sit at the computer you are automatically doing something pointless and unproductive simply because they don't understand what you are doing.

My cousin works on projects in 6502 asm for NES, C + Allegro, Z80 asm for his TI calculator, various Lego robotics environments, Golly (2D cellular automata engine), RPG Maker 2 (for PlayStation 2), and some platforms I can't remember. He also edits old animated TV shows together in various dadaist or dirty ways. But he appears unproductive in part because he doesn't ship. He just doesn't think taking projects to completion is worth his effort.

Quote:
So maybe you should try to explain it to them and when they don't understand because it is too complicated maybe they'll STFU.

You correctly guessed that one of the critics is nearly old enough to draw US Medicare. But I'm trying to understand my cousin's motivations so that I can explain them.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 8:16 pm 
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peppers wrote:
A video game is a toy. There is no question about that, if not what is it?


- I won't discuss a word of that. It's you.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:31 pm 
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Now what could that mean?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 11:53 pm 
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peppers wrote:
Now what could that mean?


To be honest, I have absolutely no idea.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2009 8:11 am 
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- It's his opinion about being a toy. Plus, I won't go offtopic.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2009 12:33 pm 
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When I get hassled about what I like to do, I usually look at what they are doing themselves and how they rationalize their hobbies. Everyone does something that is less-than-practical.

However if the problem is that you are supposed to be working on something more substantial to earn a living like them...well, being an accomplished coder definitely belongs on a resume. Assembly shows dedication and detail-oriented work, and intense logic. Good practice for solving many real world problems.

Suppose you were spending all day building computers and installing OSs, would they frown on that? Because that is definitely a livelihood right there. If you can imagine that this wouldn't satisfy them either, then you can dismiss their concerns as lacking a basic understanding of IT related jobs.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2009 12:45 pm 
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A debate over "toys" has been taken to this topic.

UncleSporky wrote:
I usually look at what they are doing themselves

For one of the critics, it's often housework. (Not that I don't do my own share.)

UncleSporky wrote:
being an accomplished coder definitely belongs on a resume.

They consider programming for an obsolete computer to be "play", not resume-worthy work, because one cannot sell copies of a program for an obsolete computer in commercially significant quantities unless you happen to live in the same town as one of the makers of handheld TV games such as Jakks or Radica. And my cousin doesn't finish much of anything in part because I haven't yet got him to care about filling a resume.

UncleSporky wrote:
Suppose you were spending all day building computers and installing OSs, would they frown on that?

If I am or reasonably could be making money from it, no. For example, fixing PCs made in the past decade is work; fixing C64s is play.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2009 2:23 pm 
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tepples wrote:
They consider programming for an obsolete computer to be "play", not resume-worthy work, because one cannot sell copies of a program for an obsolete computer in commercially significant quantities unless you happen to live in the same town as one of the makers of handheld TV games such as Jakks or Radica. And my cousin doesn't finish much of anything in part because I haven't yet got him to care about filling a resume.


I wouldn't discount NES development at all. I know it's just an anecdote, but I had my NES work on my resume, and when I was doing an (excruciating!) job search a couple years ago I actually got called into an interview for an amazingly high-paying and very cushy job at the Hoosier Lottery for running/watching over their huge IBM server. The guy specifically said he understood that I didn't have any knowledge at all about their system, and had no employment history, but it was mostly because my NES-related experience that he even considered me for the job. Well I didn't get that job, unfortunately I imagine they found someone with experience, certifications, etc. But still, my demonstrated knowledge in an obscure field got me an interview that I didn't realistically expect to get! During most of my search I didn't have any mention of it, that was more when was I getting desperate after a long while.

I know you've put a lot of time and effort into NES development, so really if you do work this into your resume (and you should), I'd be happy to PM you my full contact information to use as a reference. I use your apps all the time and refer others to them, I've given you "promotions" on the forum here, it'd be a good reference I think.


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