Do you ever think of making an impact on the world as an artist?

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unit187
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unit187 polycounter lvl 5
I am a 3d artist. I do all kind of 3d models, get paid, do more models, get another paycheck, it's all good but sometimes I can't shake off the feeling that my job is somewhat pointless. I mean, look at NASA or SpaceX engineers. Those people do extremely hard work, but they literally open new horizons for human race. The scientists push today's technology further than ever.

But how can we, computer graphics artists can change the world? Not big change, but still - how to make an impact? Sure, some will say that people need to rest and relax, so making games or movies for them is nice, but lets admit that it is sort of BS. There are tons of fun activities that are in fact even better (and/or healthier) than games or movies.

Someone might say - why not do science then? Well, I am in late twenties and dumb enough to not to be able to do real science. I like robotics and A.I. but no way I can do that being stuck at high school math, so it is not an option. Anyways, the question remains - what can 3d artist do to make an impact? Your thoughts?

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  • NegevPro
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    NegevPro polycounter lvl 4
    The biggest impact artists make on the world (in my opinion) is inspiring other people. Art is necessary in the modern gaming world and thanks to gaming, I've obtained so many great memories. Some of the people I talk to the most are people I've met playing Counter-Strike online 10 years ago. I know plenty of people who would be suicidal without gaming, and I even have Steam friends with autism that can only communicate with other people over the internet through videogames.

    While it's easy to think that the people working at NASA are changing human life, you should also think about how much that directly affects individuals. If I lived in a world where we never knew anything about space, how much different would my life be? It probably wouldn't be that different. Now how much different would my life be if there was no art, or no video games, or no movies? It'd be completely different.

    Ultimately it's dependent on the person. I know from school experiences, many people seem to take art for granted. We assume that things like movies and games would be the same without artists making them more appealing, but how true is that? I know for sure that I'd rather be playing something like Bioshock:Infinite over Bioshock:Infinite the Text Adventure.
  • Richard Kain
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    Richard Kain polycounter lvl 12
    I am reminded of a quote from a Star Trek film.

    "Never try to be a great man. Just be a man, and let history make its own judgement."

    Anyone who concerns themselves with how much of an influence they are having on the world has too much time on their hands, and too much of an ego. Just do what you know to be right, and let the lasting influence deal with itself. It's really not something you should be worrying about.
  • redhonour
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    redhonour polycounter lvl 7
    Impacting the world is hard. I've thought of it, but never through anything I do professionally. I guess I'm just ok with trying to stand up for what I believe in, every day.

    Diversity, understanding, empathy.

    If people like my art, that's great. I hope it fuels the imagination of the next astronaut.
  • The Mad Artist
    I never think about that. I get to work in 3d art for a living and get paid. The only life I worry about affecting is mine and my loved ones.
  • Dudestein
    Pretty good interview; touches on this a bit.

    [ame=" Art Education and Building a Body of Work With Illustrator, Noah Bradley - YouTube[/ame]
  • PixelMasher
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    PixelMasher polycount lvl 666
    ah yea the late 20's "what the fuck am i doing with my life, its so meaningless" phase. I'm sorta going through that at the moment, looking for the next kinda thing to hook me and drive my purpose a bit.

    These kinda thoughts are pretty natural as you get deeper into who you are as a person, different interests and purposes kinda start and end at various times, you just gotta learn to accept it and be open to the next thing that comes along and not be afraid to change your life dramatically and run with it.In the last couple years I started to focus more on planning further in the future and doing activities besides wasting time on the computer/facebook/tv/video games etc. I learned how to DJ, learned a ton about lifestyle development/social dynamics, started to learn how to produce electronic music and am currently learning french to fit in more here in montreal. all that alone is pretty exhausting but I also want to start writing more and get involved in the nightlife scene here as well.


    in terms of how you can influence the world around you, well art has always been a good representation of the times, even if sometimes in hindsight. if there is a subject you really want to raise awareness on you could do some art themed peices for it, or photography or some such work. game art tends to be very "gamey" an not something outside the average nerd can get into or be emotionally influenced by a big mech or some scifi chick or some shit. you could try doing art pieces that focus on something you are passionate about outside of games. etc. such as like if you are pissed off about the wars in the middle east, or child labour to provide some pretty cliche examples, art or photography about them can be extremely powerful. or even creating art to sell and donate the proceeds to various well researched charities can make a difference.

    the main thing is not to be sitting around waiting for people to pat you on the back or write stuff about how awesome you are, that pretty much ruins the whole point of doing it. its like guys who want to be more "alpha" putting on a fake tough guy loud mouth front when just being more decisive, leading and self assured is going to naturally do that for them.

    you kinda hit on it, stop wasting so much time playing video games, watching netflix and all that other stuff that really has no purpose but to suck your time until you have to go to work. its unconcious behavior combined with shitty nutrition that is going to leave you uninspired and drained at the end of the day. bBeak your old habits and thought patterns and find some new inspiring activities you wouldnt normally consider to "wake you up" a bit and let new passions flow.

    Educate yourself and read books on subjects you want to learn about, you will be far more open to new ideas and concepts that you can use to forge yourself into a way more pimpin' human being. Doing that kinda stuff is fuuuuucking hard. to break old habits of that kind of behaviour is almost impossible most of the time you really have to train your brain to get into gear. But if you look at the most successful people out there in their respective feilds be it business or science or whatnot, they all have one thing in common: tons and tons of forced hard work.

    The average person in north america watches 5+ hours of tv a day. Think about that, 1825 hours a year spent doing literally nothing than being bombarded by ads and being sedientiary. if you cut that out/in half you could do so much more, learn new languages and master so many more skills etc.

    anyways, just run with the random inspirations life gives you with an open mind! hope this wall of text helps a bit.
  • Justin Meisse
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    Justin Meisse polycounter lvl 14
    unit187 wrote: »
    Sure, some will say that people need to rest and relax, so making games or movies for them is nice, but lets admit that it is sort of BS. There are tons of fun activities that are in fact even better (and/or healthier) than games or movies.

    We had two make a wish kids tour the office it really had an impact on me. These kids are sick, dealing with chemo and dwelling on their own mortality at a very young age. My work made an impact on these kids & their families, that makes me feel pretty good at the end of the day.
  • Kitty|Owl
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    Kitty|Owl polycounter lvl 3
    I guess to make an impact in Art you need to have a message, emotion or story and tell that through your work.
    you can look at some of the most revered paintings, films, TV, photographs, music, sculptures and books as example.

    From what i have seen the most common source of 'Impact' created in the 3D world is that of Inspiration. There are some great examples of inspirational pieces of 3D art.

    The easiest example is:
    http://vimeo.com/7809605

    However i have not yet come across 3D game art that has a purpose other than to look pretty and inspire people to make 3D art. But then i might be looking in the wrong places.
  • Sukotto
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    Sukotto polycounter lvl 8
    How do you want to affect people's lives? I think working on games that people enjoy is good enough for most people. Its just a really weird question. I don't think many people in our field think of anything beyond making games that people enjoy. We got into this field to make games, not to make some profound moral impact on the populous. Do you want to create educational games to teach kids?
  • JordanN
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    JordanN interpolator
    Art already does have an impact. Look at all those architectural visualizations. No one would know what the future would like if someone hadn't drawn or created those 3D models.

    Now imagine once graphics are completely photorealistic. You could explore those buildings or cities without actually being there. Think of it like google streetview but instead of playing with a slideshow, you are in a real time 100% photorealistic environment running in 60fps.
  • Two Listen
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    Two Listen polycounter lvl 10
    If I had to choose between impacting the lives of everyone in the world, or making such an impact on one person that it meant the world to them, I would choose the latter.
  • chamade
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    chamade polycounter lvl 5
    I would agree with the OP in some regards, particularly when it comes to working on certain very mainstream games and movies. It's easier to see the damage and dumbing down done to society than it is to see how they help. However, I think you need to keep in my mind that the lives of those scientists you mention generally aren't as awesome as they are romanticized on TV. A lot of time spent crunching data that leads nowhere, office politics, frustration and all the usual bullshit that all of us deal with. I read a few biographies written by doctors (can you think of a more meaningful profession?) and it appears that a lot of them can become numb and cynical as well.

    Volunteering or doing personal projects outside of work can help with the whole "what's the point of it all" thing.
  • oXYnary
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    oXYnary polycounter lvl 14
    To attempt to leave the world a better place than you found it is nothing to be smirked at.

    Anyhow, combine them!

    http://www.gamesforchange.org/
  • Alphavader
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    Alphavader polycounter lvl 7
    ah yea the late 20's "what the fuck am i doing with my life, its so meaningless" phase. I'm sorta going through that at the moment, looking for the next kinda thing to hook me and drive my purpose a bit.

    These kinda thoughts are pretty natural as you get deeper into who you are as a person, different interests and purposes kinda start and end at various times, you just gotta learn to accept it and be open to the next thing that comes along and not be afraid to change your life dramatically and run with it.In the last couple years I started to focus more on planning further in the future and doing activities besides wasting time on the computer/facebook/tv/video games etc. I learned how to DJ, learned a ton about lifestyle development/social dynamics, started to learn how to produce electronic music and am currently learning french to fit in more here in montreal. all that alone is pretty exhausting but I also want to start writing more and get involved in the nightlife scene here as well.


    in terms of how you can influence the world around you, well art has always been a good representation of the times, even if sometimes in hindsight. if there is a subject you really want to raise awareness on you could do some art themed peices for it, or photography or some such work. game art tends to be very "gamey" an not something outside the average nerd can get into or be emotionally influenced by a big mech or some scifi chick or some shit. you could try doing art pieces that focus on something you are passionate about outside of games. etc. such as like if you are pissed off about the wars in the middle east, or child labour to provide some pretty cliche examples, art or photography about them can be extremely powerful. or even creating art to sell and donate the proceeds to various well researched charities can make a difference.

    the main thing is not to be sitting around waiting for people to pat you on the back or write stuff about how awesome you are, that pretty much ruins the whole point of doing it. its like guys who want to be more "alpha" putting on a fake tough guy loud mouth front when just being more decisive, leading and self assured is going to naturally do that for them.

    you kinda hit on it, stop wasting so much time playing video games, watching netflix and all that other stuff that really has no purpose but to suck your time until you have to go to work. its unconcious behavior combined with shitty nutrition that is going to leave you uninspired and drained at the end of the day. bBeak your old habits and thought patterns and find some new inspiring activities you wouldnt normally consider to "wake you up" a bit and let new passions flow.

    Educate yourself and read books on subjects you want to learn about, you will be far more open to new ideas and concepts that you can use to forge yourself into a way more pimpin' human being. Doing that kinda stuff is fuuuuucking hard. to break old habits of that kind of behaviour is almost impossible most of the time you really have to train your brain to get into gear. But if you look at the most successful people out there in their respective feilds be it business or science or whatnot, they all have one thing in common: tons and tons of forced hard work.

    The average person in north america watches 5+ hours of tv a day. Think about that, 1825 hours a year spent doing literally nothing than being bombarded by ads and being sedientiary. if you cut that out/in half you could do so much more, learn new languages and master so many more skills etc.

    anyways, just run with the random inspirations life gives you with an open mind! hope this wall of text helps a bit.


    true and inspiring ;) - thanks for that post
  • AlexCatMasterSupreme
    Gunna sound silly. But I've always wanted to inspire people to be interested in space and the future like I was, like halo, star wars, star trek and all that always have. Incidentally I just signed my papers to start at 343 today:)
  • LANKUS MAXIMUS
    Wow, congratulations Alex!
  • Dimfist
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    Dimfist polycounter lvl 8
    Strive to be the best person you can be and that will put everything else in motion. It's a daily struggle but nothing good comes easy.
  • Mcejn
    Games, movie and many other forms of entertainment have and continue to inspire people and at times, give them hope. I know they did for me when I was a kid (and more).

    If you can make something or be a part of a project/game that will bring someone joy, allow them to escape a tough environment (even momentarily) and maybe even inspire them - I'd say that's making a big difference.
  • Demokk
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    Demokk polycounter lvl 3
    Entertainment combined with art is, in my opinion, the most effective form of conveying experiences and messages. Through video games we allow millions of people to experience something different than what they are used to, something that they would close themselves off to in any other context. We propose ideas and allow the player to interact and experiment with those ideas.

    Society and the mass media is a self-feeding cycle; games, movies, books, etc, are a representation of their time, but also feed the society in which they live in.

    Whether we want to admit it or not, video games as a medium have a great potential, and can have a great impact on the end-user. It can be that your game enlivens the day of someone, or maybe even changes his/her life.

    If "video game artist" exists as a profession, it is not without reason. You can make as much of an impact on somebody else as any scientist, writer, speaker, you name it.
  • Muzzoid
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    Muzzoid polycounter lvl 9
    Everytime i feel insignificant i do a quick estimation of how much human productivity my contribution to games i've worked on has wasted.

    It's probably quite a few life times so far over the millions of people that have played them.

    So i feel pretty good about my contribution personally.
  • Steve Schulze
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    Steve Schulze polycounter lvl 14
    I think I made about the biggest impact I'm ever going to have on the world last night.
  • BNeutral
    Culture affects how people grow up and who they become. Well, some culture, other is just pure entertainment.

    Being realist, most likely everything you do is irrelevant. You can work really hard to change that either with science, politics, becoming wealthy, or with great luck if you want to. Or just enjoy your life as best as possible with your minor role. For actually making an impact in the world requires sacrificing a great deal and taking risks.

    If you want to feel you're doing something relevant, you can develop a skill so rare or so good that it makes you very hard to replace. That, of course, takes a lot of work too.
  • specsowl
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    specsowl polycounter lvl 6
    I'm going to say this. I am a student artist. I constantly go through a phase of "is my life going to mean anything", "does anyone care", "can I support my future with what I do", etc. I know I'm not alone in the world in thinking this. But I go online, go on polycount or cghub or even google game art portfolios and I see the beauty that people make with art. I look at other artists that inspire me and in so many words, they save my life and sanity. My stuff isn't the greatest (or even good), but I'll be damned if I give up no matter how much I am rejected because when I look at artists I look up to, I am renewed. And I am further renewed when I see even they are humbled. I read Hazardous once say that he wasn't even remotely good at anatomy and had much to learn. That may have been humble of him, but it sure as hell humbled me and opened me up to a world of improvement and determination. I still have my doubts and worries, but I see how I have improved, and how even my "bad art" affects my loved ones around me and how proud of me I make them feel, and that's really all I need in my life. To make others around me feel happy. So all of you artists out there, I promise you that you inspire SOMEONE, make someone proud, and even if you aren't famous in the internet community, your famous to someone who matters more.

    Ok I'm done. Keep going guys and feel good about yourselves and what you do!
  • Mordragos
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    Mordragos polycounter lvl 8
    I think we as artists have a huge potential to change the world or inspire others to do so, hell if you look a bit trough history there are thousands of historic events that started becouse of a simple idea conveyed to other people trough art!

    for example think of all the crazy inventions like submarines o spaceships that started as ideas in Jules Verne's books!
    or if you think about the way in which artists of all kinds have influenced the political environment of ther time and geography by creating paintings, songs or plays to express their views and challenge other people's.

    anyway I think that as long as you have something to say or show trough the art you make you are making an impact on the world eve if it`s just a small one!

    finally I just want to leave with quote from the film anonymus (which show a pretty good example of an artists inpacting the world if you belive on the oxfordian theory of shakespear authorship)

    "Ben Jonson: Politics? My play has nothing to do with politics. I-i-i-it's just a simple comedy.

    Earl of Oxford: It showed your betters as fools who'd go through life barely managing to get food from plate to mouth were it not for the cleverness of their servants. All art is political, Jonson, otherwise it would just be decoration. And all artists have something to say, otherwise they'd make shoes. And you are not a cobbler, are you Jonson."
  • Brandon Kern
    Well here's the thing about art. I had the same question as you in the past, and I asked my friend what he thought about it. Basically what he told me is that art drives everything around us, because lets face it, there will always be a need for it. Art inspires, motivates, and drives people to do things. Humans like art whether it's visual, or musical. Try showing someone a piece of programming code they can't understand, its not exactly the same. You can't convey emotion through a bunch of code, or at least not without game art, sound design, and a UI in the case of a game (no disrespect to programmers, we also obviously need and love you guys.)

    Point is that art "competitively" innovates the world that surrounds us which therefore drives people to one up the last person, or the last iteration of an artistic work. To better explain it, take a look at games, although they may not directly influence innovation in the world, innovation of technology is certainly a by-product of it. Higher quality triple A title game art means you need beefier stronger technology to support it. Same goes for animated movies and CG. Art indirectly DRIVES the world and although it is indirect, it is whether you believe it or not, one of this worlds biggest motivators.
  • Mordragos
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    Mordragos polycounter lvl 8
    I think we as artists have a huge potential to change the world or inspire others to do so, if you look a bit trough history there are thousands of historic events that started becouse of a simple idea conveyed to other people trough art!

    for example think of all the crazy inventions like submarines o spaceships that started as ideas in Jules Verne's books!
    or if you think about the way in which artists of all kinds have influenced the political environment of ther time and geography by creating paintings, songs or plays to express their views and challenge other people's.

    anyway I think that as long as you have something to say or show trough the art you make you are making an impact on the world eve if it's just a small one!

    finally I just want to leave with quote from the film anonymus (which shows a pretty good example of an artists ipacting the world if you belive in the oxfordian theory of shakespear authorship)
    "Ben Jonson: Politics? My play has nothing to do with politics. I-i-i-it's just a simple comedy.
    Earl of Oxford: It showed your betters as fools who'd go through life barely managing to get food from plate to mouth were it not for the cleverness of their servants. All art is political, Jonson, otherwise it would just be decoration. And all artists have something to say, otherwise they'd make shoes. And you are not a cobbler, are you Jonson."
  • JustinSlick
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    JustinSlick polycounter lvl 6
    I was watching Indie Game The Movie on Netflix last night and there was this great quote at the end from Ed McMillen in an interview he gave right after Super Meat Boy had a huge first day. He was near tears, and I just thought the second paragraph especially sums up why a lot of people get into the creative fields:
    "For the first time in my whole career, I... successfully did something that, you know, a majority of people liked. It wasn't an alienating experience. I'm notorious for making games that tend to alienate, or not everybody understands... And to make something that seems to have complete universal appeal, I can't help but think that I finally made something good.

    Like I know there's a kid out there who stayed up all night long and then didn't go to school the next day because he was so into playing it. And to think that I could have an impact on this kid, even creatively, into thinking hey I know two guys made this... like maybe I could make something too. It's just cool... It's really cool."
    I thought that was a great moment, and I really believe that if you can make something that makes people smile or inspires them to be creative then it's reason enough to continue!

    I do think 3D content could be super useful for education, and would love to see that market expand. I think back to my early school years and how often we used games to learn things: Math Blasters, Oregon Trail, typing games, vocabulary games, Sim City, etc. That stuff was great! Do they still use games like that in schools?
  • noah_bench
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    noah_bench polycounter lvl 5
    I think about the impact or my art quite a bit.

    Coming into the industry I was dissatisfied with the way women were represented in most games. When I got my first job, I made a promise to myself that I would do what I could to change those representations.

    Art communicates, right? I think it's important for every artist to ask themselves what their own art communicates in terms of the game, but also in terms of society and culture overall.
  • Steve Schulze
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    Steve Schulze polycounter lvl 14
    I tend to look at myself and the other folks who do similar creative work to me, whether its the games or the animatronics, not as artists but artisan crafts people like furniture makers or potters. A comfy couch, even a very attractively designed one isn't going to change the world and I tend to look at game art the same way. There's seldom much in the way of meaning or social commentary or whatever else in your average space marine or colossal robot bear, but I figure if it makes a few people smile then it's done its job.
    "For the first time in my whole career, I... successfully did something that, you know, a majority of people liked. It wasn't an alienating experience. I'm notorious for making games that tend to alienate, or not everybody understands... And to make something that seems to have complete universal appeal, I can't help but think that I finally made something good.
    And then he made the Binding of Isaac.
  • JustinSlick
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    JustinSlick polycounter lvl 6
    Jackablade wrote: »
    I tend to look at myself and the other folks who do similar creative work to me, whether its the games or the animatronics, not as artists but artisan crafts people like furniture makers or potters.

    Totally agree with that... there are definitely exceptions, but yeah... in many cases craft seems like a more appropriate term overall.
    And then he made the Binding of Isaac.
    Pahahah, so true.
  • cw
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    cw polycounter lvl 12
    I just make stuff, try not to be a dick, and aim to get better every day. I' a simple chap I guess.
  • Joshua Stubbles
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    Joshua Stubbles polycounter lvl 14
    Making artwork for people to wind down with is not bullshit. Are films bullshit? Sculptures? Paintings in galleries? Happiness is pretty fleeting, it's difficult to obtain real happiness for a long period of time. If what I do in my work can bring even a moment of real happiness and awe to a person, I've succeeded.
  • createdbyi
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    createdbyi polycounter lvl 5
    We are the modern day myth-makers. We are capable of telling the stories that help our respective culture define it's identity. We give the culture heroes to believe in, and villains to pity. We can show the meaning of mercy, or sacrifice, or power, or love. Or, we can simply show the beauty in the world as we see it, or the horror.

    As artists we are uniquely gifted with a talent by our hands but, more importantly, a talent of our eyes. We see the world for what it is, recognize it for what it could be, and present that vision to those that cannot see it. It is our unique vision that drives the engineers to make the machines that expand our horizons.

    We give the chance for everyone to escape their points of view and enter our own, and, as they begin to see the world from a new point of view, we have changed the world.
  • Hazardous
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    Hazardous polycounter lvl 11
    Never did think about it, but I can say that the first time someone ever wrote me saying something along the lines of 'thank you for doing what you do, you inspired me to do it too' was by far and away more than I ever needed as far as 'did i make an impact' goes. Definitely didnt set out to achieve anything.
  • Eric Chadwick
    Making babies has been pretty awesome.
  • EvanL
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    EvanL polycounter lvl 6
    Hazardous wrote: »
    Never did think about it, but I can say that the first time someone ever wrote me saying something along the lines of 'thank you for doing what you do, you inspired me to do it too' was by far and away more than I ever needed as far as 'did i make an impact' goes. Definitely didnt set out to achieve anything.


    Even if you didn't set out to achieve anything, the amount of boobs you've put out there has definitely made the world a better place. If everyone impacted the world as you've had, we'd have world peace.

    Keep it up! For art!
  • d1ver
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    d1ver polycounter lvl 10
    "Show a man who he is, and he'll want to get better" ;)


    some great answers guys.
  • Slipstream
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    Slipstream polycounter lvl 14
    createdbyi wrote: »
    We are the modern day myth-makers. We are capable of telling the stories that help our respective culture define it's identity. We give the culture heroes to believe in, and villains to pity. We can show the meaning of mercy, or sacrifice, or power, or love. Or, we can simply show the beauty in the world as we see it, or the horror.

    As artists we are uniquely gifted with a talent by our hands but, more importantly, a talent of our eyes. We see the world for what it is, recognize it for what it could be, and present that vision to those that cannot see it. It is our unique vision that drives the engineers to make the machines that expand our horizons.

    We give the chance for everyone to escape their points of view and enter our own, and, as they begin to see the world from a new point of view, we have changed the world.


    The only thing I have to add on to this, is that this encompasses not just artists, but actors, writers, musicians, and anyone who is part of the creative medium.
    We all have the potential to jump start others, and spark others, and affect others. And as a video game artist, we have the unique ability of putting others within the viewpoint of another entity.
  • Equanim
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    Equanim polycounter lvl 6
    d1ver wrote: »
    "Show a man who he is, and he'll want to get better" ;)

    That sums it up perfectly for me.

    Art has incredible social utility. The concept of writing for example, is art based. Moreover, art is how people share experiences and ideas be it through writing, speech, sound, or imagery. Not only do video games do all of the above, they respond to the viewer, something no other medium can boast.

    Sure, there's a lot of fluff in video games, but when you take a step back, what does that tell us about our civilization? Why do we want to be in space or use magic? Both might have gotten you hanged a few hundred years ago. What changed?

    There are also many health benefits to games, most of them brain related. The physical drawbacks of gaming could be completely negated if tech like the kinect continues to develop.

    Are you changing the world as a video game artist? Yup. Your grandfather might not play them, but almost everyone under 40 does.
  • Aldo
    1. RARELY is it someone's job to change the world. A job can enable you to change the world, a job can give you the skills or confidence to go off on your own, to try and change the world, but generally, a job exists to help someone make money. Now you might say, "what about doctors/scientists/whoever? They change the world!" I'd say that most of them don't, and the ones that do, it has more to do with them as a person, than what they're paid to do. There are good and bad version of every profession. The big factor in changing the world as part of your job seems to be if you find meaning and joy in what you do. If a janitor, bus driver, tow truck operator, etc find joy and meaning in their job, they change the world with their job. Those young doctors, scientists, etc have to get to school and having a friendly bus driver might be the difference of them loving enough school to pursue their education or hating school and giving up on education. Getting good customer service might be the difference between a surgeon going into an operating room stressed or relaxed. It's not those people's jobs to change the world and it's not even a perk anyone would ever mention, but they can if they enjoy and find meaning in what they do...they change the world. That meaning doesn't even have to come from the impact your job is directly having, maybe they just find their job meaningful because it helps them provide for their children, or gives them the means to help them change someone else's shitty world. My point is, anyone that makes positive changes in the world, that positive change comes from inside them, not from it being 'their job'. If you don't find joy and meaning in your job, maybe it's because you know you should be doing better things with your life.

    2. So, how can we as artists change the world? Find joy and meaning in your work, which will result in you wanting to do your job well. That's it. And while you might think that helping people relax is BS when you think of all the more enriching and healthier activities people could be doing, it's pretty much a miracle when you're relaxing someone who is living a really shitty life that doesn't really allow them to relax ever. Even if that kid's favorite game is "Murder Sim 8", and you're worked on it, and you enjoyed making art for it and found meaning in it, you will do your job well, which helps that kid enjoy it and that makes it worth it...for both of you. Now if you're sitting there thinking of how much you hate working on "Murder Sim 9", you won't really do as good of a job, and so you should leave...maybe you've matured enough that you can use all your skills and resources from working on Murder Sim, to start your own series of games...Physics Sim, Science Sim...etc....and so one day when that kid who really loved Murder Sim starts getting bored with it and wants to try some other stuff, he might try Science Sim or maybe his son might and you might inspire a whole generation of scientists. My point is, both Murder Sim and Science sim are equally valid ways of investing your time into changing the world for the better...and the deciding factor seems to be: Do you enjoy it, do you find meaning in it? If it the answer is no, go do something else. If the answer is yes, good, keep doing what you do. IF ANYTHING, at the end of your life, you can say: I spent my life showing other people you should do what you find joy and meaning in...and promoting that idea would change the world for the better.

    3. Stop trying to change/have and impact on THE world, and start trying to change/impact YOUR world. The biggest impact you can have on THE world, is to change YOUR world and hope that YOUR world changes THE world. Want to impact THE world is sorta based on the Ego...you wanting to do something so awesome that the world is like...damnnnnn, thanks for existing yo! I'm not saying it's the wrong way to approach it, but it doesn't ever really seem to work out for the people who approach changing the world that way. Instead, if you change YOUR world...you first start with yourself...why have a job where you're sitting around with a nagging feeling your job might be pointless? Who care about changing the world...change YOUR world...find a job you find fulfilling...create that job if it doesn't exist! Which should make you a little bit happier. Do other things that create a happier you, a better you. Once you become a happier you, you'll start noticing all those around you that aren't happy, and so you can try to change YOUR world again...this time, one step removed, by try to encourage those people around you to pursue their happiness/meaning (or replacing them with the type of people you want to be around). Once you make some changes there, your life will be even better, and the people you helped change will create more change, and it will just ripple out...and so you become better and help change YOUR world...eventually YOUR world starts to grow and eventually becomes THE world...maybe you're there already...who knows, but to me, the most effective way, is to simply start by changing yourself and YOUR world.
    4. All the other awesome points other people made.
  • unit187
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    unit187 polycounter lvl 5
    I wish to thank everybody for their answers, your opinions are brilliant and well appreciated. I will re-read this thread again later to make it soak into the brain better, because some ideas worth be remembered.

    I think it might be quite interesting experience to work on the art for a game in a way to actually deliver an idea and inspire the player. Though it seems to me that your work environment must be suited for it. Means the company should care not only about money (nothing wrong with money, but there should be something else, something bigger, maybe a mission of some sort?). While a writer can influence whole story, we 3d artists are best in collaboration with others to bring ideas to life together. It is not an effort of a single person, but of a group. A-aaand that means that your collegues probably should too be tuned to deliver best performance.

    This idea is interesting - what if you start your day by not only thinking about checking things (related to art) off of your to-do list, but in fact tuning yourself to make your art meaningful and inspiring for others? It seems possible, but quite hard I must admit, because the feeling of purpose always tries to sip between fingers and disappear if you not remind yourself about it periodically.

    Some say you should not be bothered about making an impact, but allow me to disagree. In my life the most beautiful emotions were related to situations in which I did help others in one way or another. In the matter of fact, simple act of kindness and of giving makes you just a little big more happier. I am not old and wise gentleman, but this is just me experience.

    Oh, well, I am probably talking crap now and should be going to sleep since it is late at night :)

    Edit: I was writing it before Aldo's comment appeared. Now when I read it it really clicks for me. I love it. Now it seems to me I might have made in this particular comment a few points I should actually reconsider, though I am not going to remove them.
  • Illusions
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    Illusions polycounter lvl 12
    unit187 wrote: »
    I like robotics and A.I. but no way I can do that being stuck at high school math, so it is not an option. Anyways, the question remains - what can 3d artist do to make an impact? Your thoughts?

    You can still inspire people to want to pursue a career in robotics or A.I. through related artwork. Or even help people who have careers in robotics and A.I. explain their craft or projects to others through your art. Speaking from experience here, Computer Graphics and 3D Art & Design are not limited to just making art for videogames, movies, and television. Your art can be educational or inspirational outside of these areas too. However videogames, movies, and television possess utility as well, and can also be educational and inspirational, so I wouldn't worry too much about the fact that you're not employed at NASA or SpaceX in regards to inspiring people or changing the world.
  • Dubzski
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    Dubzski polycounter lvl 6
    I was watching Slightly Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 2 yesterday.... at the part where there is a bit of dialogue about studying the food animals rather than killing them... i overheard a group of kids exclaim that's what we should be doing, and proceeded to have a little discussion with themselves about it.

    That's pretty poignant as living in Australia at the moment the government is proposing a shark cull in the western areas even when 80% of the population are against it.

    Hopefully when these kids grow up they would remember little moments like this (even if its subconcious) & use it to orchestrate their actions effectively!
  • Gav
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    Gav ngon master
    I already ranted about this, but figured I'd share my answer here. The short answer is "No, I don't think about making an impact and really doubt that I can, but am fully aware of the side effect of making people want to do my job, join the industry, learn something, etc. - but it's a natural thing that would happen with or without my input."

    Facebook Rant:
    ___

    (Mainly in respnse to what Haz said)

    I feel like that is a pleasant side effect, you know? Like, it really does make me feel warm and fuzzy when someone says that I have inspired them or their work, or thank me for what I do. But to have that as my driving reason for doing this as a job? Not at all.

    I write tutorials because I do like to teach, but I like to teach people that want to learn this trade and are on the path already...it's operating in a pretty tight bubble, though. Like it's preaching to the choir...I wouldn't say it's impacting anything in particular.

    I think the industry takes itself way too seriously, especially lately. I think we forget that it's just a toy. It's a piece of entertainment that we create and want people to play, and like, and buy, so that we can keep doing it. Like any creative job. But to set out and think that "I'm going to make an impact on the WORLD" - what the fuck happened, man? What happened to getting fun games in the hands of people? Letting them escape, or just have some fun with friends, why does it need to have a life lesson or change minds or have a statement?

    As far as making "Art" and not shipping a product - I'd rather we all just did whatever we wanted to do, whatever tickles our fancy. All of my personal stuff is just that - a personal interest of mine. Usually things that I had an awkward boner over as a kid: Cyberpunk, Dark fantasy, horror, comics, etc. I think it's bit too pretentious to set out thinking it will make an impact on anything other than getting a few retweets and likes on Facebook.

    The reason I do any of this is because I'm a selfish motherfucker. I want to make the kind of games that I played as a kid, I want to live out my own dream of "being the guy that made Doom." When I sat there doodling fan art, stealing 3dsMax, modding game files, and thinking "boy, it sure would be nice to do this for living." I wasn't thinking "Some day, I'm going to change someone's opinion with my art."

    I've always just loved the industry more than anything. Being a game developer. Making toys, pieces of entertainment. I want to be a part of it, watch it grow, and be the person I dreamed of being as a kid. Whether or not someone figures out how to cure AIDS because of a butt I sculpted is totally just icing on the cake.

    That isn't to say we collectively aren't inspiring younger people to get into it, but that's more of a natural thing, right? Like I don't think we set out making bad ass characters to lure younglings into our industry - if anything, stay the fuck out there's already a shortage of jobs But I think that happens naturally. I think "we" contribute to a type of entertainment that will hook people in different ways than others - "we" produce what "we" love because "we" love to do it.

    Also, to add to that, this is why I will fight and argue on forums until the end defending people making the type of content that they want to make on their own time. It's totally selfish, personal, and people should be free to do what they want. boobs, blood, bad ass dudes, whatever. To have someone, not going to name names... Jon Troy Nickel...and judge what YOU do because you're not catering to certain people is fucking. absolute. bullshit. and the worst thing you can do as an "artist."
    ___
  • eld
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    eld polycounter lvl 11
    What you often hear from people: "I NEVER realized how much of an impact it would end up having..."

    Most often we don't plan the impact we will have on the world, and in games this truth goes all the way.
  • anchor
    I am reminded of a quote from a Star Trek film.

    "Never try to be a great man. Just be a man, and let history make its own judgement."

    Anyone who concerns themselves with how much of an influence they are having on the world has too much time on their hands, and too much of an ego. Just do what you know to be right, and let the lasting influence deal with itself. It's really not something you should be worrying about.

    Richard,

    Thank you for this. Short and Sweet, but very powerful. This is something I will try and remember when focusing and creating my art.
  • Brygelsmack
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    Brygelsmack polycounter lvl 7
    I think artists do impact the world with the games we create. Not in a "moving humanity forward" kind of way, but rather giving them experiences and memories to share with friends and family, which is something people can cherish for the rest of their lives. I think both are important, we need people to constantly push boundaries in human technology, and we need others to create fun experiences we can look back on later in life. Be the best you can be, and you'll inspire and impact the world more than you might think.
  • Lamont
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    Lamont polycounter lvl 10
    We had two make a wish kids tour the office it really had an impact on me. These kids are sick, dealing with chemo and dwelling on their own mortality at a very young age. My work made an impact on these kids & their families, that makes me feel pretty good at the end of the day.
    Very cool I must say.
  • PyrZern
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    PyrZern polycounter lvl 7
    I think I'm far from being good enough to leave something important behind that affects the world in one way or other...

    But, I'd like to create some reimagined scenes from movies or games and retell the story differently. Like how Star Wars Ep4's the Trench Run on Deathstar should have been, or the Fall of Norad II from StarCraft. (Funny I'm doing 3d characters instead of, say, hard-surface or environment...) Or to create awesome mock-up gameplay video that focus on gameplay and not on gorgeous graphic (Again,funny that I'm not doing Animation O o).
  • Ged
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    Ged interpolator
    I recently heard a radio show on bbc on what makes us human and one of the strongest arguments was art, the ability to create, inspire and to share amazing experiences. For me its about being who I really am, making game art is what makes me want to get up each morning and go to work :)
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