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Games and its harmful effects for work efficiency

polycounter lvl 7
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inflict3d polycounter lvl 7
Hello guys.
I have an interesting question to discuss: do games harm your creativity snd efficiency of work? Do you ever have feelings that playin' games is just wasting the time? Becase you can always do smth to develop your skills (modeling, texturing, etc) instead of playin' games. Is it possible to be a good character (environment)/game artist without playin' any games? (maybe it sound a little stereotypically)
Thanks in advance for your opinions!
And excuse for my english :\

Replies

  • Raptor_Arts
    I'm no professional artist or anything yet but for me I think playing games keeps my imagination active and certainly keeps my ambition alive, I also find it good for inspiration but many other artists may get their inspiration from just taking a walk through the park and may have never played video games before. Playing games is not wasting time at all in my opinion, but to progress in whatever area you wish to progress in if that is your aim then you should balance your time between work and play.
    Constantly doing work will eventually tire you out and you will more than likely get fed up, so its good to take the day off every so often and kick back, play games or do whatever it is you enjoy doing.
  • inflict3d
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    inflict3d polycounter lvl 7
    I also find it good for inspiration but many other artists may get their inspiration from just taking a walk through the park and may have never played video games before.
    Yes, as for illustrators/classical artists (with oil and watercolor) they haven't any connection with game industy. But I want to know an opinion of game/concept artists.
    Anyway thanx for answer Raptor_Arts
  • JordanN
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    JordanN interpolator
    It depends.

    I sometimes play games when I should be making 2D/3D art. However, not all game time is bad.

    I sometimes play games as a form of research. I examine the textures, models, lighting that's running in real time and use this as inspiration, knowledge or a solution to when I'm stumped making something.

    inflict3d wrote: »
    Is it possible to be a good character (environment)/game artist without playin' any games? (maybe it sound a little stereotypically)
    This is like saying, can you be a good engineer without playing with LEGO? Or be a Businessman/woman without playing with Monopoly?

    You don't need to but, like the above example, it could help as something inspirational or as a way of keeping ahead of everything.
  • lotet
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    lotet hero character
    Yes, it can harm your creativity, but it can also help, kind of depends the situation. If you are making a sequel or anything it might be a good idea to play through the original game.

    most of the time though, the games that inspire me are a lot older, like at least 5-10 years old. you dont really get inspired from stuff thats out there right now, not saying its not creative, just that someone else JUST did it, not the best thing to use as inspiration =P

    My biggest problem is that I dont like playing games any longer, its so much more fun making them. its actually a problem when trying to pick up a new cool game for research or trying to stay in the loop.

    I think I enjoyed games a lot more before I started working on them :/
  • NegevPro
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    NegevPro polycounter lvl 4
    I think games can be very helpful since you are exposed to the work of many artists all over the world. I frequently like to take screenshots of individual assets then go back later and see if I can re-create the asset and either put my own spin on it, or make it higher quality. Games aren't necessary for being a good artist, but if you want to be a good developer then I think you should at least make an effort to play some of the games that are considered good.

    They can drain your creativity, but I'd imagine that would only happen if you stick to one genre/theme. Some of the random games I've picked up over the years have ended up being the biggest inspirations for me. In fact, if it wasn't for randomly picking up a game during a Steam sale a few years ago, I wouldn't even be working on my current project.

    Plus, it's always good to relax after working hard. Some people like watching a movie, some like playing a game, there isn't really a difference I think.
  • ExcessiveZero
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    ExcessiveZero polycounter lvl 6
    I play the occasional game, now and then but I feel the itch more to do some CG or crack open unreal 4, learn a new workflow, than I do play a game.

    anything can be harmful if your using it to avoid work, watching tv, reading books etc, anything where you're not addressing the root cause and drowning yourself in something else.
  • Blaizer
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    Blaizer interpolator
    In my spare time, i use to have more than 4 hours, and i dedicate 2 hours in games. On weekends i usually play more but the majority of time i'm "playing" with 3D or drawing. I find more funny making my own very designs in 3D i previosly drew.

    Some games with a great and epic story can push up your creativity. If you think from the point of view of a modeller: "this could be better in this way, or this character could be replaced with a better one".

    FPS games for example can drain your creativity, or boring and repetitive games such as diablo 3.

    If you want to boost your creativity, my suggestion: buy and read a good book. A book is one the best things to feed our imagination.
  • gsokol
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    gsokol Polycount Sponsor
    Do you ever have feelings that playin' games is just wasting the time? Becase you can always do smth to develop your skills (modeling, texturing, etc) instead of playin' games

    Not really. Playing games and checking out the art is just as important imo. The important thing to note is that there is a difference between playing through other games and getting some good inspiration from them, and grinding in the same game over and over to try to 100 percent the game. At that point...you are getting less from it as an artist, and more out of it as a gamer imo.
    Is it possible to be a good character (environment)/game artist without playin' any games?

    Just my opinion here, but no. Thats like wanting to be a good chef without ever tasting anybody else's cooking. You have to at least keep a beat on what other people are doing, otherwise you are working in a black hole.
  • juniez
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    juniez polycounter lvl 10
    I'm not going to try to justify playing video games in a utilitarian sense - why should I have to? Everyone has a hobby, video games just happen to be mine, and hobbies aren't "harmful" or a "waste of time" as long as you're reasonable about it
  • valuemeal
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    valuemeal polycounter lvl 6
    Well, really depends on the game.
    Since I was a wee lad,I constantly played titles that interested me; they ultimately they played a large prt in shaping my imagination and career path. Upon entering college I didn't play as many titles as I used to; due to the fact that I felt as though I had to focus all of my efforts on developing my skills.

    Playing a game here and there isn't a bad thing; not at all. I often take inspiration from titles that I've enjoyed. I recently crated a character when I played "Dragon Quest Rocket Slime" for the first time a couple of weeks back.

    Some titles on the other hand can drain one's creativity, you all know what type of games; I don't even have to say it.

    Blaize
    You said it for me, meat games and woodland games are bad news.
  • Francois_K
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    Francois_K greentooth
    Dum dum here,

    Dum dum think , screen game good. In screen game , seams. Analyse. Dum dum see how thing made.
    Dum dum want too.
    dum dum now make stuff and see things

    dum dum

    In all seriousness , wouldn't know where I would be without games.
    I enjoy them , sometimes play them too excessively but through that you see how they approached different things even outside of the art field , balancing , questing and keeping the players entertained. It's very interesting and has a lot of psychology involved too which is always interesting.
  • Nam.Nguyen
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    Nam.Nguyen polycounter lvl 8
    1. Game is . . . game : you supposed to play it and have fun. In fact video game has many benefit : it's improve hand-eye coordination, teach players problem solving, motivation, and cognitive skills . . . it's actually boost your creativity.

    2. Game is harmful : yes, everything is harmful if you do it too much.

    3. It's impossible to be a good game artist without playing any games. IMO
    I never ever met a game artist that didn't play any game. seriously why do you want to become a game artist if you didn't play any game at all ?
  • Tobbo
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    Tobbo polycounter lvl 10
    "do games harm your creativity and efficiency of work?"

    I wouldn't say games harm any game artists creativity. We are all inspired by games and game art.


    "Do you ever have feelings that playin' games is just wasting the time?"

    It can be a waste of time if you do it too excessively or at the wrong time. But that can be true with anything. I believe it's healthy for game artists to find a reasonable balance in working and playing games. I wouldn't consider playing games to be actually working though, at least not from an artists perspective.


    "Is it possible to be a good character (environment)/game artist without playin' any games?"

    I don't think you necessarily have to PLAY games to be a good character or environment artist. It might help as a level designer for pacing purposes or placing scene dressing. But playing games certainly won't teach you anatomy or make you the next great prop or weapon artist. That comes with hard work and perseverance.

    Instead of actually playing games, your work can benefit much more by actually breaking down the game assets via modding tools. For example, with Skyrim modding, you can pretty much go through and see the texture flats, topology, etc. of all the assets and characters that are in the game. That is much more enlightening for artists than clicking through a dialogue to progress a story.

    Don't get me wrong, playing games in a moderate amount at the right time is fine. I wouldn't blur the two though, work and play, as some have.
  • GrevSev
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    GrevSev polycounter lvl 9
    Depends on the game. mobas and Mmos are bad and Id advise against every playing either.

    I waisted 2 months playing league. I could have improved massively at anything in those 2 months but i got caught up in he IP grind just to continue Losing games with my friend.

    I'm not a slacker and I'm not one to give in to an addiction like this. I'm ashamed of myself and since the new summoners rift update was revealed I want to play even more. I dont know why.
  • Isaiah Sherman
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    Isaiah Sherman polycounter lvl 13
    Lots of varied opinions in here.

    I say play whatever the fuck you want, when you want, for as long as you want.

    If you feel you aren't devoting enough time to art, then be an adult and manage your time.
  • Jesse Moody
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    Jesse Moody polycounter lvl 15
    of course all of this is based off a per person opinion because every single person is different and as a result different things trigger things in people in different ways than other people so take what person a says with a grain of salt compared to person b.

    I can say if all you do is make art, you will get burnt out and you will not be doing yourself any favors.
  • Mask_Salesman
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    Mask_Salesman polycounter lvl 12
    Depends if your adding it to your visual library or not.

    "oh look everybody's making combat exosuits! I wanna make combat exosuits now aswell"

    Just perpetuates 'cghub syndrome'.



    I play games I find interesting but I try to avoid taking inspiration from them, dangerous cycle.
  • SuperFranky
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    SuperFranky polycounter lvl 9
    I play games because I love them more than any other form of entertainment. You can always go something else. With that kind of thinking you can just throw away everything in your life that makes you feel good. Work isn't the end of everything, you know. If you have a good discipline, I don't see why you need to stop playing them. A few hours a day won't kill you.
  • Two Listen
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    Two Listen polycounter lvl 13
    Lots of varied opinions in here.

    I say play whatever the fuck you want, when you want, for as long as you want.

    If you feel you aren't devoting enough time to art, then be an adult and manage your time.

    Gonna have to second this.
  • Defunct
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    Defunct polycounter lvl 8
    GrevSev wrote: »
    Depends on the game. mobas and Mmos are bad and Id advise against every playing either.

    I waisted 2 months playing league. I could have improved massively at anything in those 2 months but i got caught up in he IP grind just to continue Losing games with my friend.

    I'm not a slacker and I'm not one to give in to an addiction like this. I'm ashamed of myself and since the new summoners rift update was revealed I want to play even more. I dont know why.
    My damn friends got me playing that game. Now It takes me a while to get off and get back into making art.
  • Abidus
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    Abidus polycounter lvl 7
    Games are my inspiration. I find it hard to believe that they can harm your creativity, but they certainly can harm your efficiency if you become addicted and don't manage yourself well.

    The older I get, the more attracted I am to single-player, cinematic games that I can start whenever I want, and end whenever I want, and just play and enjoy without having to get a degree in that game first (i.e Dota, LoL, MMOs, etc.). No stress, no BS, just a little bit of fun.
  • tadpole3159
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    tadpole3159 polycounter lvl 12
    Lots of varied opinions in here.

    I say play whatever the fuck you want, when you want, for as long as you want.

    If you feel you aren't devoting enough time to art, then be an adult and manage your time.

    Totally

    Do we really need another thread about wether someone should be playing games after work? I like to fish on the weekend, but I could be making more digital art. maybe I should make a thread about the value of catching fish vs working like a single minded, boring sod
  • iniside
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    iniside polycounter lvl 6
    Not playing games and working in game industry is kinda like being professional car driver and not liking to drive cars.

    You will quickly realize, that you sometimes spend more time blinding looking into screen and doing exactly nothing. At that point it's better to play something or take a nap.

    As for me I don't remember when I played game for more than few hours. Creating games is so much more fun nowdays. Especially once you get to the point where most o things start to click, and your project get that gamey (that 100% correct term, that I invented right now) feeling. Then I just want to add more, and more to. At that point I must force myself to stop, and do something else, or it would take over my entire time.


    It's even better that getting to this point using something like UE4 is very fast.
  • Torch
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    Torch interpolator

    I like to fish on the weekend, but I could be making more digital art. maybe I should make a thread about the value of catching fish vs working like a single minded, boring cod

    Fixed.
  • Justin Meisse
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    Justin Meisse polycounter lvl 17
    I always enjoy these threads for the inaccurate comparisons. Not playing games is like being a fashion designer but not watching movies!

    If you're an artist in the game industry and you don't like art at all, then there's a problem.
  • woot
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    woot polycounter lvl 5
    i tend to get very easily distracted by games, sink hours into them at a time when i should really be working. its hard not to be distracted, especially if you are stuck on a model.
    can be really nice for inspirations in art styles, models, or environments though.

    if its as a hobby in free time, its fine, even helpful in cases. but if its eating into work time, then play less, work more.
  • Justin Meisse
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    Justin Meisse polycounter lvl 17
    If you're playing games at the office instead of working, your fired, I discussed it with your manager. Clear out your desk.
  • SecretPro
    At my current phase, games are a huge waste of time and money.

    In my early days, they were fun and a great way to pass time.
  • David-J
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    David-J polycounter lvl 11
    Games are like any other hobby. As long as it doesn't interfere in a bad way with your life do whatever you want.
    Were people ever discussing if reading a book was waste of time?
  • DireWolf
    Anything can harm your work efficiency if you lack discipline. Comics, novels, books, gambling, etc etc.
  • LMP
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    LMP polycounter lvl 12
    Nope. Working decreases my capability and amount of play time that I get in.
  • tadpole3159
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    tadpole3159 polycounter lvl 12
    Torch wrote: »
    Fixed.

    :) silly billy
  • Hazardous
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    Hazardous polycounter lvl 12
    I would like to ask the OP a question. Where or how do you factor in YOUR self restraint into this? Have you thought about this question from YOUR own perspective and what are YOUR conclusions?
  • xvampire
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    xvampire polycounter lvl 14
    facebook , youtube and twitter much more time consuming for me , than playing games... :3
  • huffer
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    huffer interpolator
    iniside wrote: »
    Not playing games and working in game industry is kinda like being professional car driver and not liking to drive cars.
    If you're in the art department, not so, it's like being a proficient engineer working on the car axle, or someone in charge with the finishing materials, you don't have to like cars, you have to be good in your field - be an artist before everything else,
  • beefaroni
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    beefaroni sublime tool
    Lots of varied opinions in here.

    I say play whatever the fuck you want, when you want, for as long as you want.

    If you feel you aren't devoting enough time to art, then be an adult and manage your time.

    Yep. There are thousands of other things you could replace this title with. It all comes down to how many hours per week you're putting into improving as an artist. As long as you're putting the hours in your down time is yours to do whatever with.

    "Cooking and its harmful effects for work efficiency"
    "Reading and its harmful effects for work efficiency"
    "Music and its harmful effects for work efficiency"
    "Movies and its harmful effects for work efficiency"
    "Polycount and its harmful effects for work efficiency"
    "Procrastinating and its harmful effects for work efficiency"
    "xxxxxxxxx and its harmful effects for work efficiency"
  • wizo
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    wizo polycounter lvl 12
    I'd say even if you spend months in reading random posts on Polycount, I am pretty sure you the effects still have benefit your work efficiency (insert polycount smiley)


    as for the topic, If you are specific about art production, I'd say its great if you play a little bit of every game just to see whats been done out there, as other have said, to gage yourself is important.

    Just don't complain your art isn't improving when you know you spend 5 hours a day playing dota...like I used to do XD . I have had my fun, now, studying art is what makes me feel better than pwning dota newbs.
  • rzthrun
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    rzthrun polycounter lvl 3
    lotet wrote: »
    My biggest problem is that I dont like playing games any longer, its so much more fun making them.
    - yea, this about where I am. Making is more fun - the puzzles and challenges I can make for myself are far more stimulating. These days, when i start playing a game, within 30 minutes I quit to work on something.
    iniside wrote: »
    Not playing games and working in game industry is kinda like being professional car driver and not liking to drive cars.
    I totally agree - one has to be aware of medium/media they're working in.

    Personally, I find reading to be much more inspirational - fiction and non-fiction. Reading for me is like exercise for the imagination - I have to construct the visuals in my head before I can see them. Whereas after playing a game or watching a movie, i'm more likely to be biased toward the aesthetic i just consumed (which is okay if it's dope i guess).

    yea - i look at games as research - but i do wish sometimes i could really just get immersed like used to.
  • jfeez
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    jfeez polycounter lvl 8
    Whether you're a freelancer/student/working in a studio, work efficiency is experience and good time management. You should be able to come back from working and be like, time to relax and chill out, do stuff you want to do, games included.

    I don't play games alot now, i have other interests that eat up my none working time and alot of releases just dont interest me anymore, but normally once or twice a month, ill binge a game(normally a civ match and messing around on pokemon... xD) for an entire day and just chill out, eat ice cream etc, its fantastic. I don't think its healthy to work all day on games/art, and use all your free time just on games/art, you(I) need to do other shit, i find more inspiration for my actual work that way, otherwise i will burn out super fast
  • Joe March
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    Joe March polycounter lvl 11
    Dustin said cool stuff.

    Can't say this enough. The competition is how it is, you really don't have a ton of time fking around. You'll eventually find hours to play your games, but prioritize what's important to you.
  • Sunn
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    Sunn polycounter lvl 4
    My full time job and dota 2 are killing me when it comes to my creative time.... I hear the dotes calling me now :( two days I haven't worked on my noob character challenge. After one game, I swear I'm gonna get some work donw :P
  • iniside
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    iniside polycounter lvl 6
    huffer wrote: »
    If you're in the art department, not so, it's like being a proficient engineer working on the car axle, or someone in charge with the finishing materials, you don't have to like cars, you have to be good in your field - be an artist before everything else,

    It probably wasn't that good compression honestly.
    My point was that you can't be really good in something you don't enjoy.

    If you don't like cars and you design them (be it from how the look to how they work), you will never be very good at it. You just don't have heart to it, and it is like washing dishes "I have to do it, but whatever".

    But then. I guess such people are never car engineers at companies.
  • Torch
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    Torch interpolator
    Sunn wrote: »
    My full time job and dota 2 are killing me when it comes to my creative time.... I hear the dotes calling me now :( two days I haven't worked on my noob character challenge. After one game, I swear I'm gonna get some work donw :P


    The trick is to not start a game of it in the first place and go straight to work, if it's too hard to resist I would go as far as uninstalling completely.

    That and having some foresight, e.g. "Well, after a year my portfolio hasn't progressed at all and I'm nowhere closer to achieving my life goals, at least my Dota skills have levelled up though" -_-
  • Xaragoth
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    Xaragoth polycounter lvl 8
    Dark Souls is really harmful.


    Because I can't stop when I start until I fall over being tired. And then I feel bad for not having done anything.


    So I don't start it as often ;P It's really giving me a lot of inspiration though.
  • inflict3d
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    inflict3d polycounter lvl 7
    Hazardous wrote: »
    I would like to ask the OP a question. Where or how do you factor in YOUR self restraint into this? Have you thought about this question from YOUR own perspective and what are YOUR conclusions?

    In truth, I was in little depression when wrote the original post. Feeling like "oh, I'm 23 and have so little time to succeed in game art" but instead of doing art I have played BF3 daily :thumbdown:
    For now I came to the conclusion that my weaknesses is self-organization. I'm reading books and listen some lectures about motivation.

    It would be great guys if u recommend good books/or youtube lectures about self-management, that's my weak point.
  • beefaroni
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    beefaroni sublime tool
    Dustin Brown wrote a great reply on the previous page that includes two books he recommends.
    http://www.polycount.com/forum/showpost.php?p=2078303&postcount=18

    And every time productivity comes up here I have to share this link. It's a really great way to easily see how much time is spent on art.
    http://strlen.com/procrastitracker/
  • inflict3d
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    inflict3d polycounter lvl 7
    ah, thx beefaroni
    seems I didn' t notice that post.
  • Amsterdam Hilton Hotel
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    Amsterdam Hilton Hotel insane polycounter
    inflict3d wrote: »
    It would be great guys if u recommend good books/or youtube lectures about self-management, that's my weak point.

    If you're gonna watch motivational videos btw, try "buying" each one with ~10 minutes of labor first. You might find sooner or later that you stop even switching to the video.
  • ahtiandr
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    ahtiandr polycounter lvl 11
    I think there is nothing wrong with playing games. Just know your limit. Sometimes after hard working day I feel kind of empty and after playing an hour or so the emptiness is gone. However, I try not to play very addictive games like wow because in order to be good at wow requires too much time which I dont have so it is pointless to even start the game. Also while playing I analyse the art of the game I am playing wich helps me to understand some of the techniques better. All in all my passion for games led me to work in games industry
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