With the development of online games, game creator has become an extremely popular and competitive career in the last couple of decades. These days, there are not only adult game creators but also teenaged ones as well. They are not as professional as those who work for Blizzard, Riot Games, and other big game companies, but they are still quite skilled for their age. I interviewed a young game creator who was not yet become well-known to the public.
|[The author interviewing Maeng Hyun-seo. Photo courtesy of Ingu Hwang]|
On September 5, I interviewed a young game creator named Maeng Hyun-seo (18 years old). It was not possible to meet in person because of COVID-19, so we held the interview through Zoom. Maeng, who is actually a friend of mine, is a very passionate person who likes games and tries to design his own games. But I interviewed him as a game creator, not as a friend. He said, “I want to be someone who gives memorable experiences to others, and I think games are the best way to do that.” With friends who have similar interests and goals, he formed a youth game-making team called “Prism.” About that, he said, “I wanted a team that shares ideas and takes on challenges together.”
|[Prism logo designed by Taylor Kim. Photo courtesy of Taylor Kim]|
Maeng said that he had been very interested in games since childhood. He first encountered games when he was five years old. “I was a game enthusiast. I bought and played all the games sold by Steam.” He said that, while playing games, he became interested in making his own games, so he started learning computer programming when he was 15. “I’m so proud of myself for deciding to study computer programming. If I had only played computer games and become a game addict, I would never have found my passion and goals in life.” He also expressed thanks to his parents for always supporting his efforts and passion.When asked about his most memorable moment in terms of game creation, he answered “Thinking about how people will enjoy the game makes me very happy, and that motivates me to work.” Also, he said, “The moments that are most difficult for me are when the game isn’t as fun as or is different from what I expected.”
During the interview with Maeng, he said he always sticks to his philosophy when designing games. “I never invest time and effort in creating stimulating or addictive elements. I always try to share enjoyable experiences with the public.” He also noted that his current project is a “challenge” for him. “This work is testing how far I can extend my potential and ability, and I intend for my next project to be a commercial endeavor.”
Spending a lot of time and effort on games, along with other teenagers, he commented that the expansion of the game market has led to more teenagers suffering from game addiction. He mentioned that the biggest problems are exposure to highly addictive games that cause social problems and the popularization of low-quality, repetitive, mass produced games. Finally, Maeng said, “I hope that these problems can be solved through legitimate regulation and efforts to promote a positive game culture.” But, at the same time, he noted that games have many merits. “I think games are a special medium in which everyone can sympathize with others and create very personal experiences, and we can learn certain concepts quickly through these experiences.” He went on to say. “Of course, there are many stimulating and suggestive games, but I don’t want people to define games as a ‘social evil.’”
Even after reading this article, many people will probably not hear the word “teenaged game creator” very often. Most games with which we are familiar are made by famous game companies like Riot Games(well known for LOL) and Blizzard(well known for Overwatch), and it is almost impossible for teenagers to design and create games comparable to these. However, Maeng does not compare himself with such creators. His goal is to entertain, comfort, and impress many people with his games, not to make commercial games. Therefore, I hope many people support the efforts of young game creators like Maeng.
Laurel Springs School
Ingu Hwang firstname.lastname@example.org
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