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What social class are game developers?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by yoonitee, May 25, 2018.

  1. yoonitee

    yoonitee

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    I always assumed I was middle class. But according to this evidence, as crafts(wo)men we are just above farmers and slaves. As you can see from the diagram the merchants must be upper-middle-class as those guys on the right have their own luxury yacht. Even if you're Bill Gates or Elon Musk you only rise one level to a merchant.

    Its tempting me to give up game development and become a blogger. As you can see this is one level above.

    If Prince Harry got a job as a game developer would he slip down the class hierarchy to be a commoner? Makes you think.
     
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  2. EternalAmbiguity

    EternalAmbiguity

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    Source for this image?

    Edit: and are you actually being serious here? Are you looking for serious answers? Because if so, i want to know why you're trying to determine your modern day class from a millennia-old civilization's social classes, which won't map to ours.
     
  3. Ryiah

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    When analyzing ancient civilizations it's important to remember that some aspects of life we take for granted today were simply not widespread back then if they existed at all.

    Education was an aspect of life that would have only been available to a select few. Scribes were not important because of the content they wrote, and in fact their primary purpose wasn't to write new content but to copy existing content from one medium to another, but because of the fact that they could write at all.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scribe

    We're not scribes. Scribes were the data entry workers of the ancient world.

    We're not craftsmen. Craftsmen would have been skilled but they wouldn't have had a formal education.

    We're more akin to nobles. We would have had an education because we would need the ability to read and write but where a scribe would only record and copy data our job would be to take the data and solve the problems of our civilization with it.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2018
  4. ippdev

    ippdev

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    Dominance hierarchies are billions of years old. They have a Pareto distribution with the most dominant clustered near the top and few in number. They may have different names today but most certainly the hierarchies were similar..
     
  5. Joe-Censored

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    A hybrid of craftsmen and merchants :p
     
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  6. EternalAmbiguity

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    I have no idea what power law distributions have to do with simply defining the classes, but Ryiah's already demonstrated how one "class" on that image doesn't work the same way today. It's the same for soldiers--they aren't in any way a higher social class today than an office worker. Similarly the Pharaoh--while the leader of a country today does have some power they aren't in any way an absolute authority like is implied in that image. Same for priests or government officials (government officials, not speaking of politicians here), their positions are distinctive but not elevated above a regular worker in the same wage bracket.

    Things like religion and military or government service are not typically considered nowadays when defining classes. I'd even go so far as to say "merchant" and "craftsman" are muddy territory after the industrial revolution.

    I agree that these hierarchies are typically built around power. I don't think the specific examples of power seen in the image still apply (or not all of them).

    Why would a dev be considered a merchant?
     
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  7. Joe-Censored

    Joe-Censored

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    Indie devs often sell their own games.
     
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  8. Chrisasan

    Chrisasan

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    There are some people who try to revive these social class rules.
     
  9. Tom_Veg

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    True. The main difference today is change among the "Pharaohs". Top 0.01% are always here, but those who are top 0.01% change constantly in today's tech economy. Poor or average class person from garage of their parents becomes 0.01%. While someone who was on top looses everything over night cause some technology replaced his business. In ancient societies you where not allowed to move much above your class.
     
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  10. Chrisasan

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    Did you know the noble's wife had see through cloths on? I was looking at egyption fashion, and that is what she would wear.
     
  11. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    Is there a point to this discussion beyond "lets make game devs fit in a box for no reason" ?

    I don't understand you :(
     
  12. yoonitee

    yoonitee

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    Well I like Ryiah's argument that we are indeed the Nobles of the new world. Or perhaps we are more akin to Priests and the games we make are like magical spells that no-one can understand how they work.

    In fact perhaps we transcend this system as we have to be a bit of everything. Even a solider if your game contains hidden cyberwarefare viruses perhaps.
     
  13. EternalAmbiguity

    EternalAmbiguity

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    Did craftsmen not sell their goods? If they received anything at all for their work, how is that not them "selling" it?

    Merchants would probably be more like publishers. People who "buy from" or infuse capital to support the craftsmen, and then sell those goods they did not create.

    What you need is an "Off-Topic" board.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2018
  14. ThaBullfrog

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    Bah, that's outdated. Here's an up-to-date scientific chart of the classes of a modern first world country, made by scientists.



    See, the majority of people are in the middle class, game developers included.
     
  15. zombiegorilla

    zombiegorilla

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    That kind of classification (if of any value) would apply to professions, not hobbies. What you actually do/contribute to a social structure. A hobby or something you desire doesn’t confer social rank or status or whatever. Taking guitar lessons doesn’t make one a musician.
     
  16. ShilohGames

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    Ancient Egypt had a different structure than we do today. For example, farmers were at the bottom in ancient Egypt. Today there are still some poor farmers, but there are also plenty of very wealthy farmers. I personally know quite a few farmers with net worth values into the millions. With farms, a lot of small family farms got bought up by much larger farming operations.

    The other issue with the ancient Egyptian chart it putting the government leaders at the top. In the modern economy, government workers make far less than tech innovators and farmers. The Egyptian chart is outdated by thousands of years.
     
  17. jasonxtate66

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    Well that was interesting.
     
  18. Billy4184

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    Why don't you just post the food pyramid? It will be no less relevant or accurate.
     
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  19. frosted

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    Honestly, I think the best way to judge social hierarchy is pretty simple.

    You (a male) meet a woman for the first time. She asks you what you do for a living. The higher your social status, the more likely she is to go out with you.

    Most women aren't going to get all that excited hearing "game developer" as an answer.
     
  20. Billy4184

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    Depends how you put it. In the context of professions, most people equate the word 'game' with immaturity or lack of seriousness - when in fact life is a big pile of games.

    So, what about "audio-visual stimulation practitioner"? ;)
     
  21. frosted

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    I'm guessing most would immediately turn and run, fearing for their life :D
     
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  22. Billy4184

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    Well that depends on how you say it.

    I know that in a vice-versa situation, I would certainly not run, all else being equal.
     
  23. jasonxtate66

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    Just say "computer programmer" or "software engineer". :D haha
     
  24. EternalAmbiguity

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    I actually started a new job recently, and while most everyone is probably on the 25-35 age bracket, they all talk pretty freely about games. I'd actually been holding back a bit on discussing them, but they were pretty open about it. And I imagine that being a creator rather than consumer would only make you more interesting.

    Of course considering it as a job is another thing, likely based to some extent upon how much you're making, rather than the fact that it's video games. I don't think anybody looks down their nose at Warren Specter or Ken Levine when they meet them :p
     
  25. jasonxtate66

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    Very hot women are into video games nowadays... George Lucas spawned generations of girls into Star Wars. Girls do a lot of cosplay, who are not exactly bad on the eyes. I think that is changing just a little bit.
     
  26. frosted

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    All our mileage may vary, but honestly - I found that these were also bad. ;)

    I tended to get better results by naming the industry, "I work in media" or "I work in finance" got way better results than "software engineer" with most ladies.

    Let's be honest, working with computers just isn't sexy.
     
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  27. Billy4184

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    I find that context is important. Sure it's easy to talk about games with people, everyone plays. But when the context is that you're telling someone what you do, and you have to say something impressive and serious, it's a little bit different. Then you have to steer it toward something a bit more ambiguous and intriguing.

    I find 'computer programmer' to be the least beneficial thing to say, at least when I am not speaking to a fellow nerd. 'Game developer' is hit and miss. Most of the time I say I am an freelancer and leave it at that.
     
  28. frosted

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    Exactly. That's not limited to potential romance either.

    In almost any social setting, a non nerd's eyes will immediately glaze over if you say "computer programmer".

    I used to say "I make rich people much richer" a lot (finance), it was at least a conversation starter.
     
  29. jasonxtate66

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    Software developer?
     
  30. jasonxtate66

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    Maybe for me it's just so weird because I am like... covered head to toe in tattoos (probably 90% of my body) so it isn't something they expect me to say. We shouldn't be embarrassed about what we do. If a girl only wants you for money - or whatever - it's the wrong woman. I think if you convey what you do with passion... it doesn't matter.
     
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  31. jasonxtate66

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    In my community we have a group called "Girls In Games" that are graduates of various facets of the industry... that hold events, fundraisers and such to raise awareness for female developers. Men are also allowed to join the group. These are not bad looking women.
     
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  32. Billy4184

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    Absolutely.

    Watch out though that your romantic interest doesn't do some unfortunate arithmetics based on this statement ;)
     
  33. frosted

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    I think that's easy to say in the abstract, but doesn't hold water in real life.

    Passion does not equal stability and dependability, and for a lot of people those are seriously desirable qualities. That said, "passion" driven and "stability" driven people don't tend to mix well long term.
     
  34. jasonxtate66

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    Dude, there are females that want to marry serial killers.
     
  35. frosted

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    I would classify them as "passion driven" ;)
     
  36. jasonxtate66

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    You'd be surprised how far decent looks and swag will get you.
     
  37. frosted

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    If you think that sh*t works, you should see what a few million in the bank does. Lol
     
  38. jasonxtate66

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    Never cared about being a millionaire. Besides, that ain't "passion" either. Better get a pre-nup. They might be with the broke "bad boy" on the side.
     
  39. frosted

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    To be fair, I think we're talking about very different things. There's a world of difference between hookups, casual dating, serious dating, and marriage/long term.

    "passion" vs "stability" was more about long term/marriage. I thought your response "looks/swag" was more about casual, in which case being wealthy works way, way better.
     
  40. jasonxtate66

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    It may be an age difference, who knows.
     
  41. frosted

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    Also depends on where you live. Wealthier areas in my experience, are much more judgmental on income/profession.

    When I lived in a wealthy urban area, the very first question anyone asks on meeting you is "what do you do?"

    In more middle class suburban, I don't remember anyone asking this question out of the blue, almost ever.

    Different folks, different priorities.
     
  42. yoonitee

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    That's not necessarily true. That would imply working class people would be attracted to middle class. And middle class to upper class. I do not find this to be true, from experience. In fact Freud was more correct in that the qualities that we value in a partner are those qualities that are given value by our parents.

    (Now I will be very broad and general so forgive the sexism!)

    In this case a working class woman will be attracted to attributes such as strength and brashness as these qualities are deemed good for providing a good husband that will work hard (e.g. as a coal miner). They will not look nicely on traits such as intelligence, wit and such as these will be seen as negative to a career. These traits will be seen as "snooty". Likewise working class men would also tend to look for strong typically feminine women as their most important role will be as child bearers.

    The middle classes tend to be attracted to intelligence and wit which would serve well in careers such as doctors and lawyers. And they look down upon things like bodybuilders who they consider crass and not relevant to a job as a lawyer. They may also look down towards the upper-class who they may deem as unintelligent.

    The upper class tend to be attracted to other of wealth. They look down on everyone else for being poor.

    But it may be true, within, each individual class.

    As such I never say I'm a programmer as that to me sounds boring. I say "I make computer games". That sounds interesting. (More interesting to men than to women I have to say, though.) Or you can say you make websites if you are a web-designer as that also has the status given to it by association with Facebook and Instagram.

    When talking to anyone over 40. Just say you do stuff with computers. They'll nod politely and go talk to someone else.
     
  43. frosted

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    I think this also depends much more on region than traditional "class". If coal miner is the best job in the area, then yeah the traits that make up a good coal miner will be desirable. If the best jobs are office gigs, then more officey traits are higher.

    For example, in silicon valley, saying you work in software will get you a very different kind of response than it would in rural alabama.

    But whichever way the ladder works in that specific situation, its much easier to date downward than upward.

    BTW - I'm not trying to say that people are shallow or whatever. This is basic evolutionary function. Sexual selection goes back way before humanity. Being social creatures 'fitness' is often determined by social standing. and finally, obviously exceptions occur and individuals will differ, this is obviously just talking in broad strokes and generalization.
     
  44. AndersMalmgren

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    Doesn't matter what you do for a living if you arrive in a 4 million classic car
     
  45. frosted

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    I recently read this and found it really interesting, explaining the difference between upper upper class and, well, other classes.

    Here’s a story that might be illustrative of the difference. A friend of mine who is an actress was researching a role where she was to play the part of an upper upper class woman. The actress got herself invited to an exclusive resort in Palm Springs, California. While at the pool she saw a woman who looked like she might fit the role she was to play. She approached the woman and told her why she was there. The actress then asked the wealthy woman to tell her something about her life that was unusual. The woman thought for a moment and then said: “I’m a widow and now I would never date a man who worked for a living.” The actress didn’t understand this so the wealthy woman explained that her social life revolved around events that took place as much during the day as in the evening and her male companions needed to be available for charity and other events that happened during the day, so no work. That to me is the perfect example of the difference between the top 1% of incomes and the top 5%.


    "I would never date a man who worked for a living."

    She is obviously out of my class.
     
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  46. yoonitee

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    But I wonder if anyone can really escape their "programming". The way we are brought up as children may determine our values so much so that trying to live as another class may be very disturbing and painful to our brains even if we have the money to do so. An upper-class might find it painful to work for a living while a working class may find upper-class life dull and stuffy. I have come to believe that the way we are "programmed" as children by our parents ultimately makes us think in entirely different ways such that it effects even what we enjoy in life. In fact, the brains between the classes may be thinking so differently that even communication is difficult. And I don't think that is genetics but memetics. In much the same way as extreme-left and extreme right-wing people think entirely differently.
     
  47. Murgilod

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    I love it when you guys talk about women.

    It's hilarious.
     
  48. Kiwasi

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    There are relevant classes that can be used to classify today's society.

    Typically modern classes fall into the following broad classifications
    • Manual laborers/service workers. Mostly unskilled labor. Check out clerks. Box stackers. Ticket takers. Fast food. Training is typically on the job.
    • Tradies. This is anyone who does skilled work with their hands for a living. These are jobs that typically require apprentice level training.
    • Knowledge workers. This is anyone who sits in an office all day. This would include game developers. Training for this level is typically a degree.
    • Managers. This includes a wide variety of professionals who no longer do work. Instead they manage other people doing work. They are typically experienced tradies or knowledge workers.
    • Elite. This is the CEOs, the partners, and the generally ultra wealthy. Many of them got their by virtue of birth, but its not uncommon for disruptive innovators to also climb to these heights.
     
  49. FMark92

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    >(s)he doesn't know they still apply today.

    Bun enough about the relevant topic. Time to talk about wamn.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2018
  50. passerbycmc

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    Always does make for a good laugh, seems many here have not found out they are people too yet.
     
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