While listening to Giant Bomb’s post-E3 coverage, they took a bit of a momentary break from the hilarity to address an issue that got me thinking about my own experiences. During their coverage of the last night of E3, Jeff Gerstmann and John Vignocchi started talking about unemployment. This came up because of Vignocchi is loosing his job at Disney Interactive Studios due to the studio’s closure by Disney.
Gertsmann spoke of his departure from GameSpot after the infamous Kane & Lynch episode. His tales of those days after being terminated sounded very familiar to me. Going home and drinking for a few days trying to figure out what just happened. Knowing that you need to move on but not knowing how. Along of this is the self-doubt and questioning of your own talent.
Like Gertsmann, I was once fired. It was a combination of me being a bad employee and the company being a bad employer. Not to give specifics, there were somethings that the company did at the time that I felt were a combination of questionable business practices and stupidity. What did me in was that I chose to handle them in an immature manner with my attitude of “I know everything, everybody else is wrong”.
Unfortunately, there is darkness before the light. The days of facing yourself and your failures are terrible and long. Searching for any job that you may be interested in can seem daunting at the least. The mental toil can be bad enough to cause physical or psychological issues. The hardest thing to do is to stay positive and focused but it is absolutely necessary. Make sure you take time to distract yourself once in a while, like watch a movie or read a book just to get your mind off of your issues. The people around you can be your greatest asset, so make sure you have a lot of support.
Proving that things do get better, I have done well after being fired and I think Gertsmann has done well. I’ve been at my current employer for well over ten years. It may not be the perfect or ideal job but it has been good for me. Giant Bomb has been a huge success, so much so that it was bought out by CBS, the same company that owns GameSpot.
The video games industry can be a volatile one and has potential to cause casualties at any time. Vignocchi and all his co-workers are unfortunate victims of this. If I could say anything to Vignocchi or anybody else facing unemployment, I would encourage them to believe in themselves and their talents. If you were qualified enough to be doing the job you had, there is another company that will value your skills. Just be patient. Also, take what just happened and learn as much as you can from it. I learned to grow up and be more level headed as well as how employees and employers should and should not treat each other.
Every time I see a studio or any branch of the industry close for any reason, I think about these things. My thoughts and best wishes go out to them with the hopes that they will land at some place even better and help create something wonderful.
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A self described Polish ninja toiling away as an IT professional but more into gaming and writing. Physically existing on the western side of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania yet existentially flowing with the ether of the Internet.