Thursday, August 20, 2009

On Projects and Hobbies

From Project Waldo

"Jiyoung told me that one of the things she's noticed in talking to Americans is that we all have "personal projects." I hadn't realized this tendency defined us until she pointed it out. Everybody is writing a screenplay, working on an album, putting together a portfolio. I don't know what this says about us.

In Korea, people don't have personal projects, they have hobbies. I was really confused about this at first. Right after they ask you how old you are, they ask, "what's your hobby?" What does it mean, that they have hobbies and we have projects? I feel like there must be some revelation there. I should mention that when Koreans pursue a hobby, they go all-in. If they say "Salsa dancing," assume they are better than anyone you know. If they say "yoga," they mean they can touch their nose to their tailbone. And if they say "Starcraft," well..."
I really think this is really interesting on a cultural level. In Canada and America we're taught that to be successful we have to be "doing what we love" for money to a degree. I don't know if that's healthy.

As a guy who has "a project" in gaming, I'm very much part of the American side of things in the project/hobby spectrum. Personally I don't care if I don't make any money with this project, but there are other people that have a stake in this project that I can't disregard, which is why i can't just release it to the world without some due diligence... it's too bad, because I'd really rather be treating it like a hobby.

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