Time, place and professionals

Professionalism is being lost. This overexaggeration and generalisation applies a bit too for its own good. The game industry, being as young as it is, has seen a shift from reasonably well dressed personal will sense of image to those who simply wear whatever and don’t give two damns of their image.

While fashion is subjective, generally speaking the 20th century saw rather proper looking clothes. You of course had the artists, who intentionally went against what they regarded as the mainstream and loathed it. Many things became weird for the sake of weird, and the art in itself was fast applied to everything and everyone, creating the situation we have now with art as a term and as a concept having no value.

As game developers have begun to follow the footsteps of these artists, especially in the indie scene, you see people acting like bunch brats and assholes towards their customers while having no self control on the clothes they wear. Snowflake image has taken over professionalism.

I admit, the above is sort of awkward intro, but it gets the job done.

Mankind landed on a comet. That is awesome, that is exactly something we as humans should celebrate. It’s an inspiring thing, which allows us to make yet another small but significant step towards the stars. However, the Project Scientist Matt Taylor could have thought through the outfit he wore on his Big Day.

No, the shirt wasn’t sexist. The incident with Taylor’s shirt has been overblown and has no real basis. He had no reason to apologise.

However, I am on the side that he should not have worn the shirt on television. At that time he should have come out with something more sensible, something that anyone could’ve recognised him as a professional in his field.

Professional image is something we take granted nowadays. Uniforms are the easiest thing one could wear and appear a pro. There are some cultural variations, but we all have a set ideas what makes a person look a professional in his field. When we think of chefs, we usually imagine the white outfit with the high chef’s hat. A policeman has his own uniform with badge and all. A chemist has that white lab coat on. A lecturer has a suit, or that old Oxford style jacket with elbow patches. A craftsman is smeared with soot and burns on the outfit, while smiling happily under the warm and fire retardant clothes.

Game developers used to wear suits, or at least lax suits. They appeared as people who meant business, but yet always were open for suggestions and customer comments. Most of Nintendo rock-star people still wear some level of business suits while on stage, but there are some who just wear a flannel shirt and slippers if that’s what these people are comfortable with.

The suit also has another effect, in which the customer gets the impression of well handled and promoted product. This is a stark contrast to indie scene, where you can see people wearing clothes that don’t raise much trust, and that is a crux in the thing; the professional image does not only convey the image of a person representing himself and his party in an orderly manner, but also adds a sense of trustworthiness. Nowadays you see game developers on media with baggy clothes with piercings and tattoos flowering everywhere with an attitude that just doesn’t encourage trust. One can express their individualism as much as they want on their own time, but whenever they’re promoting their product, it would be best to think three times how and what to wear.

Unless they are going for a certain image. In the music business the image of the band and its members is often just as important as the songs themselves. The two are often tied together on a fundamental level. There are only so many bands or individuals that you can separate from their songs in an image level. For example, the band Lordi has members who will not take their roles off and their personal lives are somewhat protected. The two do not meet. However, this is professionalism to its extreme, where the product provider has taken extra measures to ensure that the image of the product is just as well handled. You could even say that the image is also a product in itself. It would be highly detrimental to Lordi’s image if the band members would just come on-screen with your everyday clothes or wearing business suits.

In Matt Taylor’s case, he essentially came on-screen with a his ‘mask’ taken off. For publicity’s sake, this sort of things should be left for other events. Traditionally, newspapers would make behind the scenes interviews and similar about public figures, where they are allowed to level themselves with the reader and interviewer, thus discarding most of their professional layer and be more themselves.

Is being professional dishonest? No, it’s far from it. Being professional does not mean you showcase yourself as some corporate clown as some people seem to think it as, but it’s about representing you and anything you carry on your shoulders in the best possible way and manner you are able to. Every time a person goes out there into the public arena, he should remember that whatever he does and says will be reflected to those he represents. This is also the reason you will never hear me review or comment on anything I am involved with any significant extent.

Everything has its time and place. The neat shirt Taylor wore on his day of triumph and victory was in the wrong place in the wrong time. However, as said, that doesn’t mean people need to act like bears wakened from their winter sleep with a shot of salt up their asses.

To be completely honest, this post was made with conflicting ideas. Taylor’s shirt really is a nice one and it is completely understandable why he would want to wear a shirt made by his friend on the occasion. Yet, it was not the place for it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.