The Secret of the Gifted
After all that fancy talk, you might be wondering whether game design is really for you. You might have noticed that skilled game designers seem to have a special gift for this work. It comes easily and naturally to them, and though you love games, you wonder if you are gifted enough to succeed as a designer. Well, here is a little secret about gifts. There are two kinds. First, there is the innate gift of a given skill. This is the minor gift. If you have this gift, a skill such as game design, mathematics, or playing the piano comes naturally to you. You can do it easily, almost without thinking. But you don’t necessarily enjoy doing it. There are millions of people with minor gifts of all kinds, who, though skilled, never do anything great with their gifted skill, and this is because they lack the major gift.
The major gift is love of the work. This might seem backward. How can love of using a skill be more important than the skill itself? It is for this simple reason: if you have the major gift, the love of designing games, you will design games using whatever limited skills you have. And you will keep doing it. And your love for the work will shine through, infusing your work with an indescribable glow that only comes from the love of doing it. And through practice, your game design skills, like muscles, will grow and become more powerful, until eventually your skills will be as great, or greater than, those of someone who only has the minor gift. And people will say, “Wow. That one is a truly gifted game designer.” They will think you have the minor gift, of course, but only you will know the secret source of your skill, which is the major gift: love of the work.
But maybe you aren’t sure if you have the major gift. You aren’t sure if you truly love game design…
There is only one way to find out if you have the major gift. Start down the path, and see if it makes your heart sing.