Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Culture Shock: Information Sharing between Peers

When I was working at a game company, there were always a lot of people looking for information. Different people would read Gamasutra, GameDailyBiz, Game Developer Magazine, or any number of other websites, blogs and publications.

If you found something interesting, you would generally send it around to the other people at your company who might also find it interesting. Usually this meant one Game Designer would send an article on Game Design to all the other Game Designers, but there was no rule against crossing departmental boundaries; maybe an Artist would find an incomprehensible document on Graphics Programming, and forward it on to the Programming department.

And this was fine. We're all on the same team. If you find something that helps another teammate do their job better, you get social points for it.

As a teacher, I find myself continuing to do this out of habit. I hear a story on NPR about indie bands and I mention it to the professor who teaches audio production. I see an article on game writing and forward it on to the professor who teaches nonlinear storytelling.

And it just occurred to me, after half a year of doing this, that I've never received anything like that from anyone else on the faculty.

Maybe it's just that no one I work with is actually keeping tabs on the game industry as much as I am, or that everyone else is too busy to be thinking about it. But I'm wondering if there isn't a different culture in academia -- it feels less like we're a team, after all -- and maybe when I do this it's construed as me telling my colleagues how to do their job, or implying that they need my help or something. Not my intention at all, of course, but I have to wonder.

1 comment:

Jason T said...

I suspect it depends on the culture of the department, not so much the culture of academia. I'm a PhD student in Communication, and the faculty and students in my school are constantly sending articles of potential interest to one another.