#75: “Greed and Desire”
Published in 2017/01/05 issue
It’s December. Since my column is biweekly, this will be the final one published in the year of 2016. To all of my readers and my editor Opone-san, thank you for your support over this past year!
I don’t really have any worldly desires. I’m also not interested in most calendar events aside from certain people’s birthdays, and my perception of dates has been particularly bad as of late—I even worked on Christmas. There isn’t anything I want to collect and I’m not interested in brand names, either. So, I struggle when someone asks me, “Is there anything you want?” Honestly, what I want most is time, but in the end, that time would be used for work, so I can’t call that a desire.
The term “worldly desires” can indicate a wide variety of things, and the strength of these desires varies by person. Since it refers to a desire for possession of physical things, you could also say that wanting a particular person to be in love with you is a worldly desire. It’s not that I don’t want love, but I’m patient when it comes to those things, so that doesn’t really apply to me, either.
Similarly, I don’t have any work-related desires. My job is game development, but I never say anything like “I want to make this specific game!” I suppose I’m not picky about my work. Quite frankly, I don’t want to draft budgets and deal with company-wide HR tasks, but since I’m getting paid to do them, I just accept them as something that I have to do. And if I honestly admit that I’m not good at them and ask for help, there are many people who will come to my aid. I feel very blessed to work in this environment.
Recently, I was asked, “Yoshida-san, do you ever think about working on another game besides FFXIV?” in an interview, and I cautiously said, “I have a stockpile of games that I want to make.” So, if you ask me, “Do you want to make other games?”, the answer is “Yes.” However, I simply don’t have the time. Right now, my utmost priority is FFXIV’s development and management, and that is guaranteed to continue so long as the company wills it. There are still many things I want to create and challenges I want to take on in the world of Eorzea, so I’m still very motivated.
As I’ve written about in several columns already, modern HD console game development is extremely difficult, in both a financial and technological sense. So, it demands a high level of fund management, development planning, and technological decisions. That means making an investment by bringing together skilled talent that can do them, on both the development and the management front. Since you need to select and assemble these people, the timing is also crucial when taking on such a challenge.
There are a lot of year-end drinking parties around this time of year, but we often end up talking about work during them. Things like, “I want to do ___” or “I want to be more ___.” However, I can’t really give any effective advice, because my personal opinion is that since you can’t choose your own work, you should just work as hard as you can now so that you might get the chance to someday.
Now, I don’t mean that you should do everything exactly as your company tells you to. Look at the work you should be doing right now, carry it out in your own way, and produce results. There’s no guarantee that the company’s decisions will always be right, and the bigger a company gets, the harder it becomes to come to a universal consensus, and opinions in the workplace will begin to deviate. Even if you’re all looking at the same thing, so long as everyone’s seeing it from a different angle, different opinions are inevitable.
Since you know the most about your own job, if something feels wrong about a decision made by the company or your boss, you should tell them. You might get shunned depending on your boss’s personality, but on the other hand, if you do good work, they might think of you as “troublesome but useful.” As long as you produce good results, your reputation with them will go up. So, even if there are times when you resent them, realize that it’ll be more beneficial to you if they like you—they may even ask you what you want to be in charge of next.
This might be difficult depending on the people involved, but if you can’t choose your work and you really can’t get along with your boss, leaving the company is also an option. Since work is something you do to make a living, “quitting” is also a possibility.
At the end of the year, a lot of people talk about wanting to quit their company. “Quitting” always sounds like a negative thing, but when you think of it as challenging new things in a new environment, it suddenly sounds a lot more positive. While you do need to work in order to make money to survive, not all of that money has to come from the company you currently work for. Thinking about it that way is less stressful, so I recommend it to those who are worried about their job. You don’t need to force yourself to keep at it. For me, personally, I enjoy where I am because it feels worthwhile, so I have no plans to quit.
It’s normal to have desires—in fact, there’s no such thing as a human being that doesn’t. How strong or weak they are varies depending on the person. If you want a physical item, you’ll work until you earn enough money to buy it. If you want time, the best you can do is work efficiently to create that time for yourself (I’m saying this to myself). Even the people complaining about their jobs at the year-end parties seem to be enjoying themselves at the end of the day, so maybe all they wanted was to vent.
Speaking of which, I’ve been seeing a lot of people venting on social media and other websites lately. I understand how you feel, but you should realize that your posts will stick around forever as digital data, and your IP address is attached to them. This goes for both negative and positive posts. Uploading photos of yourself or your family to the internet feels quite scary to me. Online data used to disappear eventually, but not anymore: someone or some company out there is archiving that information. One day, people will start investigating that data before hiring someone or getting married. Online background checks will soon be commonplace. Please be careful.
Greed and desire are driving forces that keep people alive. As I was pondering that, I considered ringing the bell at the temple for New Year’s Eve, but apparently, people in society are complaining about the noise now. I don’t feel much value in protecting traditions anymore, but for some people, that’s their way of forgetting the hardships of the past year. If the sound bothers you, why don’t you become a priest and change the conventions, put on headphones, or cover your ears?
I hope that the next year will be good to us!