This is a really cute interview with Yoko Taro at The Interviews Website. A lot of what he says here is really comforting. I’ve had similar worries for quite a while… :/
Here is my translation. <3
Good afternoon, Yoko-san. I’m currently working as a planner for a social networking game. Biologically speaking, I am a woman, so do you think it might be possible to get a hug? (heehee)
I have a question for you. After working in the gaming industry for five, ten years, was there anything that troubled you? Because at this point, I’m really worried about this. Along the way, I wanted to join a consumer-based company, and therefore joined the company I belong to now. (It may be horrible to say, but I joined this company with the thought of gaining knowledge and experience before attempting to get a job at the company I really wanted to work for).
I also thought about what sort of games I wanted to make, but after working my first job for two years and only dealing with things day-by-day, I feel like I’ve fallen into a sort of desperation.
Although this is the industry I wanted to enter and work in, right now I feel like my future and goals are so unstable; everything seems so fuzzy that my future seems pitch black. It’s really rough. How do you cope with these kind of feelings when you think of the future? Please tell us.
Hello, I’m Yoko. Since this seems like a question about worries, it will be a challenge for me to answer this quickly.
First of all, about the first point: “After five, ten years, was there anything that troubled you?” I don’t often think about the long-term, so I don’t really know. As I’ve grown older, I hear people around me talk about things like “I wonder how many more games I can make before I die,” but I don’t really have such a vision.
So, lazy as I am, I’d like to give you four points to think about.
* The first point is “You can do it… maybe.”
I first started out as a CG designer. I wanted to make some really awesome CG! …or so I thought, but technicality and ability-wise, I wasn’t all that great, just going with the flow until I ended up as a game director.
In this sense, when you become an adult there have been many people who thought “This is different than I originally planned”. But, well, it still seems like everyone is happily living their lives. Many choices might pop up that you couldn’t possibly have imagined when you were younger, which can be enjoyed simply as they are.
Even if your future is different from what you imagined it to be, I don’t think it’s “pitch black”.
* Secondly, “your job should be what you want to do”.
I’m the sort of person who cannot do something that I don’t want to do. I was also horrible at studying for exams and filling out the paperwork for tax returns. Even when I became an adult, when I worked “a job that I didn’t want to do”, it was crazy how much my performance fell, and there were many times that I didn’t work at all for a week. No, I should stop that story here.
If you don’t work, you’ll starve and die. Since we can’t have that, you’ll have to do some sort of work. But if it’s not a “job you want to do”, nothing interests you.
Of course, it’s quite obvious that the world is not full of jobs that you might want to do. That’s why I tried so hard to change the “job I didn’t want to do” into a “job I wanted to do”.
I don’t mean to say that you should frantically tell yourself, “This job is so cool cool cool cool cool!” For example, you could incorporate some of the things that you want to do. If you like robots, you should make robots. If you like dark stories, then you should write dark stories. Stuff like that.
Many things have happened, I both succeeded and failed in this effort. My superiors got angry, and I got fired, well, it’s like old-time banjo. Simply to say the least, the process of the challenge for me was an enjoyable time.
A single lifetime is quite long, so we cannot continue breathing with just goals alone. You shouldn’t continue a job that you don’t want to do for a long time. You can either try to change the contents of the job or quit and start something new-—but in any case, it’s probably a good thing to actively try to change something.
* Thirdly, ……We’re only on the third point. Um, let’s see…… Oh, right. The third point is: “You are the protagonist.”
When you’re young, it may seem like the right path in life includes “going to a good school” and “joining a good company”, but this is merely the well-beaten path that some old people told us about.
Of course, that path may be the safest route to choose, but there are countless other paths you could take. If you’re suffering from not being able to see your future, then you need to find the right place where you can. You could change jobs, maybe your current job could improve, you could start your own business, or maybe you could get married and start a family.
Which path you take or what goal you arrive at is not important. It’s not about finding the correct path in this world but rather to set forth along your own path. If you fail, you can always go back and choose a different path. We only live about 80 years anyway. If you think there’s time to worry, then don’t you think it would be efficient to try out various other things?
And if that doesn’t work, then maybe it’s better to go out to a bar late at night, have a drink, eat some rice and ramen, and then try to fix things the following day. Maybe.
* Oh, shoot. I guess you tend to get long-winded the older you get.
This is the last point.
The fourth point I’d like to tell you is: “If you are a woman, then it’s OK to have a hug anytime.”
Source: The Interviews