A type of frequently asked question that really gets my goat is the type that contains the phrase "is there a chance" or "is it possible" or "would it be possible"...
For example, someone might ask,
"Is it possible to get a job as a game designer if I get a degree from Full Sail or Digipen?"
That kind of question makes me mad, and invariably my response is unsatisfying for the hapless wannabe who asked it.
To illustrate why that kind of question generates this sort of response from me, consider the following "is it possible" questions, and the answers that a reasonable person might give in return:
Is it possible to start a company and get rich?
Yes. Many have done it.
Is it possible to get a game design job with just a degree in Game Design?
Is it possible to get a programming job with just a degree in Computer Science?
Is it possible to get a game graphics job with just a degree in Art?
Is it possible to get a game design job withOUT a degree in Game Design?
Is it possible to get a game programming job without a degree in Computer Science?
Would it be possible to get a game graphics career if I can show great talent for art? And if I don't have a degree?
Is there a chance I could get a game design job if I currently live in Nashville, Tennessee?
Do I have a chance of getting a game design job if I'm confined to a wheelchair?
Is it possible for a girl to become a game designer?
Sure, why not?
Is there a chance that a girl game designer who's confined to a wheelchair might go on to become President of the United States?
Yes. There is.
Is it possible that someone who can't afford to go to college might still nevertheless become a game designer, then become President, then become King of the World?
Is there a chance that Arnold Schwarzenegger will become President of the United States?
Yes. There is.
Uh-huh. Let me try this one, then. Is there a chance that I'll win five hundred million dollars in the lottery and find a cure for AIDS?
How about this. Is it possible there's really a Santa Claus?
Affirmative, good buddy!
Is it possible that the Easter Bunny is actually Arnold Schwarzenegger?
Are you just answering "yes" to every question that begins with "is it possible" or "is there a chance"? Is that it?
Yes! You figured me out!
Okay, let me try this one, then. Is it possible that a way might be discovered to time-travel to the age of the dinosaurs? Or back beyond the Big Bang?
Um, you got me with that one. Probably not.
And is there a chance that maybe someday we'll have holodecks like they have on Star Trek?
No, I don't think so. Oh, wait. You asked, "is there a chance." So maybe I have to answer yes. ...But I don't want to!! :(
Please. Don't ask questions that begin with "is it possible" or "is there a chance." What's possible is an entirely different thing from what's probable. It's all well and good to have a realistic and firm grip on what's possible. But isn't it BETTER to have a realistic and firm grip on what's PROBABLE ... thus gaining an insight into your best course of action??
When you ask "is it possible," I can't know what it is you're really trying to find out.
Anything is possible. The question is, therefore, useless, meaningless, a waste of time for both the asker and the answerer.
If you want to know how to get a game design job (for instance), it would be more productive to ask how to increase your chances than it would be to ask if there's even a minuscule chance, if you just do whatever minimal thing your lazy ass is willing to do at the moment.
Ahem. Sorry, but I had to write a punchy ending here. The point is, there IS such a thing as a bad question. And questions that contain the phrases, "is there a chance" or "is it possible" are probably bad questions.
Read Article 26 and Article 30 and... aw hell, read them all, why doncha. I worked really hard at trying to help you. The least you could do is read the stuff I wrote for you... If I have to play the guilt card on you, and if it helps, well, I'm okay with that.
Got a question or comment about this article? Click here to go to the bulletin board. You'll get a response!
...Like this, for instance:
Fact Check: FAQ 50
> From: Bigfoot Supervisor <area51bigfootresearch>
> Sent: Saturday, October 26, 2013 1:41 PM
> Subject: Fact Check on Game Design FAQ 50
> Hi, at your FAQ at http://www.sloperama.com/advice/lesson50.htm, you posted the following Q&A:
> Is there a chance that Arnold Schwarzenegger will become President of the United States?
> Yes. There is.
> I would like to point out that this is false; foreign-born citizens can never become President of the United States.
Hi, Bigfoot Supervisor. You're saying:
Is it possible that the United States constitution can be changed?
No. Absolutely not. Never. No way. That's absolutely impossible.
Well, Bigfoot Supervisor, I have news for you. The United States constitution CAN be changed, and in fact, it has been. Twenty-seven times. So however unlikely, it is technically possible for a foreign-born citizen like Ahnold to become President.
Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.
Los Angeles, California, USA
October 26, 2013
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