Thursday, September 22, 2011

When I Grow Up

I want to be a doctor, lawyer, engineer. When I was a kid, there was this 001 Card at school which had this column for ambition. My first recollection of being asked was in Std 2. And everyone (me included)would put down the choices above, policeman (woman), teacher being some of the other choices. Kids.... small world, limited contact, and everyone chose almost the same ambitions but in different order.

Then sophistication crept in and these became more vogue - investment banker, stock analyst, venture capitalist, consultant (this or that).... and all kinds of engineering subdivisions, software engineers... scopes which did not exist when I went to university. And we thought that was sophisticated enough....

I read somewhere that we should train our kids to think of possibilities, of jobs not in existence yet cos the job specs will continue to evolve.

After all would anyone of us imagine the existence of this other realm too where old traditional occupations take new forms. It may seems a little unconventional now but in time, they will be. After all, if one watches a slew of sci-fi stuff, what may seem an overdrive of imagination is actually a peek into the future... provided the world does not come to an end; either through divine intervention or man's folly. For me, I think the more vivid (in my mind) of those sci-fi shows were Space 1999 and Lost in Space... .. Well, there is no Moon Base Alpha yet but we do have an ISS orbiting up there now.

I would never have imagined 20 years ago, jobs which didn't feel like real jobs, i.e. earning money via 'play' would come mainstream and overtake the traditional ones in terms of income generation. Jobs like video (online) game tester, or game farmer where they play and earn money by selling passwords for the different levels that they've done. We'd have labelled such people bums!

But dig this? Vice goes online too. Professional pimping gone online... and gambling too. Now, they don't need to go to Genting or Singapore. Even Vegas comes to them. And gambling takes on other guises too... with many saying that it's a legitimate way of earning money. Illegal betting and lotteries still take place in those hidden away corners but there are slowly gaining a sophistication that comes with the internet. Want a game of poker that plays real money?? Well it's just a few keyboard punches away. And the hope of winning big is stoked in ways unimaginable before.

Online gaming is another area. Micro transactions occur where players once drawn in and get hooked will pay to purchase items for their farms or whatever virtual game they are playing. I play Fragger occasionally... A gem whe you throw grenades through a series of puzzles to blow up your enemies... For a couple of bucks you can buy a solution. That's micro transaction.... it makes money out of impatience for a solution to a level. But lots of people bite. We are a generation of quick fixes, remember? Billions of dollars exchange hands this way! I wonder if a major disaster were to strike and all these people whose skills seem to be farming in the digital world, running digital restaurants, basically just running digital worlds... will they have the enough real skills to survive? I mean, actually survive and not just survive digitally. Generation Y, Z... sophisticated gens they are, but to get their hands dirty or to even slaughter a real chicken??
Then also this... some claim that playing games like Starcraft helps them be millionaires. Read this article about Charlie Cheever who says playing Starcraft helped him learn what he really needed to know about being successful. But the lessons he said he learned from playing the game... I think you learn it doing other things too. It's not an exclusive thingy. There should be lots of millionaires from among the Starcraft gamers going by what he says but reality check will probably show us that most gamers are basically just end users!

So, when I grow up...... who knows what a kid today might be doing? He will be doing one of those jobs that does not exist today.

1 comment:

PreciousPearl said...

i wanted to put "I never want to grow up" but the teacher wouldn't let me :D
she disallowed "carpetbagger" to... LOL