Time vs Skill debate

Everybody and their mom seems to be jumping on the bandwagon to berate Blizzard by AOLing this article from Gamasutra:

Investing a lot of time in something is worth more than actual skill. If you invest more time than someone else, you “deserve” rewards. People who invest less time “do not deserve” rewards. This is an absurd lesson that has no connection to anything I do in the real world. The user interface artist we have at work can create 10 times more value than an artist of average skill, even if the lesser artist works way, way more hours. The same is true of our star programmer. The very idea that time > skill is alien.

Um, no, it isn’t alien at all. Speaking as someone who couldn’t get a decent-paying job for years because I had the skill of experience but not the time spent getting a degree at college, I can very definitely say that the idea of time > skill is alive and well in our society. I’m not particularly happy about that, but it is.

Oh, and before you rant about how it takes skill to get a degree, I say “feh” to you. I’ve since gone back and gotten my degree, and skill had very little to do with it — it was all about time. So much so, in fact, that not a single teacher allowed me to just take tests and not come to class. There are actually state laws in place having to do with funding for schools that have zero to do with grades (skill) and everything to do with attendance (time). Sure, a doctorate might require some actual thought … but a BA? And yeah, there are still plenty of jobs out there that I can’t even walk through the front door because I don’t have the “right” degree.

So … yeah. WoW is teaching us exactly what our society is teaching us.

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Rick Osborne

I am a web geek who has been doing this sort of thing entirely too long. I rant, I muse, I whine. That is, I am not at all atypical for my breed.