On an average day in the international games industry, there’s both a shortage of young lawyers to be hired and a shortage of industry jobs – which may seem a bit puzzling at first.
A few aspects contribute to the matter:
First, when studios and law firms look for the “understanding of the medium”, they ask for something which is not really a common interest with the general public.
Common interest: “I love to play games”.
Special interest: “I love the process of making games”.
Someone who has, say, 10k hours playing League of Legends does not necessarily have the understanding of the medium, despite their deep love to the product itself.
Second, anyone with a special interest runs the risk of becoming over-confident based on how tall they stand compared to their casual friends.
Take me: for many years, I appreciate Japanese green tea and can impress a friend or two with the statement that I particularly value the full-sun, medium-steamed Yabukita breed from Shizuoka’s Makinohara district.
That, however, hardly makes me knowledgeable about the tea in general, not to mention the tea industry, and anyone who actually deals with it will immediately see me for the amateur tea-drinker that I am (even though I’ve clocked more than 10k hours drinking shincha and sencha!).
In the same way, a young lawyer who knows the story of DOTA2 and is seen as “the games guy” by his peers, may struggle during a real job interview at a studio when facing people who work with video games for a living.
Third, the breadth is more important than the depth, but broad knowledge is also typically harder to get and to sustain (and it is also less impressive).
You may be familiar with the works of Mr. Zetterstrand
, who painted Counter-Strike maps on real canvas (which were then added to MineCraft), yet that alone doesn’t make you an industry expert – same as, for example, knowing which studio holds a record for the number of wishlists for a single DLC on Steam (600.000+, SCS out of Prague).
It’s the sum of all such snippets taken together and mapped across the world and time, that create the common knowledge base in our professional community.
And thus at any given day we do have several ships looking for sailors in the port, and dozens of sailors looking for a ship to enrol with – yet the sailors don’t now the charts that the captains expect them to, and so the demand on both ends remains largely unsatisfied.