The experience of being a game creator is fairly novel compared to other media. One part of that is working right alongside the pioneers of the craft, who are all very much alive and mostly pretty young; which is quite a different situation than in, say, film, where many or most of the trailblazers are dead or dying, and the community of experts has become broadly distributed amongst a practically infinite number of film festivals, college courses, and what not.
I mention this because it leads to a lot of “community”, which is mostly quite a good thing, but can sometimes be mistaken for a cult of personality, which is sometimes weird and uncomfortable when the people who everyone is talking about are (a) your contemporaries, and (b) hopelessly outclass you. Do I really need to know who Jason Rohrer is, and what he thinks? Yes, it’s a good idea to play his games. But do I have to watch his GDC talks? Do I have to watch the five thousand other GDC talks?
Of course there’s no good argument against any of things, because knowledge is good and community is good and so on. But as a creator, as someone struggling, essentially, to become these people, I find that participating in this culture makes it difficult to actually create. There is such a constant stream of news and conversation in the community that it is very easy to become completely subsumed in it. Ultimately, I find the only way I can remain productive to completely turn off, tune out, and focus on my own work—and occasionally come up for air when I’m in between projects.