I really enjoy New Game’s take on the workplace.
It’s not often you have a show that is geared towards a working audience, or to those soon entering the workplace. Maybe I enjoy it more because of my own experiences in the workplace. Watching the main protagonist Aoba, I get to see what it looks like for others when they are having their own work difficulties. What do the characters do when it’s hard? How do they overcome their own personal and work related adversity?
Of course the workplace isn’t perfect. Watching from a western perspective, it’s easy to get caught up in the fact that the workplace requires lots of hours, more than the standard American 40 hours, and employee’s even spend the night at work to get extra work done. This work-life balance is usually unhealthy. The work culture is very positive at the company Aoba works for, which isn’t the case for every company. So there are some problems with this imaginary work space, but they don’t detract from the overall work narrative being told from Aoba’s perspective. After all why couldn’t Aoba work for a company that demands a lot of hours, and has a great culture?
Aoba is pretty well defined as a character in terms of her motivations and goals. She wanted to become a character designer just like Ko Yagami. It isn’t easy for her as she adjusts from the school environment to the work environment. Things are different for her, and her current skill set isn’t good enough yet to immediately become a character designer. She has to train in a way that makes her useful to the company. Her base skills in art and character design are there, but she has to be able to translate that into game design. And it’s not just game design she has to learn, she has to get along with new people.
Aoba meets her new co-workers who like her share her interest in game design. They are a fun bunch but they are dedicated to their work. Aoba has to learn from her co-workers in order to grow on the job. Aoba is able to adapt to her team and to learn from them in order to make her own skills stronger. No one is made pre-ready for a job, Aoba is no exception.
There are moments she struggles on the job. Sometimes the struggle is a work related adversity and how to overcome certain technical challenges in the course of her design. Other times she has to overcome what she is experiencing from the job. Work fatigue sets in as she works on the project. There is no avoiding deadlines, and her work has to get done so others can finish their work. Still regardless of the situation Aoba proves to be resilient. She is able to overcome any adversity placed in her way.
New Game presents an objective look at work. It shows a character getting involved in the workplace, learning the skills of the new job, and eventually succeeding as a new hire. I strongly recommend watching New Game for a look at what work looks like, and how to overcome workplace adversity. While the struggle may be hard there is satisfaction in getting paid and in creating something to be proud of.
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