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Meet Jesse Blake McCann

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jesse Blake McCann.

Hi Jesse Blake, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I’m an LA native who has always had an interest in making my own video game. I started in quality assurance at a game company with the goal to move up into a creative position. What I didn’t expect was the toxic environment that is video game production. Since so many people want to be in the industry, employers take advantage of their workers by paying lower wages, enforcing longer work hours, and providing little options for advancement. I was so turned off by the environment I switched to quality assurance outside of gaming, and I immediately got a bump in pay, skill advancement, and respect.

But I still had a creative itch to scratch. When the quarantine hit, I talked to a creative group of friends I met through my career and pitched a game to them: Blasten!!, a Nintendo-era platformer with a dark sense humor. What I didn’t expect was for them to take my concept and breath so much life into it. I’m constantly humbled by their creativity and support during this project.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
Video game development is 1000 decisions and 1000 bugs– there is just so much to consider, given the user controls what’s happening on screen. But the challenge is fun and resolving issues gives a nice shot of endorphin.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I got my degree in creative writing long ago, even though I knew it would not likely lead to a lucrative job. So I worked at an entry-level job as a quality assurance tester while I figured out what I was doing. Funny enough, the skills translated quite well: concise and clear bug descriptions, creative testing, and an eye for detail. Whether it’s editing a story or shipping clean software, I pride myself on a good user experience when others wouldn’t go above and beyond.

We’d be interested to hear your thoughts on luck and what role, if any, you feel it’s played for you?
I am absolutely lucky: I was born in a home owned by my family, grew up in a nice neighborhood, I’m loved by my parents, and I got a kickass sister I actually get along with. That’s not to say I’m not a hard worker, but I will never forget how lucky I am to have what so many people do not.

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All Images belong to Tripaw Games

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