|Just me again at OGDE 2015, highlighting my backstory|
In a nutshell anyone who has a genuine passion to make video games and has the desire to innovate should and will find a place in game development.
I firmly believe that. I also firmly believe that if a game developer's passion is genuine it will be seen and felt at some point in time, and it will grow to a point where it can't be ignored anymore. Whether you live in a big mecha like New York City or if you live in a rather quiet place like Davenport, Iowa, as long as you put the work in to prove that you love playing video games and making them, then there's no reason why you shouldn't be given a look to be included in a game-making project of any sort, big or small.
I point out the link above because a building like the Idea Foundry presents a viable option for people who specialize in making things. Creative people need somewhere to hang their hats on, and the Idea Foundry is certainly a good start for creative people inside and outside Columbus, Ohio.
Now you may not believe this, and don't just take my word for it, but Columbus is emerging as a serious player in the game development scene. I am bold enough to say that Columbus is on the verge of legitimately challenging Midwest regional markets like Chicago, Illinois for the top spot in game development in said region. Thankfully some of the efforts being made by passionate game designers in Columbus are being recognized across the United States, and well known names in the Gaming Industry are showing the willingness to show up at conventions like GDEX (formerly the Ohio Game Developers Expo), which wasn't really the case even 5 years ago in 2011.
For someone like me, who lives out in the middle of nowhere, being able to have such a platform where the opportunity to have individual growth as a creative input guy exists makes a big difference. I rely on Columbus to get my contacts. I rely on Columbus to branch out and extend my services, offering to help out on a game development project that anyone might be working on.
It does make me sad, however, to know that the small community I live in has the extreme unwillingness to ever make any platform that is even a small fraction of what the Idea Foundry presents itself. That also makes a big difference because from where I live the desire to create things simply isn't there. Bright ideas don't really come from my neck of the woods these days. That in itself is a different story altogether. Society, in that sense, is imbalanced and unfair because you will see the biggest differences in mentality and attitude between Columbus and "Bumpkinville". I won't justify calling Bumpkinville by its real name.
Whenever I attend game dev meetup sessions in Columbus, I absolutely feel at home. I feel comfortable and happy because I'm speaking the same language as other people in the meetup. I get what they're talking about, and they get what I'm talking about. When the meetup session ends and I go back home to Bumpkinville, the disconnect people have in understanding game dev lingo becomes blatantly obvious.
Overall the Idea Foundry and buildings like it serve as a meaningful goal for me to have. What's that goal? To one day have a stable job where you get to have your own office in such a building where you are allowed to create interesting things, video games and otherwise, and have people recognize the fruits of your hard labor. I don't think many people are aware of how big a victory it would be for someone like me to achieve such a goal.