While I understand what they mean, I do not believe that game design, or at least the skills related to game design, cannot be taught. However, I do believe that some people are more open to learning the skills required to become a successful designer.
Since starting in this business, a few hundred people have asked me: “So what classes does it take to become a good game designer?” I always replied, “it’s not what you do in school, but what you do outside of it.”
This rule has been true of just about every game designer I’ve ever met. While the rules and process for making games become increasingly clear, no amount of rote training can overcome the handicap of not being passionately connected to your craft.
In future posts, I hope to share some of the lessons I’ve accrued over the years, but none of them trump this one:
Pursue something you love.