The word “amateur” has a bad connotation. You might look at an art’s student attempt to recreate the Mona Lisa, or a mod for Half-Life designed to make it look like Wolfenstien 3-D, or an Uwe Boll film and say “Ew, that’s completely amateur.” By that, you’re likely to mean “poorly designed, conceived or executed, and in those cases you might be right, though I for one would give props to the mod designers for using a flexible open-source shooter engine to hearken back to those bygone days where your arsenal wasn’t limited to two weapons and your health didn’t come back automatically if you just stood around a corner making sure your shoelaces were tied.
(Okay, all right, that’s the last time I’ll rag on Halo’s gameplay, I promise. It’s really the fans’ fault I hate it so.)
The real meaning of amateur, though, is based in its direct French translation – “lover of”. An amateur is someone who does something for the sheer love of it, not necessarily for the money. Now, I want to get paid for what I do as much as this shouty beard-faced fellow, but the fact that I’m not yet isn’t going to stop me from doing it. It’s just something I need to do on my own time until I can find a way to fool the monolithic corporate world at large into believing that what I do enhances productivity or shifts paradigms or some other such bullshit.
That’s part of the reason why this isn’t getting posted until almost 4 PM, and why it’s so short. That and I do have a day job that keeps me in the category of “struggling amateur” instead of shifting me to “starving amateur.”