Video Games: Moving from a Pastime to a Career
With each generation, more and more people become obsessed with video games. They provide entertainment, socialization, and a way to de-stress after a long day. However, if you really enjoy these games, it’s possible to create a career based on your favorite pastime.
There are many types of careers relating to video games. They range from entry-level positions with few requirements to advanced careers with specialized knowledge very few people have. You can work your way up the career ladder in this industry by seeking out the following positions.
Also known as quality assurance, people in these positions play through early versions of the game, find glitches and cultural taboos, and ensure the game is playable on all platforms. Little formal education is required for most of these roles, making them a great entry into the field. To get started, volunteer for beta testing online, gain knowledge of different platforms and industry tools, and strengthen your communication skills.
This is the dream for most looking to get into the industry. Game designers start with an idea, develop storylines, characters, and other concepts, and then see the idea through the actual production process. You need proficiency in a multitude of software and programming languages, management experience, and plenty of creativity. A degree in game design, software development, computer science, or a related field is necessary. Start building a portfolio by collaborating with others and designing your own games. The market for this position is highly competitive, so the more qualifications you have that set you apart, the better.
Creating a video game requires the collaboration of many artists. Someone must animate the scenes, design the soundtrack, and write the dialogue. While having a degree in the related field is a bonus, those in artist positions are more often hired based on their abilities than their qualifications, so a strong portfolio is a must.
If you’d rather do it yourself, consider opening your own business. Some ideas include opening your own design studio, a new and used video game store, or a place for people to come together and play. You don’t need any specific qualifications to open a business, though plenty of knowledge in the relevant area and an understanding of basic business principles are helpful. Start a new company as an LLC provides tax benefits, limits liability, and offers flexibility for the future. Online formation services make this a simple process, no matter the requirements in your state.
Before you apply for a position in this field, you need a strong resume or portfolio. Online resume templates show you the most common formats and help create a professional document that can be customized with your own information and graphics. Include internships, player testing, volunteering, and any relevant experience or education. One good idea is to have more basic information on your resume, including the details and examples in your portfolio.
A Job You'll Love
It’s possible to turn your love of gaming into a career. From designing games to owning your own business, you can find your niche. So, take your love of this medium and level it up — who knows where a career in the industry could take you!