How Gamers Turn a Habit into a Paycheck

Video games have been around for decades. While their popularity in pizza parlors and shopping malls isn't what it used to be, gamers continue to carve out a large portion of their days and nights to play games on consoles and desktop computers at home. Year after year, videogame makers develop groundbreaking technology, such as hands-free control and other innovative ways to seemingly interact with a television, and gamers pay for this new technology as a way of sustaining their habit.

guys testing video games at kiosk

Photo via Flickr by Niallkennedy

In fact, videogame playing is not unlike an addiction in some cases, in which hard-core gamers participate in a gaming binge lasting days on end without much sleep or food. This course of indulgence is not for everyone, and binge playing is hardly a sustainable way of life. Gamers can, however, decide to make their love for video games into a career with benefits... as a video game tester.

Also known as QA (Quality Assurance) testers, these professionals play video games and observe their playing experiences with a critical eye. First and foremost (because the game is still in development), QA testers watch closely for any bugs in the program that need to be addressed. Designers and developers count on these gamers to report on glitches as well as overall user experience. This includes ease of navigation, clarity of game objectives, and how much of a "wow" factor a game delivers.

Once they have their foot in the door as a game tester, gamers need to decide if they want to work within that realm as a career or if they would like to try their hand some day at making video games. The latter may require some additional schooling but, given the nature of a QA job, gamers would also collaborate with several established game designers, which would provide many opportunities to learn more about how to make a video game.

In the video below, hear from the CEO of a game design company who got his start as a QA tester, and take a peek into this legit occupation. If you're already excited at the prospect of testing video games for a living and you're headed out the door to apply, just be sure to meet your prospective employer after a good night's sleep and a full meal.

video game tester interview

Video via YouTube by HowCast

Contributed to by Kim Evans

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