Computer game tester jobs can be rewarding and lucrative but very rarely is a prospect informed of the ‘dark side’ or the unsexy side. It’s always gift wrapped and sold as:
• Earn $100 dollars by playing video games a couple of hours per day
• No qualifications needed
• If you’re great at playing video games, get paid for doing what you love
• You set your own hours
• You never have to worry about your bills again
The list goes on but I’ll stop there. There is probably some truth to some of the above points but what marketers fail to tell you is the ‘real,’ ‘the dark,’ or the ‘unsexy’ side of the job. It’s not all glamorous as they would have you believe. In fact, the mere fact it’s called a job should be a big clue.
Game tester jobs are easy portals through which you can enter the gaming industry but they are also quite competitive. They are also the ‘janitorial positions’ of the gaming industry. They money no doubt is made further up the ladder. However we all have a calling in life and there’s not wrong in starting from the bottom and working your way up; in fact that’s very noble.
With that said, once you get a foothold through the gaming industry’s portal as a game tester, you will need to earn your status and prove yourself to be not just a good game tester but also show the potential to move up the ladder. So here are a few tips in achieving just that:
1. Know what you are getting into. Ask someone who’s already in or have been in the industry, do research the companies and the games they’ve produced. Also check out consumer reviews about previous games. With this knowledge you’ve already eliminated some of your competition. You can also plan your angle of attack to put you further ahead of the competition.
2. Let ‘Bugs’ and ‘Glitches’ become your friend. By this I mean, develop your skill to such a level that you can even pre-empt these ‘critters’ in the software. This will put you head and shoulders above your competition. This is also the quality that your quality assurance manager will be using to appraise (judge/evaluate) your performance.
3. Whilst you are developing your hands-on or practical skills, ensure you are keeping up with your certification records. These can be achieved online or physically attending courses. Remember you don’t want to stay on the bottom rung too long you want to move to higher levels where you’ll be able to call the shots and mentor fresh game tester coming in.