There’s really no reason to work in videogames

Let’s be honest; there are about three cool positions in the videogame industry: designer, writer, or concept artist. We’re not counting producer or videogame journalist as no one really enjoys making tons of money and the latter hasn’t had produced a piece of investigative literature since someone discovered the secret cave in Legend of Zelda for the SNES.

Mean no disrespect to the other jobs, which consist of 98% of the industry: testers, programmers, animators, public relations, tech support and the like; your job is just thankless. You are the linemen of videogame development. You are the horse in Animal Farm.This was my experience in the industry growing up:

Game Crazy (R.I.P.). A better retail shop for customers than GameStop/EB, but a terrible place for employees. The name of the game has been talked about in other places; minimum wage, managers pushing membership cards and pre-orders, and a very leech-like customer base.

I baby sit kids and grabbed titles from shelves. This was my “dream job”. Around two or three in the afternoon, mothers would bring their spawn in to shop, and then abandon them there for hours while they went shopping/home to sleep. I learned a lot about teen angst. That’s about it.

My coworkers, one whom I shall call Ross (because that was his name), and I had an evil game of rivalry going. I just wanted to enjoy the job and help people find the right game. He wanted to shove preorders down people’s throats and become a manager. Ross wanted to work in the game industry. I don’t know what his attack plan was without programming skills; that he’d befriend one of the industry reps who brought in Playstation demos?

I use Ross as an example. I knew a dozen other guys taking no active role in getting into the industry other than improving their gamerscore as if to impress their future bosses with how hard they worked to get the Giant Moth shot down in Lost Planet.

Little tykes, with hopes and dreams of working in the videogame industry, you need to pick a craft. Programming, modeling, whatever can actually be applicable to this industry. I recommend Paid to Play, a book that’s going to tell you over and over that you’re likely going to start as a tester, and it will suck.

Any readers with industry experience who can back me up? Silence means you agree as well.


About Chad Quandt

Writer for videogames, animation, the webcomic Suffrage. Master blocker in dodgeball. Barbecued with Corey Haim before he died.

Posted on April 7, 2011, in Chad Quandt, Videogames and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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