Geek Dream Job: Become a Video Game Tester

Real people get paid to play and test video games during development. Next time you think you are wasting your time playing video games, consider putting your hobby to work.

(Photo Credit: @CorySchmitz/Flickr)

G4 University has some excellent advice for people who want to play and design video games for a living. This job is real, and as wild and wacky as it sounds, it is actually very demanding work.

Job requirements for “video game tester” include a keen eye for detail. Little things such as the shade of color for the background or the sharpness of the edges of a drawing make big differences in game development. To be a successful video game tester, you need good critical thinking skills. You will be asked to suggest changes to the game, and to explain why these suggestions constitute improvements.

You also need a long attention span and the ability to put up with tedium. You will likely be assigned to one game throughout its development, which can take months, if not years. You may sit all day playing one single game, and possibly even one section of one game. After hours of tedium, you will be asked to objectively evaluate the game. Losing focus may cost your the job.

While playing video games may seem like a solitary endeavor, testing video games is a team effort. The ability to cooperate, collaborate, and work well with others is necessary for success. Good written and verbal communication is also essential. You must be able to clearly communicate glitches and other issues with the game.

Obviously, a strong love for video games is a requirement for this job. However, it is not the only requirement, and there are many people who love video games but do not have the focus and eye for detail that this job also requires. Video game testing is a serious job that requires hard work.

If you are interested in an entry-level position as a video game tester, search for work using phrases such as “quality assurance tester” and “QA tester.” Send a well-written cover letter directly to companies and be sure to mention your attention to detail. Never apply through a middleman, because there are a lot of scams out there telling kids they can hang out all day and get paid to play video games. If it sounds too good to be true, it is.

Make contacts, and be persistent. This job is real, and if you want to work hard as a video game tester, you might have to work hard to land the job. It will be worth it.

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