Despite the fact that over 164 million adults in the U.S. play video games, there are still common misconceptions about gamers being “lazy” or not wanting to work. But, you know when you’re playing games that you’re not just wasting your time, especially if it’s something you’re passionate about.
There are actually a lot of careers within the video game industry that many people don’t realize. If you truly have a love of playing video games and you’re interested in turning it into your life’s work, let’s look at some ways you can make that happen.
Yes, You Can Play Video Games for a Living
Remember when you were a teenager and your mother said you’d never make a living by playing video games all day? Well, that’s not entirely true. Game testers and professional gamers make their living by playing video games all the time. But, it’s not just a matter of sitting in a dark room with some snacks and playing with friends for hours.
Game testers, for example, have to walk through every inch of a game and take notes on everything. They have to critique the environment, find any glitches, and be detailed with the developers about how the game actually works in live play. It’s less about playing for fun and more about picking apart the good and the bad.
In addition, professional gamers can make a lot of money, but it’s a career that can be very difficult to get into unless you’re extremely talented in what you do. If you are, you could attend esports conventions, sign up for tournaments, and become somewhat “famous” in the gaming industry.
Put Your Creative Skills to Use
There are so many ways to bring your skills into the world of gaming and find jobs that will not only be fun but fulfilling. Some of the “behind-the-scenes” jobs in the gaming industry include the following:
- Graphic designers
- Audio programmer
You could also choose to be a game developer/programmer if you have experience with coding and a vision for the game. Developers typically need a background in software development, since that’s essentially what you’re creating when you bring a game to life.
Because developers are usually the ones championing a game, they’re also typically the ones fighting for a better gaming environment. Developers have used their voices to fight for Net Neutrality laws and the future of multiplayer online gaming. They have even developed the National Committee for Games Policy (NCGP) as a way of self-regulating the industry.
Staying Afloat in the Gaming Industry
Like any other career, you shouldn’t expect to dive into the gaming industry head-first and receive a hefty paycheck. Although it is a booming industry, it might not be easy to get into right away or to create a lucrative game that everyone wants.
A side hustle can help to keep you afloat while you’re making your place in the industry. There are many things you can do on the side while still working your day job:
- Ride-share driving
- Freelance design/writing
- Selling things online
- Online tutoring or teaching
Don’t get too frustrated about not making the money you think you should when you first break into the video game industry. With so many talented people vying for limited positions, it’s a competitive market. But, as you can see, there are plenty of opportunities to make your mark and find a successful, fun career in the world of gaming.