Can you really get paid to play video games? The answer is a resounding, 'Yes." If you've spent years playing video games and can't imagine life without a gaming console, then becoming a video game tester might be the career for you!
How to Get Paid to Play Video Games
A video game tester is formally known as a "Quality Assurance (QA) Tester." The Quality Assurance Tester plays the game to determine if it is free of glitches or bugs, playing the game as many times as possible to find any glitches or bugs. They're essentially trying to break the game, exploring every level, character, and aspect of the game to uncover the system's flaws.
Working as a Video Game Tester
When developers submit unreleased games to Quality Assurance Testers, they'll inevitably have many undetected bugs. Motion graphics may fail, and a myriad of other problems can prevent games from working as they should. Testers must identify each potential bug and communicate them to Video Game Developers. The developers need enough information to replicate the bug to fix it. This back-and-forth between developers and testers continues until the game is bug-free and can be released to the public.
Becoming a Quality Assurance Tester
Quality assurance testing requires meticulous attention to detail, concentration, excellent oral and written communication, commitment, and dedication. An in-depth understanding and appreciation of video games is also vital, as you must know the elements that make an excellent game, gameplay essentials, and the various genres.
There are no specific educational requirements to become a Quality Assurance Tester. Veteran Quality Assurance Tester Johnny Burt of Iron Galaxy Studios says, "Being a QA Tester is actually one of the jobs that almost anyone can do if you have a love and a passion for video games. I've worked for a lot of places that will give kids right out of high school a chance!"
However, there are ways you can increase your chances of breaking into the industry and getting hired by a leading game development company. Many video game testers are educated in game design or have computer science, software development, or 3D animation skills. It's crucial to understand how games and code function together. Artistic training can also be helpful as there's a focus on the game's artistic components such as image balance and color composition.
Some degrees or certifications that can help you land the job as a video game tester include:
- Software Programming
- Game Design
- Software Engineering
- Software Quality Assurance
With the rapid growth of the video gaming industry, the need for qualified testers has increased. However, competition for such jobs, especially at the leading game development companies, is fierce. Bringing relevant education and experience to the table will give you a distinct advantage from the field.
Want to See a Video Game Quality Assurance Tester in Action?
VirtualJobShadow.com was fortunate enough to film at Iron Galaxy Studios in Chicago. Lead Tester Johnny Burt is featured in our "Video Game Quality Assurance Tester" video. Click below to watch a day-in-the-life of his job.
Watch Video of a professional Video Game Tester from Iron Galaxy Studios Want to learn even more about working with games? Iron Galaxy Studios’ Co-CEO Chelsea Blasko spoke to VirtualJobShadow.com about her experience as a woman in the video-game industry.