Confessions of a Game Tester

Getting paid to play isn't all fun and games. Find out what testing games for a living is really like

Getting hired

Tell us about the process of becoming a tester. Why did you do it? How did it happen?

Tester B: I saw an ad for game testers for a large company in southern California. I have a strong computer background, and was between jobs, and thought that it might be fun. I never planned to make a career of it. I did discover an interest in producing and/or developing, but quickly realized that's what every tester's goal is, and there aren't very many new openings for those positions.

Tester C: During my last semester of going to junior college, after I had already been accepted to a decent University, I spent the time I should have used studying playing videogames instead. I ended up failing several required classes, and the University told me I needed to take them again.

Instead, I decided to take a break from school and get a temporary job as a tester. Someone I knew was working for a company connected to a game publisher that was looking to hire game testers. I applied for the job and was hired on. It was supposed to be a 3-6 month project, but I ended up getting hired as a permanent employee.

Above: As with most jobs, having a friend on the inside helps a lot

Tester D: As with most people I came into the business because a friend helped me get an interview. I became a tester because I wanted to one day create great games. Being a career tester is possible these days with some production testers making over 60K a year, but ultimately a career usually goes into higher management.

Tester E: I became a tester after being an intern in another department. A friend of mine helped me get an interview for the tester position. I took the job because, like so many others, I've been playing games for as long as I can remember. More importantly, I began to take more of an interest in how games work. I don't plan on making a career out of testing. The job is alright, but ultimately it doesn't challenge me enough and I'd like to be more involved on the creative side. My current goal is to become a level designer.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

My new approach to play all games on Hard mode straight off the bat has proven satisfying. Sure there is some frustration, but I've decided it's the lesser of two evils when weighed against the boredom of easiness that Normal difficulty has become in the era of casual gaming.
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