One of the best possible jobs a gamer can get is that of a video game tester. Requirements for such a job are not very strict, and almost anyone can apply for such an opening with a video game production company.
Like all other video game lovers, I too dream of a job that pays me to play them all day long. This is probably one of my dreams that will remain unfulfilled, but there are many people who successfully carve out a testing career and reap the financial rewards as well. The primary task of a video game tester is to check if a new game has been designed and coded properly, and give the developers the necessary feedback from a gamers point of view.
The tester has to be present through every stage of the video game development process, and he has to ensure that there are no bugs that plague the gameplay and several other aspects. After all, a developer can only imagine what the reaction to his game will be, and until someone actually plays it he will be unable to ascertain what he needs to change in the coding.
Game Tester Training and Requirements
A game tester does not require any specific qualifications as such; simply a passion for all kinds of video games and a long history of playing the best ones on the dominant consoles will suffice. Needless to say, the tester will first be trained by the production company and he will be briefed on all the categories that he needs to study and provide feedback on. If he has a technical background and can aid in the production process itself since he fits the job description of a game designer, it is an added advantage. But a developer basically wants the feedback of a layman and someone who is not too knowledgeable about the intricacies of the production process, so that he can judge what the general reaction to the game will be.
Additionally, a tester should have exceptionally good oral and written communication skills. He will ultimately need to pass on his feedback to the production team, and the more details he can provide, the better it will be. Someone with a background in corporate communications or public relations would be the ideal match for this job. When it comes to the demographic criteria for a game tester, the production team would prefer someone who is relatively young, and if this is not the case then he should be vastly experienced in the field. Most of them are targeted at younger age groups, and some are even targeted at a specific sex, so a tester who meets all these criteria will be preferred. Needless to say, the tester should be adept and should have a genuine interest in playing all kinds of games, and trust me, there are several different categories that are developed.
A Game Tester’s Salary
If an individual meets all the necessary requirements, then he can expect a salary package between $35,000 – $70,000 per year. The exact figure will depend on the background of the individual, the nature and detail of feedback he is supposed to provide, the amount of times he tests the video game, and the size of the production company itself. Someone like EA Sports will obviously pay a tester far more than a smaller company will.
Someone who has a genuine love for video games is not that hard to find. What is hard to find is one who knows the quirks and the intricacies of all kinds of video games inside out, and who can communicate his observations excellently. Such people will always be in high demand in the gaming industry, and the best testers can genuinely carve out a highly successful and lucrative career in a job that is the dream of many.
So as you can see, there are no hard and fast requirements to become a game tester. The field is open to anyone, but it is a fact that not everyone is cut out to test video games. There is a difference between simply playing a game and providing feedback to the production team. If you feel you can cut it, go ahead and try your luck at this elite career opportunity.