How to become a Professional Video Game Tester

I found out those tips at http://work.chron.com/ and, so far for what I have seen, some of them are pretty good.

Let me know what do you think about those tips and if you have another good one that was not mentioned below.

Spare some time to read it if you are looking for an opportunity to get into this biz.

Video game testing, also called quality assurance testing, isn’t a fantasy job; it’s an actual, necessary part of the game development process. A game testing job can be a good way to get your foot in the door of the gaming industry, but it might not be as much fun as you imagine; most quality assurance testers spend their days playing and replaying the same levels to check for errors. Though it’s hard work, game testers are compensated for their efforts. As of 2010, the U.S. Department of Labor reports the average salary of a game tester at $49,000 a year.

Step 1

Familiarize yourself with computer systems and popular console technology. Testers play games on a variety of platforms, and may be asked to install or uninstall hardware or software in the course of their work. According to 25-year veteran game designer Tom Sloper, computer literacy is an absolute must for game testers.

Step 2

Play as many games as possible. Read gaming magazines; get to know the lingo and genres. Many game players stick to one or two genres — but you won’t be able to pick the types of games you test, so you should be familiar with many different genres.

Step 3

Volunteer to participate in public beta tests of games. Quality assurance testers must be detail-oriented and thorough; demonstrate your aptitude for game testing by doing an exceptional job testing beta releases. Take comprehensive notes if you encounter any bugs; play and replay all of the events leading up to buggy responses and supply detailed feedback on every game error you come across.

Step 4

Learn how to write a bug report. Find bug reports online, and practice creating reports of your own that include the three essential elements of a bug report: what happened, what you expected to happen, and the exact steps required to repeat the bug. Knowing how to write a bug report will be a huge advantage when it comes time to apply for game testing positions.

Step 5

Practice effective written communication. Game testers’ bug reports should communicate game issues clearly enough that no follow-up questions are required.

Step 6

Start your own gaming blog. Greg Off, President of game marketing company Off Base Productions, advises people looking to breaking into the gaming industry to create their own game-oriented blogs. A great addition to a would-be game tester resume, a blog shows that you are committed to games — and can also serve as a platform to network with others in the industry.

Step 7

Join a game-focused social network and make friends. According to a recent article published by CNN, only about 20 percent of job openings are actually advertised — the rest are filled by people who know employees already working at the companies.

Step 8

Participate in game art contests or game review competitions. Winning an award in either type of contest is an excellent way to get the attention of game development studios.

Step 9

Get a college degree. Tom Sloper strongly recommends obtaining a degree before applying for a job as a game tester. Game design, computer science and communications are all subjects that would lend themselves to a career in game development.

Step 10

Apply for an internship at a game company. Lauren Svenson, a publicist for EA, encourages anyone who wants to get into the game industry to seek out internships. The opportunity to meet people and make connections, she maintains, is even more valuable than the experience of working on the games themselves.

Step 11

Create a resume that highlights your education, beta testing experience and communication skills. Attach a cover letter detailing your specific interest in a game testing position and point out any activities that demonstrate your dedication to game development and testing.

Step 12

Email your resume to every game company within commuting distance. According to Tom Sloper, you will not be able to test games from home — so if there is no game company within driving distance, you may need to move. Alex Jones, a producer at Capcom, broke into the industry by sending out resumes left and right: “I looked in the back of every video game magazine and sent my resume out to all of them within a 50 mile radius.”

And what about you? Have you started your on blog or game bug report?

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