5 ways to convert your gaming obsession into a marketable career
“Do what you love” is perhaps one of the most commonly dispensed pieces of career advice. So, what if your favorite pastimes involve fighting villains, advancing up to higher levels, and conquering challenges, all while engrossed in some of the top video game titles? Although the market is understandably competitive, there are ways you can turn your love of video games into an income generator by testing new products, designing games, or even reviewing games online.
1.Take Specific University Classes
Whether you have your sights set on entering college as a freshman or are considering going back to campus as a mature learner, seek out courses that support your desire to make a living through video games. Many courses combine lectures with lab work, so instead of just learning about some of the top companies that make video games, and which titles are most in demand, you’ll actually get chances to create your own games and experiment by adding cool functionality.
While enrolled in classes, take every opportunity to collaborate with other students and get advice from professors. The more you can show that your interest in gaming is truly a passion, the easier it’ll be to make headway towards landing the career of your dreams.
2. Go to Gaming Conferences
Besides networking with people in a university setting, it’s important to branch out and consider going to some of the many massive gaming conferences around the world. There are a couple of notable reasons for attending. The most obvious one might be that you’ll have face time with the leading companies and individuals in your industry. That’s a good reason to not leave home without a stack of business cards in your wallet.
Beyond the clear networking potential, you could also get your money’s worth from a gaming conference by going there with the proper mindset. Prepare to learn from every experience and encounter, and ideally, sharpen critical thinking skills in the process.
For example, you might visit a vendor that’s debuting a virtual reality headset and learn the gadget will have a new design that blocks exterior light better than others. Or, perhaps while at the conference, you’ll have opportunities to attend talks given by leading game designers.
Although these experiences are enjoyable, they’re more importantly things you can rely on to guide your future gaming career. By attending conferences regularly, you’ll be able to get ahead of the curve compared to peers regarding knowing what gaming fans want, plus what kinds of technology exists.
3. Start Creating Video-Based Content
During the early stages of a gaming career, you’re ideally poised to start showcasing yourself as a person of influence, and someone that genuinely knows a great deal about games, equipment, and how to get the highest scores. You can effectively demonstrate your knowledge by creating themed videos.
YouTube is a very popular platform gamers use to share their views via videos, but it’s also useful to consider Twitch. You could shoot clips that show you unboxing gaming equipment for the first time, getting it ready to use, and then finally putting your new toys to the test. Such videos are very relatable because they capture a lot of the excitement people feel when bringing new video games home and getting ready to play them.
Over time, provided your videos are compelling enough, you should start building a following. In some cases, game manufacturers may send you titles and tools to try for free, especially if they are very confident you’ll give the products favorable reviews.
4. Have an Online Presence That Reflects Your Gaming Lifestyle
Social media is consistently mentioned as a powerful way for people to make strides when breaking into their given industries, especially if using websites like LinkedIn. No matter which social media feeds you focus on, make sure the content you post reflects how much you love games.
Also, have a gaming-centric presence on other types of websites that aren’t exclusively devoted to social media. For example, Bobby Kotick is the CEO of Activision Blizzard, the company behind such games as World of Warcraft, Candy Crush, and Call of Duty. When browsing Bobby Kotick’s Facebook account, you’ll see how many of the things he posts are related to games. However, Kotick is also listed on IMDb, thanks to a 2011 cameo appearance in Moneyball. Kotick’s IMDb profile mentions the acting role but focuses on the man’s gaming achievements.
5. Be Persistent
Besides putting the practical points above into play while building your career, don’t forget to have a resourceful attitude and commit to never giving up on your dreams. Adversity is inevitable, but diligent people doggedly keep going despite encountering it.
Getting paid for working in the video game industry may seem like a virtual impossibility now, but the ideas you’ve just read give you a better shot at success. It may be necessary to start from the bottom, but hard work goes a long way.