Careers: The Video Games Industry

Creating video games for a living is a dream for thousands of people, many of whom grew up while the industry was still in its infancy. However, it’s a notoriously difficult trade to get into: competition is only getting stronger, while the face of modern […]
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Electronic Theatre ImageCreating video games for a living is a dream for thousands of people, many of whom grew up while the industry was still in its infancy. However, it’s a notoriously difficult trade to get into: competition is only getting stronger, while the face of modern gaming is changing so quickly that skills can soon become out of date unless you’re dedicated enough to keep on top of the newest technologies. It’s an industry that requires a lot of time, passion and devotion – but the result is a rewarding job in one of the fastest-growing areas of entertainment today.
*What do you want to do?*

There are a number of roles within a video games company which encompass a range of different creative skills and academic abilities. Designers and programmers will find the most opportunities, as all games need these two components, but you may find that you’ll be expected to take on a number of secondary roles too, such as writing and sound production. If you Electronic Theatre Imagespecialise in these secondary roles, you still have a chance, but it’s generally much harder to find a dedicated role in a games company.

*What should you study?*

The best way to get your foot in the door is to get a degree in your chosen area. This way, you’ll get a good basic understanding of what it is you want to do, but you’ll also make contacts and get to meet other people who want to work in the same industry. A lot of indie development companies have started out this way, so it’s always worth networking and sharing ideas. Gaming courses are few and far between in the UK currently, but they do exist – Middlesex University’s Animation and Games degree is a great
example, offering modules on everything from the history of games to professional portfolio development. Take a look at their course guide for an in-depth look at what you could be doing.

*Where could you end up?*

Whether you want to work on a triple-A title, or simply want to gain the skills to start your own development company from home, the games industry can introduce you to a fantastic community of creators and fans. You might end up working on a team of people at Bethesda or following in the footsteps of indie game-maker Markus “Notch” Persson, but either way, you’ll get to enjoy the satisfaction of people not only consuming the art you’ve helped to create, but actively enjoying it!

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