How to Become a Video Game Tester - Common Myths Debunked

Want to become a video game tester? Great! I have been one for a long time, and love every minute of it. But make sure you go into it with your eyes open... There are lots of websites, usually trying to sell you something, that will make all sorts of wild claims about what the job is like. Most of these are bogus, and designed to entice people into purchasing their product.
Myth: "Playing games for leisure, and playing as a tester are the same thing"
Fact: You will not be playing the game in the same way when testing it, as you would when playing for leisure at home. Instead of going through the game naturally, you will have to repetitively play certain areas of the game for many hours. You will also have to be taking notes, and regularly filling out reports.
Myth: "Publishers will send me the latest games before they are released, so I can play them at home"
Fact: Piracy is a growing problem in the industry. You will not be allowed valuable copies of games in case you leaked them. Only QA testing supervisors can sign out games. In many cases, to be a video game tester, you will still have to go into the office to carry out your work. It's unusual to work from home.
Myth: "Anyone can be a video game tester, all the need to do is buy this ebook/DVD/guide - (many online marketers)"
Fact: You will need to have a particular set of skills, including good levels of concentration, an analytical mind, a good eye for details, and good report writing skills. You will need to be able to communicate with others, and conduct yourself professionally. There are many sites that will promise you a video game tester job if your part with your cash, but they are on the whole bogus. You do not need their services to become a video game tester, as all games publishers advertise for vacancies either on their own websites, or on well known and respected job sites.
Myth: "You can earn thousands of dollars per week as a video game tester"
Fact: Unfortunately, as a lowly QA tester, you will be on a relatively mediocre wage, perhaps in the $10 - $15 per hour region depending on experience and the employer. To earn more, you will have to work your way up.
Myth: "Being a video game tester is boring"
Fact: I have tried to give a clear and unbiased guide on the job, but I still have to say that it's the most enjoyable job I have ever had. If you really do have a passion for gaming, then you will not regret pursuing this career.
Myth: "Being a video game tester is a dead end job"
Fact: Couldn't be further from the truth the games industry is growing each year, meaning that opportunities are growing with it. Becoming a video games tester is a great way to get a foot in the door. You could move on to more senior QA testing roles, or move to a completely different department such as games design, or marketing.
James Culvers is a professional Video Game Tester and writes at http://www.videogame-tester.org where you can find more information on the job role.

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