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Gaming career question/help request

sleeplessindurhamsleeplessindurham Durham, NCPosts: 2Member

Good morning/afternoon/evening, all. I'd like to pose a question in the hopes that some of you may have an idea or two for me.

The short-ish version: if we're supposed to work in our passion then I'd like to find a job in gaming, but I don't seem to have the prerequisites or education for most of the jobs. So where do I start?

I love gaming, especially MMOs.. to review, to help and guide others. To do my best to master them, understanding them from an immersive standpoint, from their lore to min/maxing mechanics. To give what I can to make them better, enjoy what they have to offer, and enable others to do the same.

I suppose my dream would be to write about gaming... doing so broadly (general commentary) and focused on particular games (I already write private guides for my guild and sometimes reviews), finding a way to have that pay the bills so that my work could be research, creating written and video guides, and being plugged into the gaming community. That may sound like "JUST PAYZ ME TO PLY GAMZE!", and perhaps at some level it is, but fundamentally I enjoy helping others more than anything, and am particularly passionate about gaming. When the two come together I am excited and capable. It may just be a dream, though, to be an essentially self-employed gamer...

I'm a pretty competent feller... recently graduated with my masters (with honors, of course) in theology and ethics.  While there are certainly connections, it doesn't translate well into gaming careers (at least on paper to most). My work history falls into tech, but the light kind - consumer triage, support and repair - so I've no capacity for programming.

So I'm wondering if anyone has a suggestion of places I might start? Sorry for the length, and thank you very much for your attention and thoughts. Any input is sincerely appreciated.

Comments

  • dreadlordnafdreadlordnaf Washington, DCPosts: 65Member

    Why dont you start here?  You realize MMORPG will pay for free lance writing and review works.  http://www.mmorpg.com/opportunities.cfm

    Why don't you start with this to see: 1) If you actually like doing it; and 2) if you are actually good at it enough to where someone will pay you for it.   Then you can go from there...

  • CleffyCleffy San Diego, CAPosts: 4,623Member Uncommon

    Your at a point were it doesn't make sense to try and get a gaming career the normal way.  The smart idea is just to pursue a career based on your Masters.  People in the Game industry typically make less than those of similar occupation in another field and tend to work harder.  Also your making games not playing them which is not fun.  MMOs are the largest project a game developer can take on and for an amateur its just about impossible without a stalwart resolve and a serious amount of knowledge on the subject.  The only avenues I can see you pursue in the game industry is in design, production, and customer support.

    In the design area that's mostly just plain good writing.  This is the job nearly everyone in the game industry wants and is not something you can get without shipping a few titles.  The best way to prove your mettle in this area is forming a small independent team and creating casual games.  Ofcourse you would also need to get serious investment that can only happen after working at your current career for a decade.

    The producer is more of a management position.  They set deadlines and keep people on track for the deadline.  They also maintain an even tempo of development and reduce wasted costs like completely reworking a game mid-cycle.  Getting this position is the same as getting a design position.

    Then there is customer support.  This only exists in the mmo space and typically in Southern California.  There is not any room for growth in this area, they are not respected within the company, they make the least amount of money, and there are not openings to get into development.

  • AelfinnAelfinn Roundabouts that cold chill moving up your spine, NCPosts: 3,857Member

    I mean no offense or criticism by this but it does not look like your degree path will be of much help, at least for a career directly involved with gaming. Ironically enough, in this case even the often criticized English major might be of more use. Do you have any other passions or skill sets? Information on why you chose to study theology and ethics would help as well.

    I hate to say it, but the market is flooded with young individuals who want to get involved with the gaming business somehow, whether or not they have the skills for it. You need a way to stand out by some means, and in this case, it looks like it will have to be by means of proving yourself somehow before attempting to get hired and/or by striking out on your own.

    No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.
    Hemingway

  • sleeplessindurhamsleeplessindurham Durham, NCPosts: 2Member

    First, thanks to each of you for taking the time to read and respond. I genuinely appreciate your input and frankness.

    Originally posted by dreadlordnaf

    Why dont you start here? ...

    Dreadlordnaf, I did not know that opportunity was there. I will be in touch with the folks here for sure and keeping an eye out for opportunities to write a review. Unfortunately everything I'm playing at the moment has been reviewed recently enough that it isn't time for a new one. Thanks for pointing it out.

     

    Originally posted by Cleffy

    Your at a point were it doesn't make sense to try and get a gaming career the normal way...

    Appreciate you candor, Cleffy. As for customer support, I have done some research there and heard much of the same, namely that it's not a place to start with delusions of advancement.

     

    Originally posted by Aelfinn

    I mean no offense or criticism by this but it does not look like your degree path will be of much help, at least for a career directly involved with gaming. Ironically enough, in this case even the often criticized English major might be of more use. Do you have any other passions or skill sets? Information on why you chose to study theology and ethics would help as well.

    Don't see anything to be offended by, so no worries, Aelfinn. But to make things even better, I did nearly finish a second degree in English as an undergrad. =)

    My pursuit of the masters work was from a passion for justice, helping others and, for a time, pursuit of work as an ordained minister. During my years in the program I decided not to pursue ordination but believed - and still do - the experience would be beneficial regardless of not pursuing that particular vocation.

    As I'm writing this, I wonder about community manager positions... I've experienced them as liaisons between the devs and gamers, working PR/communications on the forums. Maybe that's something I should be on the lookout for.

    Ps. For Whom the Bell Tolls is my favorite novel, Aelfinn.

  • GorweGorwe Ald'RuhnPosts: 2,473Member Uncommon
    I am...sort of like you. I'd like to review games and not produce them as much. Now I am in gutter because, frankly, I don't like colleges and the fact that some dusty grappy professor "teaches" me how should I do things(instead of doing it by preference/trial and error). Everything he can "teach" me, I can read about and understand perfectly(if it interests me ofc). The problem?

    Lack of degree. It's not even my problem, it's the problem of this entire crapsack world:

    Everything is defined through degrees and money nowadays.

    That just makes me...cry. So I don't know sth if some fool doesn't "teach" me???

    OMG. Illuminati won. Like totally.
  • AelfinnAelfinn Roundabouts that cold chill moving up your spine, NCPosts: 3,857Member
    Originally posted by Gorwe
    I am...sort of like you. I'd like to review games and not produce them as much. Now I am in gutter because, frankly, I don't like colleges and the fact that some dusty grappy professor "teaches" me how should I do things(instead of doing it by preference/trial and error). Everything he can "teach" me, I can read about and understand perfectly(if it interests me ofc). The problem?

    Lack of degree. It's not even my problem, it's the problem of this entire crapsack world:

    Everything is defined through degrees and money nowadays.

    That just makes me...cry. So I don't know sth if some fool doesn't "teach" me???

    OMG. Illuminati won. Like totally.

    An employer does not want to waste more time than is necessary teaching you how to do your job, nor do they want to waste time testing you to see if you actually know what you claim to know. As a result, yes, they are going to be looking for upfront proof of knowledge and skill. That means either having formal training or somehow acquiring equivalent experience on the job. 

    Yes, they are a bit too focused on degrees for at least some jobs, but given that they need to filter out people unsuited to the position somehow, only accepting those that have already made a significant commitment to the field is not an entirely unreasonable position.

    Hell, you've got it easy in that respect. In my chosen field, engineering, self teaching is all but an impossibility. Not least because we need access to special tools, software, and facilities. For that matter, I don't think I would trust a self taught engineer. When we make mistakes, the casualty rates can easily be in the thousands. The Titanic is one particularly famous example.

    P.S. What the hell does a long dead Bavarian political movement that was nearly identical to the American revolutionary front have to do with modern employment standards?

    No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.
    Hemingway

  • CleffyCleffy San Diego, CAPosts: 4,623Member Uncommon

    In a lot of careers, college is not necessary; and employers don't even consider a degree.  They may require certificates, but those are only like 15 weeks long.  The Game Industry is an industry where degree does not matter.  You just have to prove you can be apart of the team.  If you are an artist it means being able to match their art style.  If you are a programmer this means you can program a game.

    The only ones I would consider getting a degree in is Medicine, Science, Engineering, Law, or teaching.

  • AlthewiseguyAlthewiseguy DumfriesPosts: 108Member
    Originally posted by Cleffy

    In a lot of careers, college is not necessary; and employers don't even consider a degree.  They may require certificates, but those are only like 15 weeks long.  The Game Industry is an industry where degree does not matter.  You just have to prove you can be apart of the team.  If you are an artist it means being able to match their art style.  If you are a programmer this means you can program a game.

    The only ones I would consider getting a degree in is Medicine, Science, Engineering, Law, or teaching.

    It's more that a lot of employers will want someone with the skills that come from getting a degree. Rather than the subject of the degree its self these days. It definitely gives someone an edge in many career choices. 

     

    As to the OP. Good luck in following your goals up. I hope you achieve them. 

  • CleffyCleffy San Diego, CAPosts: 4,623Member Uncommon
    I think I live in a different social norm.  When I got my first job before I went to college, the recruiter told me how much he respected working before going to college.  It makes you more focused on the degree.  In my experience with college students, those who have worked for several years first are by far more focused on doing what it takes to get the grade.  Personally, I would not hire someone based solely on a degree.  Experience working shows a lot more promise in being a productive worker.
  • GorweGorwe Ald'RuhnPosts: 2,473Member Uncommon

    @Aelfinn:

    Here: The Bavarian Illuminated Society stopped existing in 1876(I think). They stopped existing under that name only. Also, they moved to America because they were unwelcome in their own country. The myths go that they chose the east coast as their assembly(particularly New York and Washington), tho that part is unknown. What are they called today is unknown as well(Illuminati is just a pop-fiction imo). I assure you that they are still out there-hell one of your own most important presidents(Theodore Roosevelt I think) was mucking around with them(if he wasn't one of them!). Also, the idea of power is clearly theirs:

    Power = Knowledge + Money (they had spades of both)

    And the fact that money has become a common good(lol banks sell you money for money! What a scam!), the money being a ruler of man(instead of other way round) and the constant need to be educated(instead of educate yourself) just proves me right.

    Ultimately, it is he who teaches the younglins how to think and what's expected of them, he controls unthinkable power.

    QED [x]

    edit: Wanted to add that I don't have a beef with Uni. I have a rather large beef with both the Bologne Studying System(I think that's its official name in English) and the political party that shoved that shit in(they are a bunch of thieves). For those who haven't heard of Bologne, it severely harshened studying. Gone is slacking. Gone is learning at your own pace. But you can learn at +100% speed and can get kicked out of College(not sure bout Uni) just because you are not on par with someone's view of excellence(B or gtfo). Really, you mustn't lose more than 20% points-otherwise you get the boot. That's where my beef lies.

    It failed in its own town of origin btw(Bologna). Why are we still using that crap nuggett is beyond me...

  • AelfinnAelfinn Roundabouts that cold chill moving up your spine, NCPosts: 3,857Member
    Originally posted by Gorwe

    @Aelfinn:

    Here: The Bavarian Illuminated Society stopped existing in 1876(I think). They stopped existing under that name only. Also, they moved to America because they were unwelcome in their own country. The myths go that they chose the east coast as their assembly(particularly New York and Washington), tho that part is unknown. What are they called today is unknown as well(Illuminati is just a pop-fiction imo). I assure you that they are still out there-hell one of your own most important presidents(Theodore Roosevelt I think) was mucking around with them(if he wasn't one of them!). Also, the idea of power is clearly theirs:

    Power = Knowledge + Money (they had spades of both)

    And the fact that money has become a common good(lol banks sell you money for money! What a scam!), the money being a ruler of man(instead of other way round) and the constant need to be educated(instead of educate yourself) just proves me right.

    Ultimately, it is he who teaches the younglins how to think and what's expected of them, he controls unthinkable power.

    Not this again

    A.) no evidence that the few surviving members of the Bavarian Illuminati reorganized has ever been presented. The origin of that particular myth was the work of a fiction author that by all appearance did no actual research into the matter.

    B.) This reputation of controlling the people via various means of government manipulation goes against EVERYTHING the original Illuminati stood for. Granted, the goals of an organization can change over time, but the founders of the Illuminati would be absolutely horrified by what you claim they desire and do. Remember that these people were inspired by and a part of the age of enlightenment (that was in fact the source of their name). They strove for freedom for the people, both in political and personal terms, not power.

    No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.
    Hemingway

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