People all around the globe have different hobbies but there is one hobby in particular that according to me stands out the most and that is GAMING. 72% of the total games are above 18 and the age group of 18-35 plays the most video games whereas 21% of the people below the age group of 18 play videogames.

Most of the widely played games include Minecraft, PUBG, DOTA 2 etc. Even battle royale games have been increasing nowadays such as Fortnite, Apex Legends, Firestorm etc.

Career Choices

Therefore the question is what career choices do you have if you are a gamer? There are some career choices which require educational qualifications such as:

  • Game Tester- Though higher education is not a necessity; a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science would be useful. Moreover, the soft skills of a person have to be strong. Some might even pursue optional certifications to be more competitive and a work experience of at least 2 years would be required.
  • Game Developer- First start with an Associate degree for 2 years and then pursue a Bachelor’s degree in computer programming courses which would take 4 years and a strong portfolio is required as well.
  • Game Critic- The most basic approach is to start by writing blogs and articles. Some gaming websites allow you to do so, buy games and review them. Even better if you start video reviews on platforms such as YouTube and Twitch and then once you have your own identity you can approach the game publisher directly to request a free review copy of the game. Some companies prefer popularity over quality and so you might need more visitors on your website or more subscribers/streamers.
  • Professional gamer- Becoming a pro gamer requires a lot of patience and dedication. You need to pick a game that has been established as an Esports, games like DOTA 2, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, League of Legends, Overwatch, Rocket League, Clash Royale etc. Join a good community; make sure you have the right equipment such as a good keyboard, mouse, computer, etc. Keep practicing and become a master at that game, find a team and win a tournament. This not only provides cash prizes but also provides worldwide recognition among the gaming community.
  • Game Animator- Normally one would require a Bachelor’s degree and would have to work with computer graphics, an experience of 2-4 years is required as well and one should be fluent with video production programs like Studio Max, Nero Video etc.

Some recommended courses

  • Bachelor of Technology (B. Tech)- Computer Science and Game Development.
  • Advanced Diploma in Game Programming.
  • Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Digital Filmmaking and Animation.
  • Diploma in Game Design.
  • Master of Science(M.Sc)  in Multimedia and Animation
  • Advanced Diploma in Game Art and 3D Game Content Creation.

Best Institutions for such programs

  • Michigan State University: It provides various courses on Game Design and Development and its college alumni are working for world known companies such as Rockstar San Diego and Microsoft Xbox Team.
  • Toronto Film School: This is one of the most prestigious film schools in Canada and offers programs such as Video Game Design and Development and Video Game Design and Animation.
  • Capilano University:  This University offers a 2-year diploma program in 3D animation for Film and Games and this is Canada’s most successful and powerfully-equipped computer animation facilities.
  • University Center for Technology and Digital Art:  This University offers two relevant master programs- Masters in Game Design and Masters in Art and Visual design.  Over here you can also develop programs on Sony platforms if you want as it a part of the PlayStation First Program.
  • University of California, Berkeley: It provides programs such as C for programmers, Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science, etc and is a very reputed university in the US.

Some Recommended books

  • Blood, Sweat and Pixels by Jason Schreier: This book will give you a glimpse of how the development of video games takes place and how such big titles like The Witcher 3 and Uncharted 4 were created.
  • The Self-Taught Programmer by Cory Althoff: This is a great book for anyone who is interested in coding and will teach you the best practices for a programmer.
  • A Newborn Business: Esports by Zoltan Andrejkovics:  In this book the different aspects of professional gaming industry would be discussed and will answer some common questions as to which is the most popular esports game, what is the average lifespan of an esports game etc.
  • The Complete Guide to Game Audio by Aaron Marks: This book will provide a guide to basic music compositional skills and how to gain recognition as a viable artist.

Job prospects and salary

  • Game Tester: A game tester is someone who tests video games for companies to detect bugs, glitches and flaws before it is released publicly and sends a report of this to the company and must ensure that the game is working smoothly. Video game testers can make around $52,500 per year and as high as $100,000 per year. Starters can make anywhere from $20,000-$36,000 per year.
  • Game Developers: A video game designer designs games for various formats such as consoles, mobile phones, etc and may also develop characters, storylines, designing a smooth UI etc. Game developers start with a salary of around $37,000 to a max of $85,000 per year.
  • Game Critic: A game critic is a person who reviews a game and the reviews is published on websites or in magazines and helps decide the consumers as to which games are worth buying. Their salaries start from a base $26,000 to a highest of $60,000 per year.
  • Professional Gamer:  These are individuals who take gaming seriously and have mastery over a particular game and usually take part in tournaments and esports to earn huge cash prizes, either as individuals or in a team. Their monthly salary ranges from $1,000-$5,000 and the highest paid professional gamers earn up to $15,000. Top prizes in tournaments can be as high as $200,000 and in big and international tournaments the cash prize can be in millions! On top of this some companies also sponsor professional gamers and some professionals also earn $5,000 per month by streaming on various platforms. 

As it is quite obvious that the Gaming industry has a lot of potential and the global gaming market is expected to generate $159.3 billion in 2020. Whether you want to become a professional gamer or a video game tester, the gaming industry sure has a lot to offer and you also have a lot that can be given to the gaming industry. So the next time your parents tell you to put down that controller or your headset, just show them this and they will get convinced that gaming after all is not a waste of time! 

By Rohit Dalal, Hisar

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