So, you like to spend countless hours in front of a screen, gaming till your thumbs get numb? Maybe not, but you’re passionate enough about this sector of technology. If that excitement brings you to want to enter the video game industry, brace yourself for a fun but intense interactive ride. You may not have sat through the “So You Want to Get into Gaming” panel at <a href="http://www.blackenterprise.com/2012/04/09/pax-east-2012-fitness-in-the-palm-of-your-hand/">PAX East 2012</a>, so here are four tips to breaking into the gaming industry:–<em>Tamika Moultrie</em>
<strong>Get Your Foot in the Door</strong><br><br>
While it’s great to aim high, realize it takes time to land your dream job. At PAX East 2012, <strong>AJ Glasser</strong>, managing editor at <a href="http://www.insidenetwork.com/" target="_blank">Inside Network</a>, advised current and aspiring gaming professionals to look for various opportunities at the company they see themselves at. Even if the job isn’t in the department you want, it’s a start. Your ideal job is to be a lead designer, but don’t pass up an entry-level position.
<strong>Secure an Internship </strong><br><br>
You’re interested in the gaming industry, but don’t know exactly what sector you’d fall into? An <a href="http://www.blackenterprise.com/2011/10/06/intern-like-a-ceo-6-tips-for-maximizing-your-internship-experience/">internship</a> is geared towards helping you figure that out. While you may discover what you’re most passionate about, you’ll also see what you definitely don’t want to do.
<strong>Create Your Own Experience</strong><br><br>
Don’t wait for an internship to begin gaining experience in the gaming industry. If your passion is reporting or writing about video games, pen articles on your very own blog or website. Aspiring public relations and marketing professionals: Volunteer to draft press releases for indie game developers or promote their content across the web. Game developers on the rise can create mods of their favorite video games, or take things a step further by drafting concept ideas for new games. Visual artists can keep busy by testing their creative skills via poster designs and physical prototype models.<br><br>
<strong>Dan Amrich</strong>, social media manager at <a href="http://www.activision.com/atvihub/home.do" target="_blank">Activision</a>, provided several helpful tips during the panel. “Challenge yourself. Go into an interview and always think about what you can exhibit. Show how you can help their company.”
<strong>Narrow Down Your Interests & Hone In On a Profession </strong><br><br>
A career in gaming spans beyond the well-known jobs like video game programmer, audio engineer or technical support specialist. Have you thought about a career in communications, but specific to the video game industry? If so, you may want to try your hand at public relations, marketing, creative writing or journalism.<br><br>
Visual artists can fall into one of several careers from lead designer (one or more individuals who ensure the teams vision is executed throughout the game) and concept artist (producing a bevy of art, such as drawings, sculptures and storyboards) to modelers (based on concept art, build 3D characters and environments) and animators (who generate movement for the objects and characters in the game). Besides having a strong background in art, video game design hopefuls should also be well versed in basic math concepts.<br><br>
If you’re passionate about coding, video game programming might be the right fit. Any one of these programmer jobs—lead, artificial intelligence, graphics, network, physics, tools and user interface—will build video games from the ground up. Those interested in creating audio for games should consider audio design, audio engineering, and audio programming. Each position will require processing all of the games files, including dialogue and music.