Video games are a gateway through which you can explore the world or even the universe. They help players hone their logic skills, improve coordination and connect with others socially, and they are also a lot of fun to play. Students interested in pursuing careers in the video game industry often find that completing an advanced degree, such as an online Master of Communication Management, can prepare them for various careers in the video game industry.
Video Games and Communication
Video games and communication go hand in hand, as video games have transformed how people interact with one another. For example, online multiplayer games allow players of various ages, genders and cultures to come together and work toward a common goal. Consequently, the video game industry needs skilled communications experts to create engaging storylines that encourage collaborative play.
Whereas video game developers, graphic designers and animators are needed to create games, communications professionals are needed to craft the underlying stories, write dialogue for various characters and translate text into other languages so that games can be marketed to an international audience.
How to Work in the Video Game Industry
Students researching how to work in the video game industry are likely to find that completing a degree in computer science, design, communications or a related field can provide them with the skills and proficiencies needed to pursue careers within this field.
Individuals interested in breaking into the video game industry can also benefit from gaining relevant work experience, such as video game company internships, and building a portfolio that showcases examples of their best work. For example, applicants who plan to pursue video game writing jobs can start a gaming blog and add posts that have gotten the most likes, shares and reader interactions to their portfolios.
Networking can also be beneficial for aspiring video game communications professionals. In addition to making connections and joining groups on LinkedIn, students may benefit from attending industry conferences, such as the Game Development Global Summit, the Games for Change Festival and MeetToMatch.
Careers in the Video Game Industry
Graduates of an online Master of Communication Management program often find that they’re well prepared to pursue a variety of communication-related careers in the video game industry. Sample career paths are video game writer, blogger, game tester, translator and consultant.
Video Game Writers
Ever played a role-playing game (RPG) with a story that brought you to tears? That’s thanks to the writers who crafted that tearjerker tale. Video game writers need a firm command of language and an ear for dialogue. They must also possess strong interpersonal communication skills because video game writers work with developers, designers and others to ensure that every element of a game comes together to form a cohesive final product.
Some people may dismiss blogging as “not a real job,” but it can become a career for those who play it right. Video game journalists must stay abreast of the buzz in the video game industry. What are the hottest games on the market? How do you access that secret level? Did you hear about the glitch that lets you walk through walls? Writing about such topics and sharing additional insights can help a blogger earn a reputation as a video game expert. However, be patient: Becoming a video game blogger may require working your way up in the field, starting with contributing articles to established blogs while you gain a following for your own site.
Working as a video game tester may seem like all fun and games — and, in fact, it’s mostly games — but it’s not a lazy-Sunday-afternoon kind of gaming. Video game testers must have the patience to play through every part of a game to uncover flaws and inconsistencies. Game testers may even have to suffer through games they don’t find entertaining to provide invaluable feedback to developers.
If you speak more than one language, that skill, along with your communication degree, can make video game translation the perfect opportunity for you. When a game crosses international borders, it has to be ready to appeal to its new audience. Game companies need translators who understand not only the languages but also the cultures where they’re spoken. That’s because a literal translation can sometimes lose the flavor and meaning of the original story.
Video game testers deal mostly with the technical aspects of how a video game works. By contrast, consultants test out a game’s human factor. A competent consultant “can help game companies by providing feedback on key gameplay decisions and even shape public relations plans.” Before a game hits the market, consultants provide insight on possible reactions to the game’s features and story.
Pursue the Career You Want
The video game industry is exciting, fast-growing and highly competitive. Consequently, individuals interested in pursuing jobs in the field must start by acquiring the skills needed to set themselves apart from other applicants.
Do you want to transform video games from a hobby to a profession? If so, discover how earning an online Master of Communication Management from USC can equip you with the knowledge and skills required to pursue careers in the video game industry.