Many people, both young and old fantasize about the idea of creating, testing, and being paid to play video games – may it be console or PC focused. This fantasy has been mentioned time and time again across people of all walks of life – probably since the creation of the Atari, or earlier.
Unfortunately, statistically speaking there are far more qualified individuals to get into the realm of gaming-programming or computer sciences than there are for corporate or organizational opportunities and small businesses to fulfill such career roles.
Due to this, two variables pop-up (no pun intended). The first variable is that statistically speaking, in consideration of the history of recent technology, those that are innovators, creative, and come up with original ideas through self-taught programming languages typically become the most successful within such a field.
Rather than a field, in fact, one might consider it more of a self-independent or “contracting” type role – similar to writing and the “career’ of being an author. Instead of being paid to write (aside from blogging) the individual is really on his or her own to create and publish books, accumulate the costs on his or her own along the way, and come up with grants or funding for such an idea or innovation. On a side-note, this might indicate a significant value for pursuing relevant education in this area, as many universities provide such grants in some instances. Back to the book-author or writing analogy, the same concept and theory can be applied to those seeking to get into the gaming industry.
The second and last variable or consideration for obtaining the most relevant degree to get into the video game industry would be to “play it safe” by pursuing and achieving either a degree in Computer Science, Computer Programming, or IT. The reason for this, is that – aside from videogame technical schools or certifications – said degrees open the doors for various other career opportunities as well, just in case the “video game industry” doesn’t work out for them – always have a Plan B, C, and D.
While computer programming and computer sciences are quite relevant and necessary, it’s not to say that a college education is necessarily the solution or only way to get into the video-game industry or to create your own. Such aspirations involve a great deal of hard-work, commitment, and rigor.
As a ‘last-ditch’ option, one might consider the value of getting into a video-gaming firm and starting from the bottom, such as a Level I programmer or even administrative role, and then slowly accumulating education and experience to one day pursue and possibly obtain the right to develop or test videogames within that – or another – firm.