How can I get a job testing video games from home (and avoid getting scammed)?

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In this episode of Game Industry Career Guide Podcast, I answer a question from Autrey, who wants to know how she can get a job testing video games from home, but also avoid getting ripped off by a game testing scam?

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • Why it’s hard to find video game testing jobs that let you work from home
  • How to identify game testing websites that are actually just scams trying to rip you off
  • How you can quickly learn how to test games and apply for the best jobs as a video game tester

If you have a question you'd like to get answered on the podcast, leave a comment below or ask me anything here.

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Hello and welcome to the Game Industry Career Guide podcast, episode number two. I am Jason W Bay from Today I’m answering a question from a reader named Autrey about getting a job as a video game tester. Autrey asks “I’m in high school now and I was thinking about getting a part time job as a game tester working from my home. I was wondering if you could point me in the direction of a good game tester website for people who want to test from their home, because I do not want to run across a scam website.”

Yes, Autrey. I do know what you mean. There are a lot of scam websites out there for video game testing and I’ll talk about those in just a second. But first I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I have to tell you Autrey that game testing from home isn’t really a thing. There are some companies out there for example there’s a company called VMC that you can sign up with to do a from home beta testing, which is different than being a game tester as a career. But as far as I can tell that’s not actually a full time job. It’s just a couple of hours a month that they have you try out new games and that’s if they even call you. A lot of the message boards that I’ve read have people saying that they never got a call back after they applied to VMC. So that’s more something you might do just for fun, but it’s not a career, it’s not a full time job. It’s not even what I would call a part time job because it might only be a couple of hours a month.

But if you’ve done any research on game testing on the Internet, you’ve probably seen that there are quite a few websites out there that are saying that they can hook you up with a job testing games. And they will do that for a price. For example, they might ask you to pay $49 a month or they might ask you to pay for some sort of a signup fee to help you get these jobs. You probably have got the feeling that these websites are scams. They look pretty polished and they look pretty sleek, but most of the people I’ve talked to that have run across these websites, it just doesn’t feel right. And I think the reason it doesn’t feel right it’s because it seems too good to be true. That you could make a living just doing what you do every day, playing games.

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There are really sleek websites out there. There’s even websites that have testimonial videos of attractive people saying things like “I didn’t believe it either at first. But now I’m making $40,000 a year just playing video games on my sofa.” So if you heard that and it sounded too good to be true, you were right. It’s not true. It’s actually a scam. They are just going to try to take your money, and you’re probably not going to make that money back. So if anybody ever asks you to give them money to give you a job as a tester, that is not legit. Because game testing is just a normal job like any other job. You don’t have to pay somebody to apply. You just need to find the jobs, and apply to those jobs and send in your resume and interview just like any other job. There’s no secret gate keepers that you have to pay to be able to apply. So don’t ever give anybody any money to help you apply for these games. You just don’t need to. It’s just not legit.

However there really just aren’t any work from home game testing jobs out there. Why is that? It’s because game companies and game testing companies they want their workers to be in their office, just like they want their programmers to be in the office, and their designers to be in their office, and the producers to be in their office, and the artists to be in their office. That’s just how companies work. Making video games is a team based effort, and they need their team to be together in one place so that they can collaborate and communicate, and honestly to make sure that you’re not screwing around. To make sure you’re actually doing the work. But I get these questions all the time at my Game Industry Career Guide website. How do I get a job? Where do I find a job? How do I apply? How can I do this? So many people are interested in doing it.

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Fortunately, I actually started my own video game career as a tester. I started in the testing department of a company called Knowonder back in 2001. So I have a lot of experience testing games, I know a lot of people that test games, and so to answer all of these questions about game testing all at once I wrote a book. It’s called Land a Job as a Video Game Tester. Now, if you go to look for this book on Amazon or on iBooks or anywhere else that you buy e-books, it’s a downloadable e-book, there are even scummy testing books out there. And you’ll know they are scummy because: a) They sound too good to be true and b) They are written by people that won’t give you their real names. They are using pen names like Gamer X or Swaggy Beta. These people didn’t even want to put their real name on their book. So my real name is on my book. So just look for Land a Job as a Video Game Tester by Jason W Bay. That’s my name.

It talks about how to find bugs. So it’ll teach you how to find bugs. It will teach you how to write bug reports using the most popular tracking software. It will talk to you about where to look for good legitimate testing jobs, and it will teach you how to do everything you need to apply for the job, make a resume, interview and accept only the good job offers. So there you have it, go look for the book if you’re interested in doing game testing. It’s called Land a Job as a Video Game Tester.

Thanks to Autrey for that question. It’s a really good question, and thank you for listening. That wraps it up for this episode of the Game Industry Career Guide podcast. If you want more information and inspiration about getting a job in video games, go to my website, and I will see you next time right here on the Game Industry Career Guide podcast. Take care.

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