When I Grow Up: Glorious Gaming
Why my job is awesome: I literally get to play video games for a living. I can't wait to get to work every day and see the next masterpiece our developers are working on.
An average day on the job: I play a game — sometimes for the Wii, sometimes for the DS — and look for glitches as I go. When I find one, I report it to the game's developers, and they fix it. After a few months of this testing-and-fixing process, a game is ready to ship out for our consumers to enjoy. Although many people wouldn't want to spend eight hours a day or more playing the same game over and over again, I can't get enough!
What I love about my job: I love that I get to be a part of the process that creates such cool video games. It's a great feeling knowing that I helped bring a game from its conception through the testing process and into the hands of kids and adults everywhere.
How I first became interested: Even as a kid, I wanted to work at Nintendo when I grew up. I got my Nintendo Entertainment System for Christmas in 1987 and was instantly hooked. After graduating from college, I needed a job and saw that Nintendo was hiring. I started off as a telephone game play counselor, helping people that were stuck in their games. As soon as I found out that Nintendo offered on-site testing, I knew that was my calling. I've been a full-time product tester for three years now, and it's the greatest job in the world!
When I was a kid, I wanted to be: At first, I wanted to be a cowboy, an astronaut, or a doctor — but that was before I was introduced to video games. At that time, the video game boom was just taking off, so there were tons of new games every month. I quickly forgot about being a cowboy and decided I wanted to be a video game hero — and in a way, I guess I am.
How I became a video game hero: Although I do have a college degree from a four-year university, you don't need one to become a tester at Nintendo. You have to be at least 18 years old, detail-oriented, highly analytical, and skilled in written and oral English communication. And you have to have a love of video games, of course. As you can imagine, a lot of people want the job, so getting hired is the tough part.
What stinks about my job: Since one of the main aspects of my job is to find problems (or "bugs") in the games I play, it's hard to enjoy a video game on my own time without trying to break it. When I'm playing video games at home with friends, I should be having fun — but instead I find myself trying to test them!
My advice to you: Don't give up on your dreams because if you want something badly enough, you can make it happen. When I was a kid, my mom told me that I'd never get anywhere playing video games, but here I am testing games for a living at Nintendo. I still joke with my mom about that one . . .