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Video Game Tester Career – “Greatest Job On the Planet” (Interview)

by Marc Luber

Video game tester career is the “greatest job on the planet” according to today’s guest, video game producer Aaron Roseman. Whether you just want to get paid to test video games or you’re looking to do video game quality assurance as a stepping stone into the industry, you’ll learn a lot watching this interview with Aaron.

VIDEO INTERVIEW (See Transcript below)

Today’s Guest

Aaron RosemanGuest: Aaron Roseman
Current Job: Associate Producer at Major Game Developer
College Major: Screenwriting & Film Production
College: Cal State Northridge in Northridge, CA
High School: Milken Community High School in Los Angeles, CA
First Job Ever: Courtesy clerk at Ralph’s grocery store
Worst Job Ever: See first job ever!


Video Game Tester Career

Aaron shares video game tester requirements and explains that anyone can do this job. You have to be persistent to get it, but once you get it he says a video game tester career doing video game quality assurance is the best stepping stone into any careers in video games. BE SURE NOT TO MISS our full interview with Aaron about careers in video games! If you’re looking for a great industry resource, check out GamesIndustry.biz.

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TRANSCRIPT OF TODAY’S INTERVIEW

Aaron is here not as a representative of his employer but as an individual who loves games, fought his way into the video games industry and today is an Associate Producer, working on some of the best known games out there.

Careers Out There Host Marc Luber: Our guest today is Aaron Roseman, and he’s a video game producer with one of the top video game developers in the world. Aaron, welcome to Careers Out There.

Video Game Producer Aaron Roseman: Marc thanks for having me on your show.

Careers Out There Host Marc Luber: Absolutely. Thanks for being here. Let’s get to what I think so many people want to know – which is how do you break in?

Careers Out There Host Marc Luber: Let’s get to what I think so many people want to know – which is how do you break in?

Video Game Producer Aaron Roseman: I’d say the best way to do it is to apply for a job as a video game tester.

Luber: As a tester!

Aaron: Start in QA and work your way up from there.

Luber: QA is quality assurance?

Aaron: Yes, QA stands for quality assurance and that’s essentially a video game tester. The greatest job on the planet guys – and girls!

Luber: So you sit and play and complain about what’s not working right essentially?

Aaron: I wouldn’t say complain. You find bugs in a game. There’s a million games out there people – there’s so many games – and there are testers for everything. If you’re gonna become a tester, don’t always think that you’re gonna become the tester on the world’s coolest game and you’re gonna get on Halo and be on that team playing multiplayer all day. Yes, you do that and you play a lot of multiplayer but as a tester there’s a lot of bug writing – a lot of form filling – a lot of late hours and a lot of sitting in front of a TV not moving and playing the same game for several months on end – it’s not 1, 2, 3, 4. It’s like 5, 6, 7 months, depending on the project and what you’re doing. It can be a really tedious job at times but it is probably the best way to get in to the industry.

Luber: And what does someone have to do to get that job? Can they be anybody? Do they have to have worked in the video game world in some way?

Aaron: Great question Marc! In my experience anybody can be a tester. Just have a resume, have basic computer knowledge, shower – showering is a plus – that’s always a plus in QA – you’ve gotta know how to play videogames. You’ve gotta know how to play games. It’s their job to break the game, crash the game, see what sort of weird graphical issues they can occur, making sure that the lighting looks well, the characters don’t run into walls, the game doesn’t crash, that everything sounds well. It’s kind of like a movie production, Marc. You’ve got your lights, your camera, gotta make sure the camera works, gotta make sure the lights work. The controls are responsive. And it’s QA’s job to look out for all these things. They’re hired because they’re supposed to be the best of the best game players.

Luber: And so then someone does that and then they prove themselves by taking the job seriously, then they can move up?

Aaron: Exactly. But it’s not just that – it’s – a QA is kind of like a make-or-break position as well. The truth is it’s a really serious position and from production, personally, I expect the best out of my testers but if you stick to it and show a real dedication to just like loving games, you know, good things – good things can happen – just be enthusiastic, be happy about it, don’t be a giant kiss-ass.

Luber: If getting into QA is the key thing and people want to break in, how can they get in to QA in the first place/ What’s the best way for someone whether they’re sitting in Iowa or Nebraska right now or they already live in NY, or LA or Austin, TX. What can they do to do that role?

Aaron: Oh man. A lot – you could do – to do that role essentially – to get into QA – have a resume and go to a publisher or developer’s website and see if they have positions open. That’s what I did. I went for interviews and I totally bombed the interviews and I never got those jobs in QA and I was so upset. I was so disappointed. But I just kept persisting. Don’t give up – and even if you can’t get in as a tester, my best advice is just somehow try and stay involved in the games industry. My knowledge was then expanded when I worked at a game shop. Like at this mom and pop store – the Games for Less. I’d get paid to sell games and play games.

Luber: So would you recommend to a kid in high school right now who’s a big gamer but not quite probably able to get that QA job, he or she should start in a store?

Aaron: I definitely recommend starting in a store – if there’s a store that’s hiring, get a job there – the people who work in a store are always a colorful cast of characters – it’s always so much fun. I recommend if you can do it go to the mom and pop store – because usually they don’t sell just the new games they sell games from all generations and if you’re in a store like that you have the opportunity to play – like I said – everything. The other thing that I did – when I was younger – when I was like 12, 13, 14- what I would do is I’d go to different software developers whether it was Microsoft or some small game studio and then I’d literally just look for an email address or see if they had any type of beta center or some sort of testing. In the case of the game studios, I actually got a couple of betas for these cool games that never saw the light of day. You just email somebody there and be like, “hey I’m really interested – I saw your website – I saw this small game you’re working on – if you need somebody to help test It, I’m your man – I’ll help you write these bugs – I’d love to do this.” Just try and get your hand in there or your foot in there anyway you can – just get experience.

(C) 2010 Careers Out There

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  • Sivan

    Aaron Roseman is my hero.

  • Sidhant Gandhi

    people would complain that video game testing would get boring as you got older, but as you get older you can move into higher positions within the company and not just test games all day. I think this careers is definitely a fun and fulfilling choice

  • Pingback: Careers In Video Games Are “Pretty Awesome” | Careers Out There()

  • Sphullar Legend

    hi guys i have this great passion for playing games  i would like to know how do i go about in becoming a Video game tester? i live in South Africa.

  •  Hi Sphullar – Thanks for your question.  I’m afraid we’re focused on careers in the U.S. here.  Aaron shares how to break in to careers in video games  and a video game tester career in the full version of the interview which you can find here: http://careersoutthere.com/careers-in-video-games-are-pretty-awesome/. Perhaps you can try applying his suggestions to companies in South Africa.  Good luck!

  • Nathan Escott

    i love video games i want 2 b a video game tester

  • collen

    where do i sign up

  • Ha! Sounds like you’re ready to go @disqus_IVSJZoYfSx:disqus. Aaron shares more detailed advice in the full video called “Careers In Video Games Are Pretty Awesome.” Link is above under “Related Videos.”

  • Josh

    Hi I have always loved to be about to be a game tester, I am 19 and live in Georgia, and would like to be able to get started… Can you help?

  • Hi @4da7649c66e4a6d865cdfae1cfa3c77c:disqus. Best way we can help is to have you watch the video above and the full video on the video game careers that we link to where it says Related Posts. You can also read the transcripts that come with the videos. That will help you figure some things out. Good luck.

  • Jack

    Is this available in any way in the U.K? It is my dream job!

  • Hi @Jack – there are videogame companies in the UK, so I’m sure there must be jobs like this. Using LinkedIn to research what is in your area would be a great place to start.

  • Katy Phelan

    how can you trust any website that yeah do you want to be a video game tester but they always want money from you .?????

  • Hi @katyphelan:disqus – I suppose it depends on who is offering the video game testing opportunity. You can research to make sure the company is legit before deciding to do testing for them.

  • Lee Pride, Jr.

    Would working at a place like Gamestop or Hastings be a good start in route to becoming a QA tester? I’m a 20 year old college freshman that’s taking a break from college and entering the workforce for awhile because of finances. I always thought graduating with a degree in computer science was the only option that I had in order to be a game designer/producer, but after watching that video it really opened my eyes and gave me hope that I not only can work in the game industry doing something that I truly love and have been doing since I was walking, but that I can also do it without having the extra worry of having to pay off my school debt for years until I’m stable again. I know Aaron said in his video that he worked at Games 4 Less, but I don’t think we have one of those in the south central area (Texas and Oklahoma). So where should I start in like a gamestop or some other game shop or do I keep going to school working towards a computer science degree, even though it’ll probably break my pocket book and keep me from being able to get and do nice things?? What should I do?

  • Hi Lee. Only you know your own financial situation, so I can’t really comment on that. What I can say is that a computer science degree will probably do a lot more to help your future than a part-time job at Gamestop. A huge percentage of people who love playing video games think they want to work in the video game business. Playing games and working in the business are 2 different things. A computer science degree could be used in a wide variety of paths, whether you take that into the gaming industry or something totally unrelated. You should research the different careers that people do with your degree and see what day-to-day activities really happen in those jobs…and which of those make a good match with your talents AND your interests. There will probably be a longer list than just jobs in gaming. You also want to look at what those jobs pay – because you’re saying that college will break your pocket book – so you want to see how marketable your degree would be, what you could get paid for it, and how long it would take to pay off school. Aaron didn’t talk about the brutal hours in the industry but the people at the good gaming companies work their butts off. Some conclude that they’d rather make money doing other kinds of work and just keep doing gaming as a hobby…and have the time and money to enjoy it! If you’ve researched gaming careers and are sure it’s what you want, then working at Gamestop sounds just as good as Games 4 Less…but it doesn’t mean you have to quit school to work there. Aaron used it as a way to learn and to make contacts to break in. He still went to college. So it sounds to me like you still have a lot of research to do. Good luck!

  • Cookiemonsta Angie

    so many people say gaming is boring…. but its an escape from reality i have been a huge gamer since i was 6 and its actually shaped my life!! i play 2hrs aday cause i have nothing else to do haha but you are honestly amazing and the job u have is to die for <3 i wanna become a game designer!!! I LOVE YOU!!! haha

  • David Rojas Elbirt

    I have a cousin from Santa Cruz Bolivia, who’s a genius playing and excelling at any game. He finds ways to crack all games and also to find the faults and bugs.
    Do you have any way to test his skills and use his messi-like talent to get new design and usability insights?
    My whatsapp: +591 77300286
    PS: I just can’t believe how good he is at any game he gets his hands into.