This past summer, the Career Center hosted a seminar about careers in the video game industry, featuring guest speakers from the gaming company Electronic Arts (EA). Here are the main takeaways from that seminar:
Jobs in the Industry
- Game Designers: come up with the concepts that eventually become video game productions. Collaborate with other members of the development team including artists, programmers, and audio engineers. A computer science background is required for this position.
- Programmers: create the code that converts game designs into instructions video game systems can read to make everything function. A computer science background is required for this position.
- Animators: make the graphics come to life in a video game.
- Artists: draw characters, scenery, and box art.
- Audio Engineers: create/engineer sounds which add depth to the gameplay and atmosphere.
- Voice actors: make a game come to life by voicing characters and narration, adding dramatic value to help in storytelling. Typically a background in voice-over work or acting is required.
- Writers and editors: create the story of a game, and proofread all grammatical errors. A degree in English is usually required.
- Lawyers: deal with copyright, censorship, and distribution rights to make sure everything with the release of a game is legally compliant. Requires a law degree.
- Video Game Testers: test video games to detect bugs and errors in different levels of the game. Work alongside game designers and programmers to ensure that a game works flawlessly before it is released. Education needed for this is a high school diploma with a keen eye for spotting errors and following directions.
Local Job Opportunities
The easiest way to enter into the industry through EA would be the role of a video game tester. Electronic Arts has a testing center in Baton Rouge on LSU’s campus. They have opportunities for both part-time and full-time positions. You must be 17 years of age with a high school diploma, or equivalent. The presenters of the seminar actually started off as videogame testers and have moved up to receivers and EA brand ambassadors.
The video game industry has a wide range of salaries. Programmers make between $44,000 to $80,000 a year. Other non-technical jobs, such as customer service representatives, could make up to $35,000 a year. Videogame testers can expect to start out at $11.00 an hour.
The video game industry is an exciting field that is constantly growing. If you are a person who loves videogames, and would like to work on doing something that you love, then this would be an excellent field to look into. EA has plenty of information listed on their website.
Written by Alvin Coleman