Ever since the creation of Pong (for those not in the know, it’s the famous table tennis inspired video game released in 1972 by Atari Inc.), the level of sophistication found in video games has surged forward. Now, entire communities, groups of enthusiasts and even subcultures can be found formed around games.
Featuring ultra-realistic graphics and unique competitive (and even collaborative) aspects, today’s video games attract gamers from different walks of life, including different ages (yup, they’re not just made for kids anymore).
Today’s teens (13- to 17-year-olds) make up 27% of all gamers. Millennials (18 to 34-year-olds) are one generation ahead and they represent 29% of all gamers. However, even older age groups have begun to get in on the fun.
In fact, if you’re an avid gamer, there just might be a career waiting for you in the future. The video game industry is enormous, estimated to be at a whopping $81.5B in 2014. This was roughly double the size of the international film industry. So, it’s no exaggeration to state that there’s loads of money (and plenty of job opportunities) in gaming.
That’s not all. As they work and play, many of today’s gamers are usually also developing skills and qualities that are very much transferrable in many future-ready careers across the board. They aren’t just limited to careers in the video game industry!
Here are just some of the more promising career options that gamers can gear themselves up for.
Market research analysts
Market research analysts are often tasked with designing surveys that can be used to determine prospective customers’ buying preferences. Many businesses in various sectors require this skill and gamers, particularly those interested in strategy games (Dota 2 included) can possibly thrive in such jobs.
These folks use data that they’ve gathered and helped businesses decide which products or services sell best, how much to charge for them and where and how to sell them.
If you have a passion for video games, there’s a high chance you’re also good at problem-solving. Many gamers find puzzles as well as challenging, cryptic enigmas exciting and fun. These same gamers also tend to be very tech-oriented and seem to almost effortlessly finding their way around complicated software and technicalities.
This is why you can find many software developers and computer programmers who are also gamers (and vice versa). With the emergence of a fourth industrial revolution, many industries need talent with good computing skills.
Today’s demand for UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) operators can be found to be extremely healthy. Drones were (once upon a time) probably viewed in much the same way as games once were but today military divisions and a variety of industries (both public and private) need good drone pilots that can help them navigate through the implementation of initiatives and applications.
Piloting a drone is very much like playing a video game. The job requires precise hand-eye coordination, good reflexes and sound technological knowledge. Qualities that are very much associated with avid gamers.
Writing is also in-demand these days. The video game industry (and basically any other sector where there’s marketing involved) has a requirement for good writers with creative ideas and language proficiency in order to communicate those ideas.
Look behind an award-winning game or blockbuster movie and you’ll likely find a skilled writer. As the number of titles in the market increases, gamers with an interest in creative storylines can find a way to excel.
After the digital disruption of many industries, a growing need for a breed of designers who have the skills for technical work will likely be found.
Technical artists that focus on the VFX side of movies and video games, digital architects that create extensive virtual cityscapes via computer-modelling programs and more all rely on a foundation of design. If you’re a gamer, you probably already have the basic gist of visual design (since many video games these days can be found at the cutting edge of aesthetics).
If you are a gamer, you probably already know that the industry is rife with advertising and marketing. Viral video-game advertisers capitalise on tech, special computer programs and other capabilities to enhance their marketing initiatives. Many gamers know their way around creating videos and ad campaigns that are appealing, simply because they are also consumers.
Companies are relying more and more on viral promotion tactics that create hype and build excitement on various platforms. If you know games, advertising may be just the career for you!
As jobs get phased out, look out for new ones. As our technological capabilities transition into the future, putting ‘gamer’ on your resume can actually make employers ‘raise their eyebrows’ but in a good way. It’s a strange, new world we live in and one in which a vast array of career opportunities for people with skills garnered through games that are relevant to the real-world can await.