Guest post: by Jackie Edwards (Freelance Technology Editor and Writer)

 

If you love the thrill of beating record times at Secret City Adventures’ escape rooms, chances are, your need for speed also finds an outlet in video games!

Video games

Approximately 19 million Canadians play video games and this number is predicted to grow, with the rise of new online, social, mobile, free-to-play and pay-to-play massive multiplayer gaming. Through the use of 3D animation and virtual and augmented reality features, games are achieving a growing sense of immersion in real time and space, with companies competing to create new thrills to enthrall young and adult gamers alike.

With the online and video console games industry currently worth $3 billion, growing numbers of students are considering a career in this exciting sector! But, if you’d like to be part of it, what qualifications would you need?

 

The skills you’ll need:

The best way to understand what top companies like EA, Activision or Nintendo are seeking, is to log onto their career pages. One requirement that is almost compulsory to work in game design these days, is a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in interaction design, 3D design, architecture, or related fields.

The degree of specialization required these days means that it is much harder to break into the industry based on talent or enthusiasm alone. College is a sound investment because it will enable you to build an ample portfolio and provide you with skills in particular subjects. A tertiary education will also offer the opportunity to take up additional subjects that will expand your cultural knowledge – a vital component of telling a good story, especially if a game you are working on is set in another decade or historical setting.

 

Prepare for additional tests:

Obtaining a degree alone is no guarantee that you will make it into a top gaming company, though, and a portfolio of work and interpersonal skills are also crucial.

Some top level companies also have a stringent testing process. For example, it wouldn’t be unusual to expect a group seminar, then a written application, followed by an online test across a range of subjects and finally an on-site interview to prove your worth and commitment. The interview rounds are particularly competitive, as only a small percentage of recruits can be hired.

Although breaking into the video game industry in Canada is very competitive, the chance to work in a highly creative environment could make it the perfect job for those with both artistic talent and an interest in technology!