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8 Careers for Video Game Enthusiasts

8 Careers for Video Game Enthusiasts

The video game industry has come a long way since the days of Pong and Duck Hunt. What was once an industry aimed almost exclusively toward children and teenagers has evolved into a multi-billion dollar entity comparable at times to the movie and television industry. The old mainstay that video gamers are just grown-ups who refuse to put away childish things has been completely obliterated by the fact that millions of successful adults across the globe consider themselves hardcore gaming fanatics. Furthermore, many children who grew up with a love of gaming ended up pursuing a career within the industry, proving nagging parents across the world wrong once more. If you have the talent, passion, and drive to dedicate your life to video games, you might find yourself working as a:

Video Game Artist

Remember when your teacher used to tell you to put away your sketchbook full of awesome cartoons and characters? Take it back out immediately. Every video game needs talented artists to bring the designer’s ideas to life by creating vivid characters and environments from scratch. Game artists also must be able to animate their creations in a life-like manner if they wish to immerse their audience in the world they’ve created. Harnessing your artistic talents to create video game characters can net you around $50,000 yearly.

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Audio Programmer

Audio engineers are responsible for recording a game’s music, sound effects, and voice overs. While this may have been a fairly simply task back in the days of the original Super Mario Bros., nowadays video games include fully orchestrated soundtracks and A-list celebrity character roles, so it’s no easy feat. Audio programmers work tirelessly to create the perfect ambiance throughout a gaming experience. Some of the most accomplished audio programmers can pull in over $100,000 yearly for their work.

Writer

Another position which used to be fairly straightforward, writing for video games has become much more complex throughout the years. Today, video game scripts can be thousands of pages long; and the lines aren’t cookie-cutter, off-the-cuff remarks, either. Writers have to create dynamic characters that react uniquely in different situations while staying true to the essence of their personality. They also are responsible for all of the documentation that comes with a game, such as instruction manuals and in-game menus. The best video game writers in the industry can earn up to a $200,000 salary if their game ends up being successful.

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Game Programmer

If you have a knack for coding, as well as a love for video games, you might do well as a gaming programmer. You’ll work to improve upon previously created engines to enhance gameplay through a variety of facets. While the artists have created the characters and their animations, you’ll be ensuring that the characters are playable and controllable. You’ll also create the artificial intelligence that makes interacting with non-playable characters as realistic as possible. If you’re able to make a designers ideas come to life through a computer screen, you could earn a salary of around $95,000.

Game Designer

Maybe you’re not an artist and you don’t have much experience with computer coding, but you’ve had an amazing idea for a video game ever since you were a child. As a designer, your job is to assemble a creative team that can handle all the specialty work and make your dream game a reality. You’ll describe the characters, the environment, and the overall purpose of the game, and guide your team as they work their magic. As I mentioned in the intro, game design is becoming increasingly complex; you’ll need a college education to get started. But you’ll quickly be reimbursed by the hefty salary you could end up earning.

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Game Producer

As a producer, you’ll put your love of video games in the spotlight. While you’ll definitely have to deal with boring office-related work like budgeting and project management, you’ll also be tasked with promoting your game to the “powers that be” within the gaming industry, as well as the most important people in the industry: the fans. Successful producers can make anywhere from $50,000 to over $100,000 depending on their experience and abilities.

Game Tester

Woo! You actually get to play the game rather than design it! Sounds great, right? Well, it’s really not all fun and games. Think back to your teenage days of working in an ice cream parlor; I bet you never chose ice cream for dessert on your time off, right? Unfortunately, being a game tester is less “having fun playing games all day” and more “inching your way around the environment, taking notes on whether or not you found a glitch in the system.” In it’s simplest terms, imagine having to “play” a level of Super Mario, jumping ten times in one spot, moving forward an inch, jumping ten more times, moving forward again…you get the idea. You won’t make much money, but at least you’ll be doing your part in the industry!

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Professional Gamer

But you definitely can make some major cash playing video games for a living. Of course, you either have to be incredibly talented or extremely entertaining to make it big. Creating Let’s Play videos has left some gamers with more money than they know what to do with. Competitive gamers can also earn hundreds of thousands of dollars through sponsored tournament winnings. So the next time your mom yells at you for all the Dorito crumbs and Mountain Dew stains on your couch cushions, show her this article to get her off your back…maybe.

Featured photo credit: rachel takes a break from playing video games with nick – _MG_3350 / sean dreilinger via farm4.staticflickr.com

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Last Updated on December 10, 2019

7 Strategies to Keep Employee Motivation High

7 Strategies to Keep Employee Motivation High

Highly motivated employees are essential to the success of any business. Most people spend a third of their lives at work.[1] That’s a significant amount of time away from home, apart from the people who make us happy and the things we love to do. So keeping employee motivation high is essential for creating an office environment that gets the best out of our people.

But do you know what motivates your people?

It’s simple:

  • Is their work stimulating?
  • Does it challenge them?
  • Is there room to grow, a promotion perhaps?
  • Do you encourage creativity?
  • Can they speak openly and honestly with you?
  • Do you praise them?
  • Do you trust your staff to take ownership of their work?
  • Do they feel safe in their work environment?
  • And more importantly, do you pay them properly?

Every one of these factors contributes to the general happiness of your employees. It’s what motivates them to come into the office each day and work hard, hit goals, and get results.

In contrast, an unmotivated employee is typically unhappy. They take more sick days, they’re not invested in seeing your business succeed, and they’re always on the lookout for something better.

Stats show that 81 percent of employees would consider leaving their jobs today if the right opportunity presented itself.[2] So it’s up to you to set aside time and energy to create a work environment that benefits every one of your employees.

These seven strategies will help you motivate your people to consistently deliver quality work and, more importantly, to stick around for the long term.

1. Be Someone They Can Rely On

You rely on your people to turn up to work each day, to come to you when they have a problem they can’t solve, to be honest, and to always engage professionally with customers.

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But this is not a one-way street. You, too, need to be someone your team can rely on. They trust you to have their backs when a client is unreasonable, to know that the decisions they make are in your best interest, and to make good on your promises.

If you say you’ll attend an important meeting, be there. If your company makes a profit and you’ve said you’ll pay a bonus, pay it. The goodwill of your people is something you never want to test, let alone lose.

Be reliable; it’s astounding how much this motivates your people.

2. Create an Awesome Company Culture

There’s no denying that company culture trickles down from the top. Your leadership and attitude massively influences the attitudes, work ethic, and happiness of your staff. If you’re always stressed-out, overly demanding, and unreasonable, it’ll create tension in your office which will adversely affect your employees’ motivation levels.

In fact, the HAYS “US What People Want Survey” found that 47 percent of staff who are actively looking for a new job, pinpoint company culture as the driving force behind their reason to leave.

So if you have high staff turnover, you need to determine whether your company culture might be the motivating factor behind your churn rate.

Here are four ways to build a culture that keeps your employees highly motivated.

  • Be conscious of the image you present. Your body language and attitude can positively or negatively impact your employees. So come to work energized. Be optimistic, friendly, and engaging—this enthusiasm will spill over to your people and motivate them to be more productive and efficient.
  • Appreciate your people and be reasonable. Celebrate your team’s achievements. If they’re doing a good job, tell them. Encourage them to challenge themselves and try new things. And reward when deserved. If they’re struggling, help them. Work together to find solutions and be a sounding board for their ideas.
  • Be flexible. Give your people opportunities to work remotely—this is highly motivating to staff, particularly millennials. They don’t want to be battling traffic each day on their way to work. They don’t want to miss their kids’ baseball games or ballet rehearsals. Stats show that companies that offer flextime and the ability to work from home or a coffee shop have happier and more productive employees.
  • Create employee-friendly work environments. These are spaces that inspire and ignite the imagination. Have you ever been to Google’s offices? No headquarter is the same. From indoor slides and food trucks, to hammocks, and funky work pods on the wall, gaming rooms, and tranquil interior gardens, there’s something for everyone. It’s a space where people want to be, catering to their need for creativity, quiet, or team building; you name it.

So take a look at your company culture and ask yourself, Is my business an attractive workplace for talented professionals? Does it inspire commitment and motivate my people? What could I do to improve my company culture?

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3. Touch Base with Your Team Weekly

Make time for your people, whether you run a remote business or work in an office, set aside time each week to talk to your people one-on-one. It’s non-negotiable.

When there’s an open line of communication between staff members, work gets done. Don’t believe me? A study by Gallup found that 26 percent of employees said feedback from their leaders helps them to do a better job.[3]

Your people want to feel trusted. They want to take ownership of their work, but they also need to know that when they have a question, they can reach out and get answers. If you’re unwilling to make yourself available, your team will quickly become unmotivated, work will stagnate, and your business will stop growing.

So block off time on your calendar each week to touch base with your people, even if only to let them know that what they’re working on matters.

4. Give Them the Tools They Need to Do Their Jobs Well

Imagine trying to run your business without electricity. How would you contact your clients? What would happen when your phone or computer battery died?

Technology is super critical to the success of your businesses. It allows you to work more efficiently, to be more productive, and to handle matters on-the-go. That’s why you need to give your people tools that will make their jobs easier.

Make sure their equipment is in good working condition. There’s nothing more frustrating than a laptop that takes ages to boot up. It’s got to go. Replace outdated software with new software. Don’t make your designer work in Coreldraw; give them access to the most up-to-date version of Adobe Creative Suite. Take it a step further and buy them a subscription to Shutterstock or Getty Images.

Make working for you a pleasure, not a pain; and watch your employees’ motivation levels rise.

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5. Provide Opportunities to Learn and Upskill

Would you believe me if I told you that 33 percent of people cite boredom and a need for new challenges as the top reason for leaving their job?[4] If you want to retain your talent, you need to upskill.

Thanks to technology, we live in a rapidly evolving world that demands we change with it. A copywriter is no longer just a writer; they now need to be experts in SEO, Google Adwords, CRMs, and so much more.

A pastry chef needs to be a food stylist, photographer, and social media manager. An entrepreneur needs to be a marketer—or at least take ownership of the marketing message for their business—if they hope to scale.

Technology makes all of this possible. No matter your location, your people can continuously expand their knowledge and gain new skill sets—something that’s highly motivating to employees. They want to know that there are opportunities to grow and develop themselves.

If you won’t invest in your people, then your business becomes just another job to tide them over until they find where they truly belong. So be the company that sees value in developing its people.

6. Monitor Their Workload

Overworked employees tend to be unproductive and unhappy. Your people cannot be at full capacity every day, month to month. Something’s got to give. They’ll become deflated and their work will eventually suffer, which will negatively impact your business.

What I like to do is implement a traffic light system. It helps me to keep a finger on the pulse of my business. So there’s red, yellow, and green:

  • Red means they’re fully loaded.
  • Yellow means they’re busy, but they can potentially take on more.
  • Green means they haven’t got enough to do.

I use this traffic light system because I don’t want my team members to be stressed out of their brains all the time. If they are, they won’t make good decisions and they won’t do good work.

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If my people are regularly overloaded, I have things to think about. Perhaps I need to hire a new person to help ease the load or take a closer look at what projects are good to go, and which can take a back seat.

And this is why #3 is essential. If I’m regularly engaging with my people, I’ll know that while they’re coping with their workload, it is impacting their performance and health, and I’ll take action.

7. Don’t Mess Around with Your Employees’ Pay

Never mess around with your people’s salary. As a business owner or high-level manager, it’s easy to forget that most people live from paycheck to paycheck. Delayed compensation can mean a missed bill payment, which could result in costly penalties they can’t afford or hits to their credit score.

So it’s your job to ensure that you pay your people on time.

The Bottom Line

A motivated team is an asset to any business. These people never give up. They get excited about coming to work each day and can’t wait to test a new theory or tackle a particularly tricky challenge. They’re proud of the work they do. And more importantly, they have no reason to leave.

Wouldn’t you rather be part of their success story than the business that drove them away?

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Featured photo credit: Emma Dau via unsplash.com

Reference

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