Getting Into the Industry, Interview One: Video Games

I have a friend who has a job thousands of people would kill for: he works in video games.
Whenever we’re out and he meets someone new, the conversation inevitably dissolves into a discussion of his job. Even those who hate video games (like me) want to know how he landed a position in such an elusive field.
And I thought, why not give you guys the benefit of his experience? So I interviewed him and, voila, here it is. May it be at least somewhat helpful.
If so, let me know–I’ll conduct some more of these suckers with people in other industries.
Okay, here’s the interview:
Hi, friend! What’s your name?
Ronnie Villanova.
And how old are you?
What’s your current job title?
I’m an Associate Producer.
Oh, cool. And what kind of company do you work for?
It’s a video game company. They make and publish video games.
Wow, that sounds really interesting. Do you like it?
As fun and creative as people think video games might be, my actual job is very corporate and full of red tape, and hierarchies, and meetings, and Excel; lots of Excel. It’s sort of like The Office, except even more socially awkward.
Oh, weird. Well, what are some of the pros and cons of your line of work?
Pro: The job is pretty secure because the video game industry is making more and more money each year.
Con: Now, despite the game industry making billions of dollars, none of that goes into the hands of the regular guys. It mainly goes to pad executive salaries and appease the stockholders. At least, that’s how it has been at the companies I have worked at. Also, you are expected to work overtime and late hours without any real compensation, except for a ten dollar comp meal.
Um, wow, good to know. So, what did you study in undergrad? Would you recommend it?
Actually, I studied creative writing, but I definitely would not recommend it unless you are absolutely sure you want to be a writer. And I doubt there are many 18 year old kids (outside of finance majors) who know what they really want out of life.
Have you gone to grad school? Are you thinking about grad school? Does one even need grad school?!
I’m just going to come out and say it: graduate school is for chumps.
Oh, no offense or anything. But for most people it’s more debt and a useless degree. If you want to go to a secondary school, then pursue doctor/nurse/law schools. Even a master’s in Finance won’t go as far as real work experience. If you are considering graduate school, you might be better off saving up some money, quitting your current job and taking the time to find the right one for you. You may even want to look for an internship.
Okay, tough guy, so after you graduated, what was your next course of action?
After I finished college I took about a year off to write. I told my mom that I wanted to give the writing a shot, and she let me do that while I lived at home. I wound up doing a lot of writing and eating. Once I got fat I decided to get a real job.
Oops. And then what?
My first job was in video games, and my current job is also in video games. So here I am.
Ah. Well, what do you plan to do next?
Probably something reckless and stupid.
Intriguing…hey baby, what’s your sign?
Okay, buster, no one cares about your sign. Do you have any last words of wisdom?
Yeah. Your twenties is the right time to do everything in your power to figure out the career you want. Your thirties is when you should start partying, drinking, and acting stupid, because by then you’ll have the actual money to do so.
Good advice! Thanks a lot for talking to me! I’m sure any video game-hopefuls are very grateful.
Hey, you’re welcome.
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The Pot That Refuses to Melt: Diversity in College
The Pot That Refuses to Melt: Diversity in College
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