Many people badly want to prepare for a career in online gaming but are dissuaded by the perceived challenges. While certainly not without challenges, it is an industry that makes for a rewarding pursuit for those who are passionate about technology and gaming.
Whether you’re keen on game development, eSports, or gaming content creation, there are a staggering variety of paths you can take to build a successful career in online gaming.
Below, we’ll explore some key steps you can take to build exactly such a career for yourself.
First Things First
The very first step in building any career, including one in online gaming, is to identify your particular area of interest.
Decide whether you want to work in actual game development, eSports, gaming content creation, etc. Each of these fields require a very different set of skills and offers unique opportunities for growth and success.
- Game development. If you’re interested in the actual development of online games, you will need to acquire skills in programming, coding, game design, and project management. A great starting point would be to learn a programming language like C++ or Python. These will teach you how to build and develop your own mods and games. For more formal training, be sure to consider a degree in game design or computer science.
- Those interested in eSports will need to develop specific skills in competitive gaming. Also, event management and marketing will come in handy. You can start by playing in local tournaments, or even by building a following for yourself on platforms like Twitch and YouTube. A good idea for formal training would be event management or marketing as a degree.
- Content creation. If content creation is your passion, you will need to build skills in writing, video production, and social media marketing. A fantastic starting point would be to create your own gaming content on platforms like TikTok or YouTube. In terms of formal training, a degree in journalism or media production would be a good path to follow.
Build Your Skills & Experience
Once you’ve settled on an area of interest, the next step will be to build skills and gain experience.
This can be achieved in one or more of the following ways:
- Building relationships and networking with other professionals in the online gaming industry
- Learning a new programming language or game engine
- Attending gaming conferences to learn about new trends and tech advances in the online field.
- By building a strong presence through content creation via social media and other platforms
- Become a volunteer at local eSports tournaments or other online gaming events to gain more experience.
The number one key to success is to adopt a mindset of continuous learning and to constantly try to grow in our experience and skills. This will help you to remain competitive in an evolving industry.
Look For Opportunities
Once you’ve developed your skills and level of experience, the next big step is to look for opportunities in the online gaming industry.
Below are a few ideas:
- Apply for jobs at game development studios.
- Consider freelancing as a game developer, content creator or even eSports coach.
- Start your own business in your particular field of interest within the online gaming industry.
- Keep up to date with developments and new opportunities by participating in forums and online gaming communities.
Focus On Growing
Once you’ve found an opportunity, the key to remaining successful is to continue growing your career.
You will achieve this by:
- Continuing to learn and develop new skills.
- Building a strong professional network
- Regularly attending industry events
- Staying up to date with constantly evolving industry trends and technologies
- Be adaptable and be willing to embrace change to keep growing.
The Value Of Curiosity
The online gaming industry is constantly changing and evolving. You just have to look at the growth of eSports or the hundreds of new pokies that are released annually.
Curiosity demonstrates the resourcefulness and passion necessary to learn and adapt to such an environment. Sadly, you cannot be taught curiosity. Often, it is the result of personal passion and a true hunger to learn.
Curiosity means not being satisfied with not knowing. It also means having a desire to improve existing experiences, programs, and products.
Employers in the online gaming industry will often look for certain “curiosity traits” in a prospective employee. Curious minds will often illustrate their curiosity by asking questions about a certain product based on a recent experience or referring to a relevant current event in the industry.
Being curious within the context of a career means not only being qualified and thoughtful, but also being capable of thinking and imagining beyond a specific role.
Learn To Love The Process
In any creative industry, the process of creating is an important aspect of the job.
Even so, it is easy to get bogged down in the details, or even to become overly critical of one’s own work. But this will only lead to discouragement when things don’t go as planned.
This is why it’s so important to fall in love with the creative process – even when it’s challenging.
Here are some reasons why:
- Creativity is very much a journey instead of a destination. Those who work in a creative industry such as online gaming and coding often report becoming solely focused on the end result, i.e., creating a gaming masterpiece. But it’s important to keep in mind that creativity is a journey, not a final destination. In fact, the journey is often much more rewarding than the result.
- It grows resilience. It’s true: the creative process can be utterly unpredictable. There will be times when everything falls automatically into place, and the road seems wide and smooth. But there will also be periods in the process when everything seems to be going south. The important thing to remember is that by learning to love the process, you’ll also learn how to become more resilient when faced with challenges.
- It helps to develop a unique style. It can be tempting to compare yourself and your work to others, but by learning to love the process, you’ll discover you’re much more focused on your own unique style.