How I Get Paid to Play Puzzle Games Online As a Game Tester
It started roughly 20 years ago. I had a Nintendo Game Boy and did not have a chance to play puzzle games online at that point. However, my Game Boy and I were connected at the hip (or, more accurately, my hands). I played Tetris before school. I played Tetris at lunch. I played Tetris during breaks. I played Tetris at home. I even had one of the Game Boy flashlights to allow me to play Tetris at night when my parents thought I was asleep.
20 years later and it's still the same. I work from home, so I have the advantage (or disadvantage) of being distracted easily without recourse from supervisors. My love for Tetris has shifted to my love for other games – like Bejeweled 2, Super Text Twist, Zuma Deluxe, Plants vs. Zombies and more. I play puzzle games online. I play them a lot.
How this came about was somewhat of a strange story. I was working my last job in accounting and found myself addicted to online gaming to the point where I was playing at work. Well, my manager saw me play puzzle games online and I was quickly fired. This was short term, a horrible experience, but long term, one of the best things to ever happen to me.
Upon spending nearly a year finding a job in accounting, I decided to follow my passion in video games by applying for a game tester – allowing me to play puzzle games online full-time. I will leave the company's name out of this article to keep a bit of anonymity, but you can find a few of them online on websites such as monster.com and jobs.com.
Once I found a pair of companies of interest, I applied to both and then reached out to actual employees from these companies reiterating my passion to play puzzle games online for a profession. One key to my success is that I asked to speak to one in person to find out more about the culture of the company. One tip to point out is that people in the video game industry love to talk about their job (and who can blame them).
So, here I am, living a life that I always dreamed about. A few more tips to entering this profession:
1) Find someone, anyone in the profession and talk to him. It is only natural that he will enjoy talking about this subject – we all do.
2) Apply to the major job hunting companies and explain your expertise in the gaming industry to your best ability. If you have experience, great. If not, do something different with you resume / cover letter to explain your expertise.
3) Compete in contests (local and online) to make connections. These will get your name known.
Best of luck! Maybe someday you will get to play puzzle games online like me too.