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Sponsored: How to maximise your potential in your gaming career

 

The gaming industry is diverse and growing, filled with career progression opportunities. Would you know how to get started, though?

If you love nothing more than getting home, plugging yourself into a network, and chatting to friends as you pick up where last night’s game left off, shutting yourself away from the world for a while as you immerse yourself in the latest RPG, or spending your time dreaming of the day when your big gaming idea becomes a reality, then it may be time to take that first step into your career. It’s true that some people may roll their eyes and tell you that gaming ‘isn’t a proper career’, but the truth is that the gaming industry is a multi-million pound sector, and you could be earning your slice of that, simply by doing what you do best.

Turning your hobby into a career

So, what should you be doing to maximise your potential in the world of gaming? First things first: play. If you really want to succeed as a gamer, make sure you’re familiarising yourself with the latest releases, different platforms, and taking the time to join others in MMORPG settings. We often learn as much from other people as we do by ourselves, so make sure you’re taking the time to communicate with the gaming community. Secondly, it’s time to build yourself a portfolio – dive into as many opportunities as you can, and learn a few basic skills, such as programming. The gaming industry is looking out for those who know what they are talking about, and while you may talk the talk, can you walk the walk? Watch the professionals at play, make a note of every idea you have, no matter how minor, and invest in some really good gear. Your potential to succeed in the gaming industry will only go as far as you push it – so push it hard.

The question of university

While it’s true that a degree in computer sciences, or something similar, is not necessary for pursuing your dream career, it can certainly help. It’s important to make sure that your skills and qualifications, as well as experience, match your dream job, and for some, this means university.

However, there is one major disadvantage to university as we see it, and that is cost. As a lowly gamer fresh out of school, there’s a good chance that you’re not rolling in thousands of pounds to be spent on a degree. Meanwhile, your better-off contemporaries may be toddling off to Oxford, leaving you wondering if it’s all worth it. The league tables have played a huge part in this socioeconomic divide, dictating which universities are better favoured by certain industries. Don’t worry, though, you’re not the only one to have noticed….

“Something is wrong. The league tables, as constructed, are more a reflection of socio economic determinants as resource privilege than about the real quality and value added that a university can bring to its students”, muses Professor George Holmes, the vice chancellor of Bolton University. He’s right, you know; many industries are still favouring the academic establishments that accept the high-ranking spots in these league tables, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should bankrupt yourself attempting to be accepted, or give up your dream.

The experiences you have while you’re living and gaming away from home can be a tremendous starting block for your career. Instead of worrying about how a university may look on their application, lower-income students should embrace the opportunities they’re stumbling over, focus their passion, and be prepared to work hard. The gaming industry rewards passion and drive, so make sure you’re excelling.

Whether it started out as a hobby and quickly became something more, or you’ve suddenly hit upon the idea of making gaming your career for real, you’re going to need to do some serious thinking. While university is not for everyone, and it’s certainly not the be all and end all, the skills that you possess, experience in the industry, and passion will count. How can you maximise your gaming potential? By maximising yourself, my friends.

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