Sunday, February 26, 2012

Today Seems To Be Gamer Job Scam Day

While scanning the news for stories, the first two that appeared on my screen were about the high demand for video game testing jobs. I was curious seeing as last month people were blasting the web about low sales for January compared to 2011's numbers. So let's see what this is about!

Website #1 is about the Game Testers Academy, and reads more like a really bad press release then a "story". Also it you hover over the links, they lead to lord knows where. Really. The links look like a cat sat on the keyboard and made the website links.

Ok next website. The Australian Eye. This looks good so far...oh wait. There it is. Video game testers can work anywhere in the world and can work any time because everything is handled over the internet. Yeah that's not really true 99% of paid game testing requires you to show up at their offices so they can monitor you, get immediate feedback, and such.

If you go to the websites, the real links not the cat dancing on the keyboard links, it's pretty obvious that these are scams. They follow the same pattern of websites that many work at home job seekers see when looking online. Even the web design. They make promises about how easy it is to sign up, get started, make money, and be a guaranteed success! Just make a payment to sign up for their services. What. You didn't expect this to be free did you?

You pay to receive their books, their mailing lists, their "products" on how to be a game tester. Which is sometimes true. Sometimes false. But out of that mess you're suppose to be taught how to get the job to be a tester. Which is also sometimes true. And you have to pay for it. That "ease" of getting the job is followed by $49.99+ being thrown around. They don't actually set you up with interviews, lead you to game designers door steps, or prep you on how to get your foot into the door. They sell you crap off of the gullible.

Think of this as a service announcement to all of my geeks. Don't fall for this junk. People do every day because it guarantees them simplicity. You don't have to leave your couch to get a job as a game tester! The reality is, you do. Just like anything with life, you have to work for it. And if a website is promising you a job for a fee, don't bite. Paying for a job means you are the sucker. The idea of a job is to have them pay you; it doesn't work the other way around.

If you want a job as a game tester, which really isn't the lap of luxury that The Tester makes it out to be (because eating bull testicles is totally what a real game tester does, everyday!), go to the company's website, look for job openings, and apply. If you know someone at the company, that helps out a lot, because so much of that business is who you know to get you in. But being a tester itself? It's not all that great. You are expected to play games for hours on end, provide detailed notes for bugs and suggestions on improvement, and most of the time it's an unpaid internship. Oh, and it's usually not a game that you'll like. Into CoD? Great! Here's a Barbie game to test. You don't get to PICK the game you want to play. You're handed whatever is available that needs testing. Try 8 hours of Barbie's Horse Adventure. That might make you reconsider a few things.

And yes, there are companies out there that focus on testing games for consoles, phones, and computers. You have to do your research and find them. And yes, there are legit websites such as GameTester.com that give you a listing of gaming gigs, both entry and high end, for free. It's important to keep your options open. Many testers are short-term gigs. Depending upon the company's needs, it can turn into a long term job. Companies that work on mobile apps are more likely in need of permanent testers versus video games.

Really, just be aware of what you're clicking. It's sad to see that our domain is being smacked by these scammers, but if people weren't falling for it, then it wouldn't be a problem. If you see a website that uses the format of the others, promising results for money, and even the same web design (simple background, a frame in the center, with lots of large, bolded text, and endless scrolling), close the window and move on.

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