Here is how female gamers can turn their passion into a career
Updated: Aug 17, 2022
Although gaming is something girls and women, in general, tend not to enjoy or enrol in, this activity has become a massive industry with plenty of opportunities for anyone. The gaming industry is larger than films and music combined, yet few of us are likely to put our Fortnite playing achievements on our CVs. But why not? Businesses are waking up to the skills gamers can bring to the workplace.
-Article co-created with Gloria Martinez from WomenLed.Org
Even the military is hiring gamers. "The ability to assimilate information, react swiftly and coordinate actions whilst remaining calm under pressure are often attributes of people that are good at gaming", a Royal Air Force spokesperson tells the BBC.
If you're playing EVE Online you basically already have an MBA. Often made fun of in gaming circles as a "spreadsheet simulator", the economy of the fictional Eve universe is driven by real market principles. If you want to build a new spaceship, the raw material has to be mined by another player. Manufacturing costs come into effect, and commodities fluctuate in price based on demand and haulage distance.
According to Nielsen, gaming has taken over different media types, including Youtube, Twitch and Hitbox, and you're bound to see numerous live streamers playing video games live. These days, you can even build a career out of your love for video games -- and that’s just as true for women as it is for men. Here are some of the most exciting new options you have.
Most people do not understand how serious video game tournaments these days are. SteelSeries notes that professional gaming is perhaps one of the most complex career paths you can take, as being good enough in a game to enter international competitions doesn't happen overnight --it takes years of persistent practice.
You will also need to invest in the necessary gear and put in time and effort to reach your professional goals. But once you manage to participate in an international competition, you'll find it incredibly fun and rewarding.
If you are a highly innovative person and keep coming up with new ideas to improve old games, constantly think of new characters, or of adventurous stories that can be applied to a video game plot, then the perfect career for you may be game designing. This job is ideal for anyone who understands the intricate aspects behind various video game genres and those who love to build up new characters and challenges.
You'll likely need to take design courses or university lectures. That way, you get the basic knowledge and learn fundamental skills to develop new games. However, if you already have a fantastic video game idea, you can consider working with a game developer to create your title together right away. Don’t miss the chance!
Whether it is about editing the cutscenes of a forthcoming game or putting together promotional videos, every developer needs a good video editor. The good thing is you can also find plenty of work available in other industries! In fact, various online job platforms like Upwork are bursting at the seams with video editing services.
Video games are frequently a gateway to an interest in computers and, more importantly, coding. For example, that's the theory behind University of Colorado Boulder computer science professor Alexander Repenning's easy-to-use, accessible Scalable Game Design curriculum, which encourages students to build a Frogger-like game and simultaneously learn coding fundamentals.
Some gamers also call video games a "stepping stone" toward their coding career. Some start by looking up cheat codes online. When they find a webpage that contained those codes, they realise that computers are like libraries where you could get anything you wanted. This innate curiosity led people to wonder how computer programs worked.
If you're good at video game programming, you might as well enjoy coding computers, software different devices and hardware. This job implies working with a design team to understand and figure out the nuts and bolts of the overall project, ensuring that the game plays well and is smooth for consumers.
Careers in IT
From Basement to Boardroom, gamers are poised to become the next generation of tech leaders. A desire to constantly improve, for instance optimising gameplay "to be more efficient"—is a trait found invaluable when coding.
There are always new techniques and software that can be learned to improve your coding ability. Those who play video or computer games are amassing valuable skills with real-world applications. The Federation of American Scientists touted video games as a way to help people develop sophisticated skills needed in the workforce. The success of complex video games demonstrates that games can teach higher-order thinking skills such as strategic thinking, interpretative analysis, problem-solving, plan formulation and execution, and adaptation to rapid change.
As a gamer, your brain has these imaginary skill-lines and abilities to absorb knowledge and adapt to new situations, which makes you a highly valuable IT employee. On the other end of the scale, games can teach us (among other things) other languages and mathematical skills, very much needed in the IT industry.
Having been trained to make quick decisions on the fly, you are no stranger to taking charge of the situation when needed or backing off when it is more than you can chew. Gamers will know how to strategize better, be able to make sound judgments quicker, and react accordingly to varying circumstances.
If you'd love to become a renowned personality just by playing video games you enjoy, then streaming is probably the ideal career path for you. You'll need to get top-notch streaming devices and learn how to create high-quality videos.