In the 80s there was a rash of DIY (Do It Yourself) video games that enabled even the most novice gamers to relive their youth and care for them mentally and emotionally. Video game systems were everywhere: from the front door of your parent’s house in Sitges, California to the living room in yours truly, Los Angeles. During the 80s I had a lot of friends who were obsessed with video games. Not so much with today’s portable video games but with handheld video games, internet-enabled computer games, and also my friends back in the day usually played all the time and about 3 hours a night. For whatever reason, I never really took any of these people very seriously, although I did end up buying almost all of their games. I thought WoW was a great idea when I saw it in action with my friends and felt really good that I could go and destroy demons by the fire of my own sword while in jeans and a robe (I’m glad I don’t wear a robe). Warcraft! I’ve used to play WoW for years and it’s still a blast.
Then the rumors involving Blizzard and their attempt to obtain the rights to WoW mounted up, and my fears were confirmations. I heard that Blizzard Entertainment was going to sell WoW in a multi-million dollar deal, and upon hearing this I was examining whether or not I could get a copy of the WoW license. I was concerned that Blizzard, as an interactive entertainment company, would be unable to stand up in court due to their usage of actions and customizable options, as well as other aspects of gaming. Just as I was beginning to worry about this, Blizzard Entertainment filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection, thus pf making use of the bankruptcy laws. This put an end to all worries. I was then able to read about the WoW license, and, realizing that I could get it for next to nothing, renewed my application for a World of Warcraft Game Design license.
I’ll never forget when the inevitable laughter that broke out when the applying for the license was successful. My friends were thrilled and so was I. With a massive amount of credit card debt, and unreliable Internet connection, and lacking any contacts in the gaming industry, this was a huge relief. Bankruptcy laws were taken on a case by case basis, and license applications were made to the relevant authorities. Realizing that it would take a few years to get a license and that I would need some connections to get anything done, I decided to start up my own gaming website. At that point, contact with industry experts was obviously a must, or I wouldn’t survive long.
Being an active member of think tanks, I was able to contact people high up in the gaming industry, and eventually land a part-time job as a community manager for a group called ‘GameSavor’, offering guides and reviews of various games. This was a godsend, as I wanted to spread the word about the site and write reviews. ‘GameSavor’ turned out to be an amazing decision, as it was almost exactly what I had been looking for. I was able to write for them and get them to respond to my reviews, and they gave me the keys to the kingdom; and the expansiveness of the ‘GameSavor’ universe.
With GameSavor, I was able to bridge the gap between the worlds of online gaming and the world of print media. Not only could I no longer complain about not having a decent writer, I could now get paid for my work. I still write reviews of games, as well as GameSavor ‘s reviews, but I have also begun writing my own reviews of other games, as they interest me. The best part is, I get to play a lot of games that I would never change myself with; some are barely tested, and even those are some of the best games available. I can’t think of how many black ops reviews I have gotten from other sites.
Some things to bear in mind when considering this opportunity: First, you need to be over 18 to join; you can still play the games, but you’ll need a parent to sign the release and can come to the US from where you live for the testing. Second, you need to be willing to spend a few months or years playing a video game and be willing to give up your free time to do so. Still, if you have all these, and you still don’t want to do video games, there are still good chances that you’ll get a job writing or testing games.