For better or worse, I'm one of those individuals where gaming is more than just a hobby, it's a lifestyle. For a while, my ambitions in chasing a job in the game industry were on the backburner, but I've come to the point where I feel I need to keep chasing that dream if I ever expect to actually live it. So, I spent the better part of my afternoon starting to research. Which companies are hiring. What they are looking for. The qualifications desired and what the job responsibilities are. I also downloaded a great 108 page PDF magazine full of articles and tips. You can find if from THIS SITE. Always happy to share what info I find.
While my Plan A is still to chase writing positions for print or web groups like OXM, Game Informer, or IGN (to give a few examples), or a writing position for a developer or publisher, I'm looking at Plans B and C too.
Plan B is researching other job openings where I might be able to ply skills I've picked up in my current position or through my Sociology coursework. Haven't researched this extensively enough to say much on what I'm looking for.
Plan C, which is the most long-term of the ideas, is to start teaching myself a lot of the skills employers are looking for, and I don't possess. On my next day off, I will be compiling a list of such skills, and evaluating which ones I can realistically go after. As a part of Plan C, I've downloaded XNA and everything I need to run it.
Yes, that means I can theoretically make a game you'd play on your Xbox. Of course, I'm going to have to teach myself literally everything before I could even start on such a project, so don't think you'll be seeing anything from me on the Indie marketplace any time soon. If I can teach myself the skills to make a game through XNA, making a game would be great for my resume. It could be used as an example when applying for a game design position, or, if I could convince Bioware or similar developers to look at it, I think my ability to write excellent dialogue would speak for itself. (If I can say one thing about my writing, I do awesome dialogue. I know I need to improve in other areas, but not there).
So, I'm going to have to reshuffle how I spend my free time, with less time actually playing games and more time doing the research needed to move into the job of my dreams. I've got nothing against my current employer, and will continue striving to do the best I can in my current position, but it's foolish not to keep chasing the job you want above all others, right?