You Will Pay Me To Test Video Games All Day?


There was a time back in the 1990’s when I worked for a couple of big video game companies as a QA test manager. Whenever I needed to hire video game testers I would either ask the children of people I knew or I would seek out candidates at the local colleges. When I would ask possible candidates if they would like to test video games for a full time job they would always say to me, you will pay me to test video games all day? Cool!!!


I would then say to them, it’s not as cool as you think it is. Then they would say I don’t care, I’ll still do it. I would then ask them, do you have good grammar skills and can you communicate in a descriptive way? They would always say yes. Then I ask them, can you test, not play, any genre of video game for hours and days on end? I would always hear something like, I played The Legend of Zelda for 12 hours straight. Well what if you had to test a Barbie dress up game and you only had to test one section of the game for an entire 12 hour day?

Then there would always be a pause before they would ask, you are joking right? I would tell them, no I am serious. They would say that they never tried that but they are up for the challenge. I ask them one more question. Are you a team player and can you get along with others who are sitting right next to you? Again they would say yes. So that is when I would give them a shot at the job. They would accept but most times would always ask me don’t you want to know how good of a game player I am? To which I would reply, no it’s not necessary.


On average I have had 60% of those so-called great game players who claimed that they could be great game tester, quit after a couple of weeks of hard work. The 40% that stayed and went on to bigger and better things approached video game testing the correct way. They treated it as a job and not a “Cool” opportunity to play games all day and get paid for it because that is not the job of a video game tester.

Be Sociable, Share!
About Robert Prescott 18 Articles
My name is Robert and I have been in the video game industry for 25+ years specializing in QA

10 Comments on You Will Pay Me To Test Video Games All Day?

  1. I agree with you, testing is not glamorous like people assume it is. It takes huge discipline, diligence and perfect documentation skills. Very demanding and takes a very smart person, not just a good game player.

    Testing and retesting the same module for weeks is mind-numbing and torture. But that’s the job! Doing it right separates the pro-testers from the posers.

    • It certainly is a mind-numbing job but I always found pleasure going up to a smug and somewhat cocky programmer and telling them, your code has some serious bugs in it. If they wanted their games to get out on the market they had to pass through testing first and if I thought it wasn’t good enough then it wasn’t going to pass through testing. Of course this wasn’t true of all programmers. I’ve tested games of some really great programmers who’s code was for the most part clean of many code bugs.

    • Thank you JC. Yes, testing is mind numbing and at times it makes you want to go to sleep, especially when you have been testing the same thing over and over again for a few days straight. Sometimes it will make your vision blurry like those find-the-difference-in-two-photo puzzle games. Though those are challenging and fun, when you have to stare at the screen all day doing it, it becomes not fun really quick. – Thanks for reading my post and posting a comment.

    • Being a video game tester is not as glamorous or fun as people think it is. You have to test games and not play games. You need to have good grammar and know how to be highly detail oriented so you can write articulate bug reports. It’s a fast paced, mind numbing, long hour job and most importantly it IS A JOB. If you are not willing to test any type of game, especially games that you do not like and would normally never buy or rent to play, then you cannot be a video game tester. – Thanks for your comment Lisa!

  2. Interesting article. My brother is a videogame ‘addict’ , meaning he can play for 12 hours in row , every single day . He is ‘looking’ for a job so I suggested him to make a living of his hobby by testing video games. Seemed like the perfect job for him .
    I will send him the article because what you describe is a whole different aspect of video game testing that I hadn’t considered but he will surely love the info you are giving!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.