Job: Video game tester for Activision and journalism student at University of Minnesota
Pay: $9 per hour and $13.50 overtime
So how do you test a video game? We make sure, basically, that it's playable and you have a game the user will enjoy. We play the entire game through to make sure that you can complete it and everything works properly.
What happens when the game doesn't work properly? You enter it into the data system, then send it back to the developer and they send it back to us, hopefully, fixed.
How did you get this job? I saw a news story on KARE11 about Activision and I thought "Oh, that's perfect. I want to get into that industry." So I sent them an online application and then I called the person who is in charge of quality assurance hiring and told them I wanted to set up an interview. So I went in and talked to them and later that day they called me and told me I was hired. I was very excited, as you can imagine.
When you are really busy, how much do you work a week? It could be up to seven days for 12 hours a day. Twelve hours a day is kind of pushing it, but once you get up to 14, that's tough. But people do it. It's just part of the industry. If [a game] has to go, you have to put in the time to get it out as quick as possible.
What is your favorite video game? Well [Activision] might not like this, but I'm a fan of Rock Band, even though that's an EA [Electronic Arts] game.
What would you like to do after college? I definitely want to stay in this industry. I'm hoping to move up in corporate Activision. I would love to be a public relations person for Activision.
Did your parents ever stop you from playing video games when you were a kid? That might've happened with the Sims when it first came out. I think I played that for an entire day once just because it was a lot of fun and I didn't realize what time it was when I was finished. Then it was kind of hidden from me for a while and then magically reappeared after, like, two weeks.
What games have you tested? I did Barbie Horse. It's really cool because now I go to Target and see people actually buy and play Barbie Horse.
What game are you testing now? I can't say. ... Sorry. It's just because I don't think my game is public knowledge yet.