Make Money From Video Games So you want to be a video game reviewer, huh? Many avid gamers across the world aspire to work in video game reviewing, but few actually take the necessary steps to get a job as a game reviewer or tester.

Why? Well, for several reasons, but one of the largest reasons is that there are few jobs in the market. They do exist, but it's hard to break into video game reviewing and testing since most companies want people who have experience in the field. How do you get that experience when you can't get a job to gain it? That's the crux of the problem.

How to Make Money by playing Video Games

Before you start working on the experience issue, you need to decide what kind of video game reviewing you want to do. Yes, there are several different types of review positions. First, there's the video game tester. This is the hardest part of the industry to break in to because it does require you to get a job with a video game publisher. As a tester, you would receive advance copies of new games and be expected to play them all the way through. While playing, you would need to take notes over what doesn't seem to work and point out things that need polishing. Basically, it would be your job to find everything wrong with the game so that later players have a great, error-free gaming experience. This type of testing can pay anywhere from around $10 an hour to $150 an hour depending on experience.

The other type of video game reviewing is more of a journalist position. This type of job is somewhat easier to get, although the field is still limited. As a game reviewer, you may work for one of several different companies. Video game review websites like Gamespot or IGN hire reviewers to write up their thoughts on video games. Video game and electronics magazines also hire writers to review games. Both require individuals with very strong writing skills—a degree in English or journalism is almost a must. Unlike testers, reviewers don't always have to play through the entire game.

However, they must play enough of it to get a good grasp of the writing, controls, music, graphics, and more. The focus for reviewers is more on the overall game, not the tiny details or errors that testers look for (although errors are often noted in reviews). Often, video game reviewers also write other articles about the video game industry and attend video game conventions. Game reviewers' pay varies greatly, but traditionally, print publications pay more than websites.

It is possible to make your living as a video game tester or reviewer, but it's not easy breaking into the field. Here are some things to remember when working towards your goal of making money reviewing video games:

  • You must have good writing skills. Even game testers have to be able to write clear, informative notes describing what needs to be fixed in a game.
  • You've got to play video games! It may sound obvious, but a good tester or reviewer plays a variety of games in different genres and has at least one current game system.
  • Pay attention to details. This is especially important for video game testers since their job entails finding every tiny error in a game.
  • Know the industry. While not as important to testers, reviewers need to know what's going on in the video game industry so they can report on new games and new innovations.
  • Always look for ways of gaining experience. Check freelance writing websites for review jobs, blog about video games, and ask computer programmers if they need someone to beta test their software. All of these look good on a resume.

Overall, don't be discouraged—while the video game testing and reviewing world can be hard to break in to, it's not impossible. Just like any industry, it takes some hard work, but it can be done.