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An Anonymous Reader Writes:

Ok i have always been interested in games and making them was always my dream job and i was woundering if there are any tips you guys could give me for making it come true i am still in high school and i am trying to figure out what i am going to do with my life and i just bought a new game (need for speed: underground) and in the back it said something about ea academy and it made me want to check it out and i did which is how i got here and figured i would ask some pros about it so here it is above well hope you guys can help.

My Reply:

I can think of a few things that would help anyone in high school to prepare for a career in the game industry:

  1. Get into the best college you can–the game industry is full of self-made badasses who didnt go to college, but its getting harder and harder to break-in and advance without a well-rounded education. As the games get bigger its more and more important to have people on the team who have been exposed to the industrys best-practices as well as the broad topics that a formal education offers.

  2. Sign up for an internship with a company like EA and besides that, try to get a summer job testing games.

  3. Read about the industry, play games with an eye for how they are designed, and generally learn everything you can about games. The IGDA, Sloperama, and Gamasutra are some good places to start.

  4. Network. Its a tired adage, but its true–your career will depend more on who you know that what you know. Get in the habit of building relationships with people, staying in touch, and being a connector.

Updated on October 10th, 2013

Archive.org-ed the IGDA link.