Saturday, August 2, 2008

Get Paid to Test Video Games (and enjoy playing them too!)

If, like me you have teenage kids, one aspect of the internet you’ll have noticed, perhaps negatively, is the massive growth and availability of video games. Whether they are sports related, auto related, sci-fi or cops and robbers, they have all the appeal that youngsters have always harbored for arcade games over the past five or more decades. The only difference is that the arcade is now in your home.

This also means, of course, that the kids of yesterday, today’s adults, can still indulge in their love of the arcade, but without the embarrassment of sitting next to a kid a quarter their age, who seems to be the ultimate Ninja nemesis.

At any one time some 10m people around the world are estimated to be playing one or other of the Net’s millions of video games, and of these some 10% are aiming to make money by winning the game. But that is an entirely different opportunity to the one I am discussing. Mine has zero relationship with gambling, none at all.

It does not take a great imagination to realise that this is a multi-billion dollar industry, right around the globe. Thousands of companies exist from Denver to Dubai, Beijing to Birmingham and from Sydney to Singapore, to design, develop, write the software, test, de-bug and market the countless numbers of new or re-designed and re-issued games that reach the world gamers each and every year.

For anyone who loves playing these video games, and also loves earning extra money, a role exists that is tailor-made for you.

The thousands of video game makers and developers urgently need people to test their new products, often in large numbers. The beauty is that they almost exclusively communicate with their testers by email, and the testers download the beta game versions from private websites, or from an email attachment. Therefore you can live just about anywhere in the world and still apply to be a video game tester.

As a tester you get to:

* Play video games

* Get paid to play video games before their release to the public

* Make money testing video games that haven't yet been released

* Get complimentary copies of video games

* Find out all about level secrets, cheat codes, and other fun stuff, all before anyone else

* In doing all this you’ll also get to learn a lot, an awful lot, about the video game industry. You can learn about how the different departments work, about marketing, about customer service, about manufacturing and about how the whole operation comes together to get a new video game out to the public.

Once you are accepted as a tester, you can expect to earn up to about $50 per hour, sometimes less, occasionally more. It is normal for you to be able to choose how many (or how few) hours you work, but obviously the more you work, the more you can earn.

This soon adds up too. If you chose to work say four hours a day, at $50 per hour you could earn $200 a day. If you chose not to work weekends, but consistently did the four hours every weekday, you would make $1,000 a week and $52,000 in a year!

Many of the gamer testing sites do not impose a minimum age for applying, but the better ones state clearly that they will only send games intended for unrestricted release to anyone who cannot verify their age as being over 18.

Now to the old, thorny question of payment scams or free sites that just want your email address for spamming.

I have adopted the usual maxim which applies across my site: if the game testing site does not offer a money back guarantee, I won’t touch it. If it does not guarantee that it will offer up-to-date contacts with game developers, who will offer you a specific number of games to test each month, I won’t touch them either. If the site has not been in business for over a year, and thus not yet proven as genuine (especially in the prompt payment of refunds under the money back guarantee), this is another I won’t touch.

I suggest you follow a similar maxim.

Michael is a British citizen, but long term resident of Asia (Hong Kong and now Malaysia).
After 25 years with a global banking leader, he began to head up his own Management consulting company, and today this successful business has branched out to include database/direct marketing aswell as Internet and Affiliate Marketing. Michael may be contacted through his web site or directly via email Please particularly check out where gamer testing opportunities are available.

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