Getting Paid To Play

A career in video game testing

Like a lot of 23-year olds, Adam Clegg often finds himself in the middle of discussions about how hard it is for young people to find good jobs these days.  Adam says he usually keeps quiet during those discussions. He has a job.  A really cool job.

Adam tests video games for a living.

Recently hired -full time- by Sony Online Entertainment, Adam is currently beta testing Sony's upcoming release, a game called "Free Realms."  A full-on community game, Free Realms is set to make a splash online, and Adam knows he has his work cut out for him.  "Searching for bugs," he says, takes a lot of time and energy.  But, he admits, when he's asked to work overtime, "I'm getting paid time and a half to play video games."

Sony is clearly onto something here.  What better way to please your target gamer audience, than by hiring several of them?  The company (whose online entertainment division is based in San Diego) says it's even recruiting at local colleges to find more gamers to try out new titles before they're released. Says Art Director Sebastian Strzalkowski, ""this is a huge benefit for us.  It really lets us know what we're doing right, and if we get anything wrong, we can fix it quickly."

It almost sounds too good to be true, but in this case, it's really happening.  And Adam isn't taking any of it for granted.  Especially in the current economy, he knows he's got a good gig.  "I've always wanted to test video games," he says, with a serious expression on his face.  "It's a dream job."

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