Breaking Into the Industry: One Tale of Difficulty

Sometimes, success is partially a matter of being in the right place at the right time — and sometimes, no matter how much you may want something, you're not going to get it. So Brian Nathanson discovered while trying to break into the gaming industry (and not succeeding). His points on standardizing education are well taken (especially in terms of bridging "the gap between trade schools, academic game programs, and the industry"), but he lost me when he started talking about what the industry should be doing in the hiring process:

I just want the industry to be aware that there are people out there with deep passion and love for this medium who simply want a chance. Even a phone interview would be nice. I'm not telling the industry to give every Joe Sunday a career, but at least talk to people who claim they are passionate. Find out if they are talking through their nether regions or not.

I believe the game industry would be pleasantly surprised to find that those on the outside really just want to make appealing games, the same as someone with a Grand Theft Auto title on her resume.

A part of life, at least in a lot of fields, is that passion only counts for so much. I have no doubt that I beat out other equally as passionate people in landing positions at both a top PhD program and Kotaku; 'passion,' after a certain point, doesn't enter into the equation. I know there are passionate people desperate to enter academia and make their own contribution, only to be rebuffed year after year; we get scores of emails and IMs wanting to know how to get started and break into the industry. Wanting it really badly isn't enough — what really sets you apart from the hundreds or thousands of other people who are also passionate and want to do [fill in the blank]?

From the Outside Looking In [GameCareerGuide]