Plenty of people would love to work in the video game industry. After all, what could be more fun than helping to create the very games that you spend all of your free time playing (much to the chagrin of your significant other)?

But you won’t find jobs in too many cities. Although there are small developers scattered here and there (like Volition, Inc. over in Champagne, Illinois, for example), the industry seems to gather in small collectives in cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Vancouver, and inexplicably, Redmond, Washington. So unless you want to make a move in order to pursue your desire to create video games, you might be looking for some work-from-home opportunities within the industry.

Here are a few possibilities…

1. Virtual Assistance

It may not be sexy, but it’s a foot in the door. The only other real entry-level positions in the video game industry are in the testing arena, and you cannot do this from home (for proprietary reasons, at the very least). However, there are plenty of execs that could use a little help when it comes to clerical pursuits (even in this tech-savvy industry) and hiring from the virtual workforce helps the company to cut costs.

2. Writing

Like nearly every faction in the entertainment industry, video game companies always have need for talent in creative fields. You might not pay much attention to the dialogue and cut scenes when you’re playing a game, but a professional writer pens every line. And in most cases these people do contract work for gaming companies rather than hiring on to permanent, full-time positions. This means that as a writer for video games you can work from home as a freelancer.

3. Graphics

The call for graphics in the gaming industry is high (although traditional artists may also be needed for the purposes of storyboarding and concept art, just for example). Graphic artists create every visual detail of a game universe, from landscaping to characters to lighting and texture. They are also responsible for modeling and movement, as well as creating motion graphics (like cut scenes).

If you have a home studio and secure storage and transfer capabilities, you may be able to work from home (although if a company wants you for more than short contracts they may demand that you work on-site eventually).

4. Marketing

Whether you’re interacting with media outlets, collecting and analyzing data, designing ad campaigns, or actually creating online game trailers, many aspects of marketing are now done in the online arena anyway. So telecommuting is definitely an option when you work in marketing.

5. Engineering

Whether you specialize in MMO, FPS, or RTS games, or you’ve already got a big title like Need for Speed or Nemesis of the Roman Empire on your résumé, you may be able to submit code for games while working out of your home base. Qualified engineers are in high demand where game creation is concerned, and while most companies would probably prefer to have you on site, you may be able to arrange a work-from-home situation if your talents are in high demand.

Of course, this could require you to pay your dues as a coding grunt for a while (or create your own hit game to become known in the industry). But the result is a high-paying job in the gaming industry that allows you to work from your own home studio.


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