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How to turn your child’s video game obsession into a career

By Fi Darby | 14 November 2019


Is your child a passionate gamer? It is possible to turn their obsession into an enjoyable career. The computer games industry in Australia is growing and computer gaming careers are now a serious option for many budding computer gamers. SkillsTalk look at how you might be able to turn your child’s obsession into a career.

All you need to know about the gaming industry 

  1. Playing computer games has increased in popularity.
  2. Game design is a growing career trend.
  3. Turning a computer gaming obsession into a game design career.
  4. Encourage your child to enjoy digital technologies at school.
  5. Learning to code at home.
  6. Online courses for a career in computer games design.
  7. The skills required to kick-start a career in computer game design.

1. Playing computer games has increased in popularity.

You might not be surprised to hear that in 2015, 98% of Australian homes with children had video games in some form. What might be more surprising  is that 35% of these children had also played computer games as part of their learning at school. By 2018,  Australian consumer spending on computer games had rocketed to over $4 billion, 25% more than in 2017.

2. Game design is a growing career trend.

All computer games require development and careers in computer game design can be both rewarding and lucrative. Whilst the gaming industry in Australia is still relatively small, it offers international potential and remains a popular and steady career for many. Computer gaming is moving beyond entertainment and education into a number of key areas including:
  • Training and education
  • Marketing
  • Health and wellbeing
Game designers use a number of factors to keep their audiences motivated. It is the love of these factors that could give your child the determination and drive they need to succeed in the gaming industry. 

3. Turning a computer gaming obsession into a game design career.

game design concept

One of the best things about the computer game design industry is that it has relatively few barriers to entry.

Whilst 53% of game and multimedia developers are qualified to Bachelor level, many (12%) enter the industry directly from Year 12. One of the most important things you can do when your child first starts playing computer games is talk to them about their games’ designs. By asking the right questions, you can make them curious and direct their interest. These questions might include:
  • How does that character move across the screen?
  • Why do you think they have chosen that (element) for this game?
  • If you could design your own game, what would it look like?
As your child gets older and their curiosity grows, you can encourage some of the skills required for a successful computer game design career. Opportunities are out there for those who want to learn more about the industry so look out for these and continue to take a positive approach to your child’s gaming life.

4. Encourage your child to enjoy digital technologies at school.

You might be surprised to find out how much digital technologies learning takes place in Australia’s primary schools. By the end of Year 2, your child should have used software applications and robotics to meet a number of educational outcomes. 

By the end of Year 6, they should have taken this further and had experience creating their own digital solutions. By linking their educational and home experiences, you will stimulate an interest in the role of computer games creator.

As they move through secondary school, your child will be given plenty of chances to use digital technology as a tool for study. Look out for any learning or club activities that include opportunities to develop computer science and coding skills, and encourage them to join in with these. Creative and artistic opportunities will also be useful for a future career in game design.

5. Learning to code at home.

coding concept

Once your child is showing a significant interest in the processes of game design, you can encourage them to experiment with coding at home. 

If your child is aged between 8 and 15, you could also find out if there is a Code Club running in your area and encourage them to attend. Another important way to encourage your child into a career in computer game design is to find them opportunities to talk to young computer game designers who are already working in the industry.

6. Online courses for a career in computer games design.

Finding that first job is computer games design is not always easy directly from school. However, it is possible to gain nationally recognised qualifications via online courses. These qualifications will demonstrate a commitment to learning and ambition for the future. They will also help prospective employers understand the level of expertise on offer. 

Upskilled offers a wide range of Certificate level information technology courses including ICT30118 - Certificate III in Information, Digital Media and Technology – Interactive Gaming and Programming Specialisation. This 12-month course is perfect for anyone who needs to gain initial ICT experience and has a keen interest in computer games. It has no specific entry requirements and is suitable for those who are at the start of their computer gaming career. 

7. The skills required to kick-start a career in computer game design.

Computer game designers need a certain level of key programming skills, as well as the ability to understand hardware, communicate effectively and utilise their creativity. The skills for success in this area include:
  • Computer programming skills
  • An understanding of multimedia in computer gaming
  • Computer graphics skills
  • An in-depth knowledge of different games consoles
  • The ability to work independently and in a team
  • Organisational skills
  • Analytical thinking skills
  • An understanding of computer game trends
  • A portfolio that demonstrates all of the above

The first steps towards a rewarding career in computer game design

Perhaps the very best thing about online study is that it is flexible enough to allow for other work and interests. With nationally recognised training from Upskilled, your youngster can study for the career they really want while meeting their other commitments. Why not take the opportunity today to find out more about how a course with Upskilled might help your child turn their gaming passion into a career.
 
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