My name is Taylor, but everyone calls me Tate. Ever since I can remember I have loved video games. They took me to worlds that other media couldn’t, and gave me experiences that nothing else could. I developed early on a deep passion for gaming, more so than any other normal child in the 90s did. I learned quickly that I was more of a fanatic then my friends, and start to almost hide my passion for video games.
Video games to me always seemed to be my dirty little secret; I had been taught that I should be out playing, that they were a waste of my time and would get me nowhere, but I loved them so much and would spend hours upon hours playing Zelda Ocarnia of Time or Starcraft. I accepted this fact that video games were wasting my time and there was no future in them.
I played football, was social and never talked about video games outside of a close group of friends and even when I did I caught myself being more engaged and knowledgeable in the conversation then the people I was talking to. I never let on that my nights would be spent playing Final Fantasy XI until 1 AM or that those weekends when I didn’t go out was because I was spending the night playing my PS2 or Xbox.
I had two worlds I was living in, as I am sure most teenagers do, I was in a world where I was an athlete a social fun guy that was a sports junky and then I had the world I would come home to where I would lock myself in the basement playing hours upon hours of video games and only come up for food and water. I knew my gaming world wasn’t a reality and I did all I could to keep that world from crossing over into my “real world”. I never looked at video games as a future or a way of life.
When college rolled around and my future was at stake video games never crossed my mind. It had been drilled into my mind so much that there was no future there. I had accepted this fact and when I decided upon a major I went with something I knew would land me a job and make me money rather than pursue a passion.
I graduated with a major in corporate finance and a minor in pre-med. I left the University of South Carolina (GO COCKS!!) and started my pursuit for a financial job. This was the first time I started to look at video games as a future, although not in a way most think about, no I was going to be a financial analyst for a gaming company. After a few months of searching for any financial job in the video game industry and submitting countless resumes I moved on. I just needed a job!
I landed a great opportunity at a VoIP service provider as a junior financial analyst. I was happy to have a salary a real job and the video game dream had died once again.
After two years of working at my current job as a now financial analyst II, I know that my true passion lies in video games and I plan to make it not only my passion but my career. I have just recently started to conduct a plan for how I am going to go about switching from a finance job in telecom to a job in the video game industry. I have started to apply for jobs that I believe I can land, but in order to pull off this difficult career switch I need to make myself outstanding just to get a sniff, and that is where this comes in. I plan to document my journey as to 1) help to differentiate myself and strengthen my resume and portfolio and 2) to hopefully help future people in my circumstance.
To kick things off I thought I would outline my plan:
- Write A Lot: I have a passion for writing as I am sure you can tell by this, and I would love to land a job as a video game journalist. I have written for a video game website, but I started this website (blog) to help give me more experience.
- Got to get myself out there: Along with the blog I plan to start a podcast with my friend, and have decided to go to PAX East next year to help get my name out there and network, not to mention this will just be an outstanding experience
- Hey I can just make a game: I plan to research video game making tools as well as maybe start to work on some MODs for video games I love. I currently don’t have coding knowledge but I do know I have a passion for it. Currently in my role I take full advantage of VBA and love to write code to help do my job quicker and more efficient
- Of course apply, apply, apply: It goes without saying, but of course through this whole ordeal I will continue to apply to every video game job I believe I can land
- If all else fails…: If all else fails in this journey I plan to go back to school and get a degree in programming. As mentioned above I have a passion for coding and getting a degree would help to increase my chances at landing a shot
I look forward to this long journey and having you along with me. If you believe you can help in anyway please feel free to contact me, whether this is: a job offer, advice or even just words of encouragement. Wish me luck and thank you being there with me.