Video Game Development, just like any other industry, follows a process. Before releasing a game to the public it must run through a series of tests for quality control and assurance.
Video game testers are employed in this process, and they are the ones assigned to test new products, features, and offerings of different software companies– specifically, video game companies. Playing video games is not the only skill needed to become a video game tester. This specific job should not be glamorized or sensationalized in any way. There is a required set of skills and experience just like in any other job.
As far as the career ladder in the video game industry goes, game testers are at the lower end. However, many of the people who are well established in the industry actually started out as Game Testers originally.
Game testing means that you are looking at the quality of the product, and so you measure the consistency of every aspect of the game. As with most things in life, the path to success all starts with the right education. There are specific types of tests that are run on video games to make sure that the Game Design is accurate and precise. You must be well versed in the testing processes and testing programs that are used by different gaming companies. Again, it is not just about playing the games, but rather there are specific points, areas, and interactions in the game that you need to analyze and evaluate. After running the tests required to assess the different aspects of the game, a game tester must write a comprehensive report. This means that report writing is a skill that a game tester must have. For every bug that you extract in the game as you test it out, there should be a corresponding report. After the bugs have been corrected by the developers, another round of game testing is done, and it is the responsibility of the game tester to recheck if the bugs have been eliminated completely, or if there are new bugs that have emerged.
A lot of people who aspire to climb up the video game career ladder can start out in the video game testing department and then take further education and certifications. There are courses on programming, certifications on quality testing, and even project management degrees. These are skills that you can acquire after becoming proficient in the game testing area of a video game company, which will help you build a promising career out of your video game testing roots.