As of last night, Oldest Younger Brother is a beta-tester for the next Final Fantasy game. Well, he’s being playing the current games practically his every waking hour already.
My dream job would probably involve animals, but I don’t know how well I’d do. I’d have to work on my laziness, emotional instability, and five-microsecond attention span. But, yes, I’d like to be a wildlife researcher, or a zookeeper, or… something. A herpetologist, an entymologist, a felinologist.
It’s mundane and pointless, but my brother’s been running around yelling, “I can’t believe it! I can’t believe it! I can’t believe it’s not butter!” and I feel like sharing his excitement.
No kidding. Really working as a tester is a job I’d never want to do. It’s just a recipe for frustration.
“Hey, you know that thing where if you go into the Caves of Destruction, turn left, draw your sword, then jump, the screen goes wonky, you lose 150 xp, and then the game dies? Yeah. We need you to repro that will all 8 different character classes, all 5 races, and then do the same thing while wearing the Blue Cape of Madness. If that works, then we’ll need you to try it with all the other colored Capes of Madness. Please take screen shots every 5 seconds. And if you get the intermittent bug where hitting the down arrow key occasionally transports your character to Dwarf City, just ignore that and start the test over again, because we know about that one and someone is working on a fix.”
Luckily, I’m the person who gets to tell the testers what to do, not the people who actually do the testing.
I think a lot of the eye-rolling comes from the fact that nowadays companies treat video game betas more as marketing opportunities than actual real beta testing. They simply open up the game for people to bang on a few weeks or months early; you get selected more at random than by demonstrating any sort of skill or experience. Heck, some games are going with a model of “if you pre-order our game, you get in the beta!”
So yeah, it’s cool he got in, but it’s not a job, and I wouldn’t even consider it a volunteer opportunity. It’s more like getting a sneak peak at a movie a few weeks before it’s released to the public.