There have been a lot of complaints about publishers rushing buggy games out so they can hit a certain date, knowing they can update them via patches over the increasingly popular online gaming services. So why not try and address things in the testing phase of the game? Karla Starr, a reporter at The Seattle Weekly actually took a job as a tester with a game company, and went inside the the belly of the beast to bring us a real insider's view of game testing.
Check out Karla's article in The Seattle Weekly and see how easy it is to pass a game through the QA process. It's not quite the same as the view of game testers that were presented in the Academy Award winning (we keed, we keed) film Grandma's Boy, but it's a great look from inside, and really illustrates the point that game testing is one of the weakest links in the game development chain. In fact, Darci Morales, a producer for game developer Surreal said, "What really sucks is that QA is always the first thing to go. Always."
However, if you've been thinking about getting a job as a tester in order to feed your gaming addiction, you'll be happy to know you'd be welcomed with open arms. Dr. Hilarie Cash of the Internet/Computer Addiction Services in Redmond says, "I think the [video game] industry in general, they want addicts. It is to their economic benefit to have people really hooked on their games. That there happens to be a pool of addicts out there who will work for peanuts, like methadone treatment, is to their advantage." Gaming being compared to a methadone treatment .. woot!