Good job: careers in video games

While queuing for two hours to play the Final Fantasy VII Remake demo at gamescom, what else is there to do but discuss video games? The conversation turned to what the best jobs in gaming are and inspired a bit of healthy debate.

I’ve been working in IT for almost 15 years now and occasionally I think a career-change might be in order. But with so many options available to us nowadays, how could I decide what to do with the rest of my working life? Perhaps video games can help us out here. Let’s take a look at some fictional jobs in our favourite titles, currently fulfilled by some of the best characters in the world.

Connoisseur o’ Carrion: Captain Blondebeard

Argh, now here be a career fit for a scurvy seadog, serving those landlubbers only the best blackened cajun chicken on Plunder Island. If it weren’t for that El Pollo Diablo setting all the chickens free from their cages and stealing my ideas to become the next Nando’s! Do you have a reservation? If so take a seat next to the old silent patron – he may not seem like good company but he could talk your ear off about the Grim Fandango. If the choice is either working at Blondebeard’s Chicken Shoppe or having your wife kidnapped by a demon-pirate with a liking for themeparks, I know what my choice would be.

Nuclear and subatomic research scientist: Gordon Freeman

What’s better than being paid the megabucks for pushing alien material samples into other stuff in the name of science, while clad in a Hazardous Environment Suit? Sure, it could cause a resonance cascade scenario and end the world, but that’s not the end of the world when you have your best friend Barney Calhoun to help you clean up the headcrab mess. Oh, you can’t talk either but that’s OK. You can use a variety of guns and alien weaponry to get your message across to those pesky Xen invaders instead.

Archaeologist with a PhD in kicking your arse: Lara Croft

In comparison to that lowlife treasure thief Nathan Drake, here’s one role model who doesn’t stop after inheriting her family fortune. She has a taste for ancient and powerful relics with a side order of near-death experiences and a healthy dollop of the supernatural for dessert. Highly intelligent and athletic, Lara is someone we should all strive to be, never becoming complacent and always looking for the next achievement. Considering how long Tomb Raider has existed, we know Lara’s job description too well and should get through the interview with no trouble at all.

Entrepreneur: Merchants from The Elder Scrolls Online

A more generic role compared to the others, as there are far too many merchants to count in The Elder Scrolls Online. Some have the opportunity to roam specific routes through Tamriel while others are glued to the spot on crossroads and in towns. Well, somebody here has to buy all your junk – including worm bait when some bugger goes and steals the rarest eel out from under your fishing rod for the seventh time that day (I’m so sorry, Kim!).

General-purpose robot CL4P-TP: Claptrap

No, he’s not the worst character ever, PCGamer. Go ahead and name any other robot with the job to entertain us using the art of dancing while beatboxing. Not only does Claptrap have absolutely zero friends no matter how hard it tries, it’s also the most pun-arific robot I’ve ever known. The perfect example of this is Claptrap’s birthday bash in Borderlands 2; there’s a boombox, party favours and tons of pizza. Even though none of the three people invited turn up, it’s still a blast for the Vault Hunter. Let’s hear some love for this endearing robot!

Sadly, not only am I well on my way to becoming the next CL4P-TP, but you may have realised my selection is somewhat ironic. While I love each of these characters, I don’t envy their positions nearly as much and I’m grateful for their existence!