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GCG Feature: ‘How Gareth Griffiths Broke Into the Industry’

In the latest feature for Gamasutra sister site GameCareerGuide, usability expert and New Zealand resident Gareth Griffiths shares the story of how -- in search of a
Gareth Griffiths had a “soul-sapping” job making banking applications. He was unsatisfied at work -- despondent, even, and a new job as a usability expert in the game industry proved to be the sort of revitalization he was looking for. In this interview on sister site GameCareerGuide.com, Griffiths shares how it all happened, marking a path that other professional job jumpers might learn from. In this excerpt, Griffiths summarizes how he made the switch: GCG: Were you looking specifically for a game industry job? Why were you leaving your old job? What questions or concerns did you have going into the interview and accepting the job? GG: I must admit that I have always wanted to work in the game industry. For me the game industry represents the pinnacle of creativity in some ways because the only thing we are limited by is imagination. There are really no ‘bounds’ for games because we can create worlds filled with anything we want. And as I've played games since the early days of the spectrum, I've just always wanted to be involved in a field where I'm part of something that can create these amazing, challenging, and immersed worlds. As to why I left my old job, well, it was just so mundane and soul-sapping. I would get to work, load up my PC, and be faced with the same dull stuff on the screen. While some people could call it ‘challenging,’ to me it was uneventful and just so uncreative. All the applications seemed to melt into one and there was no room for expression. Picture a banking application for example. Trying to make it ‘usable’ involves making sure information flow is correct, icons in the right place, the correct icons, loading times, blah blah blah ... yawn! No matter how you approach it, all applications were just fundamentally the same. So, if you take all that and picture it day after day after day I thought, no more! Enough! And, to be honest, it wasn't fair for the guys I was working for because I was getting so despondent that my work was suffering as a result. So why stay in something that you don't like? In regards to questions I had during the interview, well I wanted to know that the guys had interesting projects lined up and whether they seemed like a decent bunch of people. To me these were the important questions because it's the kind of thing that will affect how you do at the job. You can now read the full GameCareerGuide interview.

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