I got off the elevator onto PopCap Games' floor and was instantly hit by memories from my college years. Two engineers, clad in the shorts and jeans apparel that is typical of their role, played a giant version of the classic game Bejeweled. The screen stretched over half the length of their bodies and chimed loudly as they swiped jewels with their full hands. I steered clear. This game single-handedly accounted for my downfall on more than one homework assignment from college, and I refused to get sucked in again.
The super-sized screen, the multicolored walls, entire rooms dedicated to ping-pong—all typical of gaming companies. Even among technology firms, gaming companies stand out for their high-energy environment. They are the new "dot-coms," and venture capitalists everywhere are crossing their fingers and hoping they don't meet the same fate.
Alessandra, from gaming recruiting firm VonChurch, suggests that the festive atmosphere is integral to the nature of the field. "Gaming means blending the creative with the techy. Technology firms are already young, fun-filled environments. When you mix in a highly creative workforce, this is what you get."
Her colleague Katy Haddix concurs, but cautions that it's a work hard/play hard atmosphere. "You are expected to be full-seat-in, working 10 to 12 hours per day, plus the weekends when necessary."
Long hours are a necessity in the casual gaming world. Casual games fly ...