Cult of the Turtle

Joe Tortuga's musing on life,tech and gaming

I've Seen This Scam Before

March 16, 2011

There are a lot of people who really want to be published authors.  They’ll do just about anything to be one, and that opens them up to scam artists and other people who desire to take advantage of them.  There are people who pose as literary agents, taking fees from authors to represent them, when in actuality they’re supposed to get points on your book. There are contests that make you sign over your rights to the work, and may not even pay out prizes.  There’s a whole page on SFWA about scams for authors, because the draw there: to be published, to see your name on paper is so strong, it makes people stupid for the chance.

Here’s the thing: if you’re good enough to get published, people will pay you.  That’s how it works: an author writes, and they get paid.  If you’re not good enough to get published, then the scams won’t do anything but lose you money.

Simply put: You should get paid for your work.

QA testing is one of the hardest jobs in IT.  It’s a difficult thing in the first place.  Then add to that fact that if you do that job, you have to go to those egotistical programmers and tell them that yes, again, their code is broken.  The messenger gets shot a lot.  I know, I’m an egotistical programmer.

(I’ve worked in manufacturing environments too, and nobody likes the QC people there, either. It’s their job to find mistakes, and nobody likes being told they make mistakes.)

But smart programmers (even egotistical ones) recognize that QA people make their code, their product better.  The difference between an MMO in beta, and that MMO at launch is QA. And that’s important.

So, like writers, QA people should be paid for their jobs.  But the thing I know is this: some people want to be in the gaming industry so badly that they’ll do anything for it, even falling for scams like this.  Or crappy contests.

And yes, I know the two names behind those links are huge names in the gaming industry.  But QA is hard, important work.  It’s not fun, but it can be fulfilling.  And you should be paid to do the job, not pay the companies who are benefiting from your work.

Frankly I think these two are the same scams, targeting the same kind of people: earnest,passionate people with dreams.  And it makes me a sick.

Get paid for your work, you deserve it.