mtv generation


It’s been a month since Charlie and I moved to Orlando. We have both been to interviews with at least 3 different temporary agencies. Charlie has received work already but I am still waiting on any assignment. Since we need money in the meantime….pesky rent and car payments…and no one was calling me with anything, I needed to find a job ASAP.

So I apply to be a game tester at EA.

For those that know me, I’m a fairly avid gamer. I roomed with guys (and game playing girls) in college and played them in many different games. I, like most of you, come from the game playing generation so it didn’t seem like a stretch to try and get paid to play games.

So I get a call back from EA for a phone interview and I bomb it. I’m asked who won the Superbowl? I said, I don’t remember. I’m asked who the major sponsor for Tony Stewart is? I say, I couldn’t even begin to tell you. I’m asked what the four BCS bowl games are? I try very hard to remember all four but can only come up with 2 so I don’t answer. Yet, the man on the other end seems to think that I would be a good fit for an EA QA Tester. Alright, I’ll go with it and I schedule a face-to-face interview for that Friday.

Friday comes and I arrive at the area where the other QA Tester wannabes are waiting. A security guard comes out to greet me. It’s a high security area and people have to swipe their badges to get in and out of the building. Hordes of people file into the building as we are waiting. I see only a few girls and lots of guys. This doesn’t surprise me as this division of EA is responsible for sports gaming and let’s face it, I’m sure that women are not lining up to get a job testing sports games….except me that is.

So, I get called back for the face-to-face interview and I bomb that as well. I’m asked on a scale of 1-10 what is my level of attention to detail. I fall into this trap nicely and I say 11 without hesitation. Then I quickly regret that move. I’m called on it. The interviewer says, ok, let’s test your attention to detail. Close your eyes and describe the room, how many windows, how many chairs, what’s on the wall, how many light fixtures, what is the name of the room, what are the guys interviewing me wearing, what are they drinking? Yup, I’ve just been schooled. At this point, I believe that I have no way of getting this position and so feel that I am running a reconnaissance mission for Charlie instead. BTW the room name I did get and it was Dagobah.

I’m asked what I would do if someone on the QA team wasn’t holding up their end of the team work. I tell them I would asked them to help but if they didn’t still contribute to the team, I would tell a supervisor. It would suck to release a game with lots of bugs to the market. The consumer would hate it and the QA lead’s ass would be on the line.

I’m presented with an ordinary pen and asked if I was with the ABC pen company how would I -QA Test this pen and what other uses for a pen can I think of? I say that I would take the pen apart, write with it and try to exploit its faults. My three uses for a pen? To hold up your hair (betcha that’s primarily female answer), to mark your place in a book and to chew on to relieve stress.

I’m asked about some more game environment testing questions. What would I do if there was no game play available and only menu screens? Compare the testing of the game environment for SSX Tricky with an up-coming NASCAR game- How would you test these differently? How would you test them the same? He asked this explaining that I was more familiar with Tricky than NASCAR. He got this information from my disclosure earlier that my weakest point was NASCAR and from the fact that I wrote that I had played Tricky frequently.

So, they think in an interview, interesting…

At this point, I’m buying into this interview. I may not get to work at EA but I am determined to learn from this interview. I start to let my hair loose. I crack a dry joke and see the reactions. One interviewer smiles to himself and the other has his poker face on.

I, on the other hand, never have my poker face on unless I’m playing poker. I’m reacting to each question with sincerity and as much quick thinking as I can muster. I’m saying things like, interesting question both because I honestly think it is interesting and because I’m trying to buy some time. I know, they can see this plainly on my face.

And then we get to the last question: Tell me a joke.

Very interesting…I smiled to myself and looked up for a brief moment. Got into character and said, “So this duck walks into a bar…” Now in true tribute, I screw up the joke but stay in character long enough that they have to laugh. I left the room feeling accomplished and was asked to sit in the lobby while they discussed.
I waited for 3 minutes and he came back out to get me. I’m just inside the door with all of the computer terminals and consoles set up. It’s dark and interesting but also smelly and not what you probably would imagine. I firmly believed that this would be the last time I saw QA testers in action and so I took it all in, with all of my senses. And then he hands me some papers and says welcome to EA and I’m sure my face is saying “What?! You’re kidding, right?”

So that’s how I got a job as a quality assurance tester at EA-Tiburon testing sports games. I’m still very much hoping that Charlie will be called in as well next week. If we both have a job in the same building that would be fantastic. Less money in gas. However, I’m also hoping to get a 3 month contract working in public relations at $15.00/hour and getting benefits to boot.

I’ll let you know how it pans out…

Yikes! Will things be looking up for EA?

Here’s one story about working as a QA Tester
and a livejournal made for EA spouses.

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Transcript from conversation with my sister
Me 26, my sister 16 (1979, 1989)

Lyncher: awesome! (< me)
Lyncher: You’re on!
then uttered: yup (< sarah, my sister)
Lyncher: Dude, so what have you heard about the new generation names?
Lyncher: eh?
Lyncher: what have you heard…”
then uttered: oooh
then uttered: nothing
Lyncher: for instance, when was Gen X? Is there a Gen Y? And what constitutes the years of each?
Lyncher: Right so you want a summary or just the wiki’s I found?
then uttered: summary
Lyncher: Baby Boomers – After WWII until
then uttered: 1964?
Lyncher: Generation X – 1960’s to mid/late 70s…
Lyncher: fall of berlin wall…
Lyncher: fall of imperialism…period of transition
Lyncher: Now this is where it gets tricky
Lyncher: no definitive end date for Gen X and no definitive begin date for Gen Y
Lyncher: And actually, no real name for the next generation…
Lyncher: here are some theories:
Lyncher: Although different groups or individuals consider a different range of years to constitute Generation Y, that range of years is almost always within the outer bounds of 1976 as the earliest possible year and 2001 as the latest.
Lyncher: so this is the outermost areas of the generation gap
Lyncher: market research uses the years 1978-2000
she then uttered: thats a real big generation
Lyncher: now, everything is saying that there needs to be a major event to mark the beginning/end of a generation
Lyncher: ok, that aside for now…What exactly is the name?
Lyncher: Use of the term Generation Y (often shortened to Gen Y or Ygen) to describe any cohort of individuals is controversial for a variety of reasons.
Lyncher: successional relationship to Gen X…and they want to be different, they don’t associate with those who understood cold war…
Lyncher: now all the while, I’m thinking “they” really meaning me…cause I want to know what generation I am in…
Lyncher: In this sense, the use of Gen Y as a term only denotes “after Gen X” and fails to capture the cohort’s unique social, political, and cultural experience.
Lyncher: there is also not a defining moment in this…why pick the next letter…copout! Where was generation W!
then uttered: true
Lyncher: So, I’m not into Gen Y really…what’s next? The Millenials….based on the graduating class of 2000 — years 1982-2000 with the defining moment being the turn of the millenium….
Lyncher: but having lived a bit longer….I think there are other more defining things than this…
Lyncher: How about? Generation M (where M stands for media, “Me, Myself, and I”, “middle income”, or “millennium, marketing and media”) is a term to describe the media- and Internet-savvy consumer generation born after about 1980.
Lyncher: They are characterized by a high availability of leisure time, critical but not rebellious thinking and generally acting younger than their biological age. Moving out of their parents’ houses late and frequent job changes are also thought to be typical.
Lyncher: Interesting….
then uttered: vry interesting
Lyncher: Somewhat true but not all true…that’s still pretty degrading…
Lyncher: but we’re getting closer on beginning dates
Lyncher: Thing is…
Lyncher: Let me recap for a second:
Lyncher: Baby Boomers: After WWII to 1960s
Generation X: 1964-1978
Generation Y/M/Millenials: 1982-2000
Lyncher: see anything missing here?
Lyncher: There is a 4 year gap…and guess who’s sitting right dab in the middle….
then uttered: haha sorry mims
then uttered: i guess you can go in either one you want
Lyncher: right!?
Lyncher: but wait
Lyncher: they have come up with a solution!
Lyncher: either we are soo important that our 4 year gap has it’s own name OR we are so lame that the other generations didn’t want us and we can’t relate…
Lyncher: the MTV Generation
Lyncher: yup…..defining moment ….the birth of MTV (1979) like any of us FREAKIN’ remember!
then uttered: hahaha
then uttered: true true
Lyncher: but it is all up in the air
Lyncher: Charlie can also be part of what someone is calling “The Cold Gen Y”
Lyncher: Cold Generation Y is label used to describe a subset of Generation Y born between 1982 and 1985.
Lyncher: those barely remembering the cold war
then uttered: these generations are dumb
Lyncher: So, I’m thinking the Net Generation or something because I believe the proliferation of the Internet is a defining moment
Lyncher: In the US, some are arguing 9/11 is a defining moment also
Lyncher: but as the end of Gen Y and the start of the “New Silent Generation”
Lyncher: The New Silent Generation is a proposed holding name used by Neil Howe and William Strauss in their demographic history of America, Generations to describe the generation whose birth years begin in 1999 and continue to an as yet unknown year in the future.
Lyncher: Those are the same guys who came up with the non-defining Millenial Generation
then uttered: they cant say theyre gonna be a silent generation if the kids are only like 7
Lyncher: well, I suppose they’re pretty silent right now
then uttered: this is retarded
Lyncher: The term is a reflection of Howe’s and Strauss’s theory that the characteristics of American generations are cyclical, and the generation currently being born will share characteristics with the Silent Generation, born in the span of years between 1925 and 1942.

Due to the popular use of the terms Generation X and Generation Y, especially among the market research community, the New Silent Generation is sometimes referred to as Generation Z or the Zoog Generation, because of the birth of Zoog Disney around the time this generation began. Another term sometimes used is Generation Alpha. Although the generation is often said to start somewhere in the early or mid 2000s, the events of 9/11 and the Digital Revolution may make it so that Gen Z is eventually considered to also include those born in the latter 1990s, depending on how much these people will share with the earlier Gen Yers as they grow older. The earliest date commonly cited as the beginning of Z is 1995, however some claim that it begins as soon as 1994 or even 1993.