Have you ever thought about working in the video game industry? Do you like playing video games? Do you enjoy talking about video games when you aren't playing them? Are you familiar with some of the popular social media channels like Facebook, Twitter and Twitch? If you answered yes to these questions, did you know there are employment opportunities in the video game industry for people with these skills?

It's true.

You probably didn't know it but today was Community Manager Appreciation Day. Even if you did know it, chances are you probably weren't all that interested. It's just another made up holiday for a group of individuals who share a common interest, occupation or cause. But there were a number of gamers who knew, and a number who were interested.

To commemorate Community Manager Appreciation Day, one of the Microsoft studios hosted a Twitch stream and partnered with a few other Community Managers from other video game studios. They discussed all sorts of topics including what the most important quality for a community manager to possess and how each person was able to get a job in the industry. In nearly every instance, the people who got their break in the industry and landed a Community Manager position, started out as regular everyday gamer like you and me. They were volunteers who contributed to online communities by creating content; by helping fellow players out in the forums; by operating fan websites; by being noticed for their contributions and commitment.

Let's be honest. Not all of us have backgrounds in programming, engineering or art design...but we are passionate about video games and have a lot to offer. Community Management can provide those sorts of opportunities. One of the cool things about Community Management is the ability to learn and use all sorts of different skills. Clearly customer service and social media engagement are important elements to community management, but so are other qualities like marketing, public relations, event planning, web design, and knowledge of the game or games you represent.

Community Management (or working any position in the video game industry for that matter) isn't for everybody though. You will see the video game industry from a different perspective and no doubt it will influence how you view and play video games and the people who play them. While it might be a dream job, it is still a job...and with it, some shortcomings. Anybody pursuing this career path should definitely learn what they are getting into beforehand.

So, why do I tell you this? I admit most of you probably won't be interested. But those who dream of a job in the video game industry might find value in hearing about opportunities and what it takes to secure one of these positions. It is a crowded field with few positions. If you're truly interested, the things you do now can pay off in the long run. Find a game you like, pour your heart into the community and you will get noticed. It's not impossible but it will be a challenge.

Even if you have no desire to work in the video game industry in Community Management or any other field, there are benefits to knowing who the Community Manager and/or community team is for a game you are interested in.

Most Community Managers (I hesitate to say all Community Managers) have more work to do than hours in the day. Even teams with multiple people seldom get everything done they strive to get done. There's always more to do. They often rely on the help from their devoted community members who volunteer their time, energy and passion to help with the long laundry list of tasks needing to be done. The volunteers are often rewarded for their efforts. Sometimes it's something small like a forum title or badge, but sometimes it's far more significant...access to betas, free product keys for games, and more.

Anyway, I just thought I'd share some thoughts about this special day - Community Manager Appreciation Day. For those like me who dreamed of working in the video game industry and to those who helped along the way and made it possible.

Never underestimate the power of sacrificing your time and volunteering your abilities to supporting a community you love. You never know who is watching and how they might be able to return the favor one day.