Gaming: Find your perfect platform

Puzzled by which route to take into the retail gaming sector? Dan Poole provides a guide to building a winning career
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The Independent Online

The Mario Brothers forged themselves a great career in the gaming world with their expert plumbing abilities, not to mention an impressive knack for diversification into tennis, karting and tournament golf. If a career in gaming retail appeals to you, then obviously it will be on a different platform, but rest assured that it will be a no less exciting one.

Like working your way through the levels of Tetris, there are great opportunities to get to the top in the gaming retail sector with some hard work and dedication. Read on for an idea of the career path you could take...

Sales assistant

Working on the shop floor, a sales assistant needs to know his or her subject inside out, ready to field questions from curious customers. So, people skills are at a premium, as are unquenchable enthusiasm and passion.

Deputy/assistant manager

The next step-up, and a chance to develop retail and commercial skills. If all goes well it's a stepping stone to becoming a...

Store manager

With the experience they've gained in the sector, store managers are in charge of all aspects of the running of their patch.

District manager

Working as a link between store managers and the next step-up - retail managers - a district manager still looks after an individual store, but is also responsible for training and development for store staff in their immediate area. The ability to inspire and motivate are high on the agenda.

Regional/area manager

The big boss. A regional manager has anywhere between 20 and 30 stores as part of his or her remit, taking care of profits and sales, corporate strategies and company growth.

Game retail is something that you can go straight into after sixth-form college, although if you have a degree in retail you will probably be able to clamber onto the career ladder at a higher rung. Two of the biggest games retailers in the UK are Game and Gamestation, so their websites, www.gamegroup.plc.uk/gg/careers and www.gamestation.co.uk/jobs.asp, are worth checking out. Game alone has over 400 stores in the UK and Ireland, although that doesn't necessarily mean that it will be easy to find a job: as with so many retail careers, the competition is fierce.

However, as always at Retail Therapy, we're here to help. Read on for a beginner's guide to the recently launched PS3 and then if you do make it to the interview stage, you'll be able to wow them with your knowledge!

Staying in for the summer - the new PS3

How does it look?

The cool design lines of the PlayStation 3 mean it is a beautiful thing to behold, but there is a lot more to it than just a pretty face. An elegantly silent operation, impressive 60GB hard drive and brand new 3.2 GHz Cell processor mean it is the most powerful of all games consoles to date.

What are the games like?

As with all new consoles, the first batch of games doesn't really stretch the PS3's capabilities. Game designers need time to get used to the graphic possibilities and take advantage of the massive advancements in disc size. First-person shooter Resistance: Fall of Man is probably the first game that shows off what the PS3 can do, but the realism of cars and environments in the free, downloadable Gran Turismo HD will take your breath away.

What are the controllers like?

Sony's controllers boast a 20-metre wireless range and the ability to connect up to seven users remotely.

What about online options?

You can effectively challenge anyone in the world with a PS3 to a game and then message them while playing. The coolest feature, however, is the PS3's compatibility with the PlayStation Portable (PSP). Wireless connectivity means you can use a PSP as a remote control to link directly into the PS3 hard drive and access music, photos and video from anywhere in your home.

Is the PS3 the king of the consoles?

That really depends on what you want. The PS3 is undoubtedly the most stylish and powerful but, at £425, is £150 more expensive than the Xbox 360. But when it comes down to sheer playability, fun and affordability, the active element of the Nintendo Wii might still pip them both to the post.

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