>SAY YES I NEED A JOB
How to apply for work at a video game company
This wonderful cover letter can be found in the original Letters of Note book. It can also be found on the accompanying audiobook, read perfectly by Ferdinand Kingsley. I’ve included that audio below, because you deserve it. Huge thanks to Ferdinand, and to Tim Schafer for allowing his letter to feature in the book.
In 1989, at the end of a disastrous telephone interview in which he admitted to playing pirated versions of his prospective employer’s games, aspiring computer game designer Tim Schafer was advised to send in his résumé and a covering letter relating to the role of Assistant Programmer/Designer at LucasArts, the video game developer founded by George Lucas in 1982. In an effort to win them over after such a bad first impression, Schafer decided to write his covering letter in the form of a text adventure game. The approach worked, and just weeks later Schafer received a job offer and subsequently went on to write for, and program, two of the greatest adventure games ever released: The Secret of Monkey Island and its sequel, Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge.
(I recommend listening to the audio as you cast your eyes over this letter. Hit play below. There is, should you need it, a transcript beneath the images.)
Your quest for the ideal career begins, logically enough, at the Ideal Career Center. Upon entering, you see a helpful looking woman sitting behind a desk. She smiles and says, “May I help you?”
>SAY YES I NEED A JOB
“Ah,” she replies, “and where would you like to work, Los Angeles, Silicon Valley, or San Rafael?”
>SAY SAN RAFAEL
“Good choice,” she says, “Here are some jobs you might be interested in,” and gives you three brochures.
The titles of the three brochures are as follows: “HAL Computers: We’ve Got a Number For You,” “Yoyodine Defense Technologies: Help Us Reach Our Destructive Potential,” and “Lucasfilm, Ltd: Games, Games, Games!”
>OPEN LUCASFILM BROCHURE
The brochure says that Lucasfilm is looking for an imaginative, good-humored team player who has excellent communication skills, programming experience, and loves games. under that description, oddly enough, is a picture of you.
You get the job! Congratulations! You start right away!
>GO TO WORK
You drive the short commute to the Lucasfilm building and find it full of friendly people who show you the way to your desk.
Your desk has on it a powerful computer, a telephone, some personal nicknacks, and some work to do.
It is challenging and personally fulfilling to perform.
As you become personally fulfilled, your score reaches 100, and this quest comes to an end. The adventure, however, is just beginning and so are your days at Lucasfilm.