Andreas(R) would like answers to this query: "I imagine that creating PC-games would be an exciting and creative profession. Obviously, it takes a lot of programming skills to put together most advanved games with realtime 3D, AI etc. What is the best way to aquire the neccecary skills to get these kinds of jobs (such as game designer at Westwood, Sierra, Epic)? Is a CS-degree the best way? Does one learn useful things in relation to games (such as programming for Direct 3D, or Direct-Rendering with Linux)? Given how the computing-industry has suffered economically recently; will there still be a demand for programmers/game designers in the future?" If there are any readers out there currently in the gaming industry, how did you get your first break?
To break into the gaming industry, like most IT jobs, one needs experience. Sure, Computer Science degrees will help in the application process, but you may need to focus a bit more on the math and logic side of things. The best thing one can do when trying to obtain a gaming job, is to make your own game. But before going for the 3D-realtime-60fps-shooter, think about starting small. Having the experience that comes from writing a 2D platform game or a couple of 3D demos under your belt will be worth more, to a game company seeking new talent, than any set of degrees.