So where to begin? This is a tricky question so I guess I'll start with the basics, namely core education...essentially this is one of the first things I look for when I'm checking out a CV of someone trying to break into the industry.
It's boring I know, but in my experience there is an inescapable fact that 99% of people who work in the games industry are pretty clever and have a solid education behind them...I think there's a solid link between creativity/imagination and raw IQ power...you need the horsepower to drive the ideas and problem solving...
Not only that, but a solid education demonstrates an ability to understand and learn...this is an essential selling point for you in an interview when you're trying to land a job for which you have no experience...you need to be focusing on your potential and demonstrating how you will be successful in the role to the person interviewing you...
So between the ages of 11-16 (GCSE's in the UK) and 17-18 (A-levels in the UK) you need to be giving yourself a solid foundation in terms of core subjects such as Maths, English, Sciences (biology, physics and chemistry), and History...these are the solid foundations upon which you will build your specialist skills and knowledge...so boring as it may sound, get your head down at school, work hard and get some solid qualifications in proper subjects...
And by proper subjects, you know what I mean! Easy subjects that the dossers go for are fucking obvious to people checking out your CV...don't fall into the trap!
Additional subjects such as art / religious education / foreign languages / music can all have a part to play, mainly dependent on the field of development you want to get into...but make sure these are the sprinklings on top of your solid education pie and not the pastry and filling!
Beyond this point there are a multitude of options to look at...definitely topics for future blog posts to look at them in detail but the more obvious options include:
Higher core education
But to sign this off on a positive note, if you are between 11-18 and now you're thinking that all you have ahead of you is hitting the school books then don't despair as there's additional stuff you need to be doing which is much more fun! This is the next week’s topic - 'playing games for gain'