Playing Video Games: Career Prospects

In my last essay, I wrote about my son, Kevin, and his passion for video games. I also shared my ambivalence about encouraging him to make this a career because I have doubts about how viable this is. I mean, would an employer actually pay him or anyone else to play video games?

To find out, I did a little research. According to this article from MoneyPantry.com, there are six ways to make money playing video games:

  1. "Test video games"
  2. "Sell “Gold” within a game"
  3. "Play in eSport tournaments"
  4. "Record “Let’s Play” videos"
  5. "Teach about video games"
  6. "Write about video games"

The author of the above article makes it sound easy but at the end, he admits that making money at playing video games is probably more of a side job than a full-time career.

I’m not sure if gaming aficionados have a fascination with the number “six” but the next article by Joel Lee also provides six methods to turn gaming into cash. What I appreciate about this article is the author is honest about the fact that making money at gaming is difficult, but he tells you his method, explains its challenges, and shows you how to begin.

Joel Lee’s tips:

  1. "Live stream"
  2. "Guides"
  3. "Podcasts or videos"
  4. "Competitive gaming"
  5. "Games journalism"
  6. "Games testing"

In an article from howtogeek.com, Michael Crider outlines how to make money playing Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, a game my son actually plays. 

Crider’s suggestions:

  • "Trade in-game items for cash"
  • "Trade in-game money for real money"
  • "Create items of your own"
  • "Legitimate alternatives"
  • "Less legitimate alternatives"

Crider warns about the dubious nature of the “grey market,” selling game items outside the game for money. 

All in all, it is possible to make money at gaming, but the caveat is that it isn’t easy. If my son really wants to make a go of gaming for bucks, he’s going to have to scramble, get good at it, and find his niche, which is what he would have to do in any other career. He definitely loves playing video games. If he pursues a career at it, I just hope he can do so and still maintain the sense of enjoyment from playing.