There is a saying – often misattributed to Confucius – that goes “Choose a job you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life”. While this is, on the whole, a fanciful statement, it does deliver a worthwhile home truth. People who have jobs that they enjoy are more likely to work hard at them without resenting that they are at work. In turn, they are more likely to do their jobs unencumbered by the desire to just go home – and produce better work as a result.
Therefore, if you are a gamer, you may have considered whether it is possible to turn this enjoyment of games into a career. Like the kids playing ball in their garden or singing in front of a mirror with a hairbrush mic, you might dream of the direct route through a career in eSports. However, just as every kid in the garden can’t turn into an NFL quarterback, and that hairbrush is likely to remain a hairbrush, a career in playing games competitively is only a possibility for a very select few. So, realistically, what could you do with your love of games to prove Mr. Not Confucius right in the future?
Become a streamer
The increased popularity of Twitch has taken a wider world by surprise, with gamers suddenly having the chance to take their games online and allow a watching world to look in to their gaming rooms. Names such as Myth and Ninja have become popular enough to appear in front of audiences beyond the gaming community, and although they’re the top of the game (no pun intended), there are plenty of others doing very well out of a career in streaming.
While you’ll obviously need a decent camera and mic to make it work, you don’t need to pay to set up a streaming channel and you can ask for donations from the beginning. The key point, though, is that you need to differentiate yourself from the millions of others out there trying to do the same thing. So you’ll need to be funny, or charismatic, or particularly good at a specific game to attract a return audience. Essentially, find something that makes you stand out, and put the hours in. If you do this well enough, you can make money without ever needing to tell anyone where you see yourself in five years’ time.
Blog about games
There are plenty of people who love video games, but aren’t especially good at them. There’s no shame in that – how many people who go to the cinema every week could act half as well as Tom Hanks? – but if you want to make an income out of your love of games, you simply need to find the way that you can make it work. This might come down to writing about the topic – taking up-to-the-minute news and either making it digestible as a report, or giving your own cogently-argued opinions as a columnist.
It’s important, if you hope to make a living this way, that you don’t aim for controversy in the way some bloggers do. If you have things to say about video games, then blog about them from the point of view of a fan. That’s exactly what any game affiliate is looking from in a partner, and you’ll need affiliates if you’re going to make this work. There are ways to be opinionated without courting controversy – and you’ll find your level as you go.
Offer gaming guides
It’s a very fortunate gamer who hasn’t found themselves in the middle of a particularly tough game, coming up against a level that they simply cannot get past. Eventually, we might get there – through sheer persistence, or nothing more sophisticated than luck. For many of us, this is the time where we pause the game and reach for a walkthrough.
If you’ve played and completed enough games, then you’ll understand how they progress and where people can get stuck. Writing a walkthrough is like coaching a player through a game, and it’s something you can do via a site – which you can then monetize with affiliate programs and other bits – or with YouTube videos which can make money from advertising. Naturally, you’ll need to make the information clear, and if you can write (or narrate) in an engaging way while doing so, then all the better.
You may never be in a position to get paid for simply playing games – that’s always going to be the dream, though – but if you want to keep playing and never have to work a day in your life, the options above are a few possibilities.