GAMING FOR A LIVING
Electronic gaming is huge business. What was once a "nerdy" and socially ostracizing pastime has evolved into mainstream entertainment on par with film and television. It's socially acceptable for just about anyone from any walk of life to be seen playing a game in public on their phone, making their online game participation public on their Facebook wall or getting friends together for a motion-controlled party game on a weekend night.
Mainstreaming means more customers, and more customers means more money. Mobile gaming alone is a $3 billion industry in the United States and a $30 billion industry worldwide, just recently overtaking the roughly $26 billion in console gaming revenues. When you include the PC market, MMOs worldwide do about $9 billion in business at present and are consistently growing at a rate of about $1 billion per year. When you've factored in all different possible forms of gaming and all the related hardware and merchandise sales, the video and computer gaming industry as a whole is in the $85 billion dollar range worldwide, and with plenty of room for further growth in developing countries.
The point of all these numbers? When there's this much money flying around in an industry, there are plenty of ways to make your living in it. Of course, most of this is centered around the making of games and the coverage of them, and the various support services necessary to the companies that do so.
But how about making a living by simply playing the things?
Not only is this a viable possibility, there are a number of potential branches and there are already plenty of people doing it in each of them. This is a non-traditional and mostly independent means of making money, however, and as such the pathways to it are usually a lot more esoteric, non-intuitive and poorly documented than they are to, say, getting a job as a programmer or a human resources manager at EA. You can't get a degree in this stuff, and networking on LinkedIn usually doesn't help either.
Thus this ongoing article, in which we'll explore and document all the ways you can potentially find yourself making your way in the world as a card-carrying "professional gamer" (or at least a well-paid amateur). With a little entrepreneurial spirit you'd be surprised what you can pull off.
Please note: This is a "living article" and will continually be refined and update. Major changes will be noted with updates to the main news page (at platsocavern.com) as well as through our Twitter account.
Suggestions for stuff you'd like to see? Hot information you'd like to add? Questions that aren't game strategy / technical support-related? Fire away to firstname.lastname@example.org
GRINDING FOR CASH AND PRIZES
MMOs -- SELLING VIRTUAL GOODS, ACCOUNTS & SERVICES
PROFESSIONAL COMPETITIVE GAMING
WRITING ABOUT GAMES