Five Ways to Earn Money from Your Gaming
Doing something you love, and getting paid for it, is surely the Holy Grail in life.
Until very recently, there was no real avenue for gamers to achieve that, but the pathway has opened up for all given the explosion in popularity of streaming sites such as YouTube and Twitch.
And, if you're really good at a specific game, you can even make a career out of it given the huge prize money available in competitive eSports.
So if you want to make some extra money while gaming, here are five ways in which you can make your hobby pay.
1. Live Streaming
Okay, so this is an ultra-competitive marketplace where you will be up against millions of streamers who, in many cases, already have an established audience.
But that's not to say there isn't room for new voices in gaming streaming particularly those who have unique ideas or who can become an authoritative 'voice' for the industry.
And let's face it, it's not as if there is a lack of demand for quality streamers: Twitch alone has 15 million active daily users and more than 350 billion minutes of content have been streamed so far.
Now imagine what those stats look like for YouTube!
The idea is simple: you set up your own streaming channel and monetize it in one of two ways: via ads placed prior to your videos (these are paid based on the number of views), or - when you get popular enough - by setting up a subscription payment model; this is doable if the content you are producing is interesting, informative and unique.
The world of eSports is growing at an incredible rate, and in amongst the accompanying statistics is one that really stands out: the best gamers, such as Peter Dager, are earning millions of dollars for the privilege!
If you play competitive games that have made the crossover to the world of eSports - think titles such as CS:GO, Dota 2, Rainbow Six Siege and even FIFA - then you can enter tournaments, where often there is a cash prize paid.
Build up your reputation and you might even be asked to join an official franchise; these are paid to play in tournaments thanks to some rather handsome sponsorship deals, so this is another great way to earn while you play.
3. Broadening Your Horizons
As gamers, we have transferable skills that can be used in other areas. Online casino games, for example, require patience, discipline and a critical eye... something you will utilize in your gaming every time you play.
It is important to remember that many games require as much luck as they do skill, and there is no mathematically beatable casino game.
But as mentioned, those transferable skills you have learned from your gaming will stand you in great stand for potentially making money online. Unlike standard gaming, as well, casino gaming is censored in many countries. You may need tools like a Virtual Private Network to bypass the censorship.
4. Games Testing
As you probably already know, all games that are released on the major consoles go through extensive backtesting in order to ensure they are bug-free and user-friendly (as you can probably tell, some games are more rigorously tested than others!)
The larges software development firms will have their own in-house testers for quality control, but smaller studios may hire 'external' testers on a freelance basis.
Naturally, a number of these gigs are paid, so keep your eyes on job boards and sign up at sites such as PlaytestCloud and Beta Family to get started.
5. Games Writing
Now, we know that writing isn't everybody's cup of tea, but there is money to be made for writing reviews, features, news pieces and play-through guides about the leading games and consoles.
There are stacks of gaming blogs out there, and some have such healthy readerships that they are able to pay their writers for exclusive content.
Alternatively, you could set up your own blog or news style if you feel you have a niche interest in gaming; nothing ventured, nothing gained!