Make money playing video games
Sounds like a dream doesn't it? And yet for some its a reality. Sitting in front of your favorite game for a couple of hours a day and getting a big fat check to show for it.
But its not as out of reach as you may think. Here are some ways you can turn your gaming hours into paying ones, how you can utilize your hobby to make money and possibly become rich and famous (with some really handy links).
If you want to make money playing video games you will need to set yourself goals. You need to know exactly how you plan to make you money making aspiration a reality because like being successful in any area, it will require a certain amount of dedication.
Here are some ways you can make money playing video games:
Sell your in game character/items/gold:
By far the easiest and most common way to make money from playing video games is to Sell items/characters/gold etc from your favorite mmorpg (massively multiplayer online role playing game). There are always people who want to play mmorpg's but don't have time to spend building up a character or collecting equipment and gold etc. These time poor (and of cash rich) players will happily pay others to provide them with extra gold, special items or a high level character (a process called power leveling) so they can get right into the action. You can sell you items/characters etc on ebay, or look for a company which will sell things on your behalf or buy from you.
The first thing to do is select an appropriate game. Everquest and World of Warcraft are the big names, but there are plenty of others and like anything if you find a niche were there is reasonable demand with less competition, your bound to make better sales. Take a look at www.gamewar.com any of the games listed here should be a good bet.
The second thing to do is check out the competition at ebay. You can see what people are actually selling and how well they are doing by looking at completed transactions.
Lastly, like any job you need to decide what level of professional gamer you want to be. If you just want to play a game for fun and then move on to the next game, selling your character as you leave, thats fine. If you really want to be a professional player making money from the game, you will need to research the game thoroughly, find out how to make gold faster, go up levels faster etc. Learn to maximize your income potential for the minimum of game playing time.
Monetize a game review site:
Review the games you play. Start a blog or website reviewing the games you play, you can give tips and show where secret areas are or talk about different playing strategies which may help other players, you could also write walkthroughs to help other players that get stuck. Once you have established you site, you can monetize it with pay per click advertsing (adsense) or affiliate links (for a complete list of online monetization opportunities go here).
Sell ebooks with hints and cheats.
You can sign up at click bank and sell a number of products to help people improve their game. One such product for example, will help you make gold faster in world of war craft, which you can sell online for real world money. You can take a look here.
Write your own Game:
Write your own video game. It's not exactly playing the game to earn money (although you will need to test it) but there is always a market for something different, a new flash game that someone can put on a website, or a truly different first person shooter. And I might be a lot easier than you think, there a plenty of easy to use tools for making your own game.
First person shooter creator X10 is a very simply way of making your very own first person shooter. No programming is required, all you need to do is 'paint' in levels and place items/characters and your done. This method is hardly likely to give you a competitive first person shooter compared with the latest professional offerings, but try and come up with something completely different, with a bit of imagination and lateral thinking you could find a niche.
Darkbasic. The programing language BASIC has been around for years, its one of the easiest programming languages to learn. Darkbasic is a type of basic specifically aimed at budding game writers. With Darkbasic you don't need to restrict yourself to writing a first person shooter, you could make your own mmorpg or something entirely new.
Microsoft XNA Game Studio Express. Microsoft finally did something right (if only to secure a future for its Xbox) by creating a developer kit thatsquite easy to get started with. If you really want to learn a professional way of creating games then this is worth a try. It will involve more head scratching, but you bee surprised what you can do quite easily. XNA Game Studio Express will help you write games for the PC and the Xbox.
3D Game studio A7 (or Ax). Here is a very good 3D engine, game editor and game programming language. If your prepared to (or want to) learn C/C++ programing language 3D Game studio might be right for you.
Be the best video game play in you city/country/the world:
Choose a well known and loved first person shooter and practice to become the best (in your region if not the world) at it. This is perhaps one of the hardest way to make money with video games but there is prize money and lucrative sponsorship deals for those who make it. You will need to start with a reasonable talent (do you constantly beat all of your friends?) and practice about 3 or four hours a day and even then your chances are slim.
Gamble on your skill:
If you think your good at first person shooters, but perhaps not quite a world beater, then perhaps you might want to try Kwari. Its a first person shooter where you make money every time you cause damage to other players. Conversely you can loose money for being hit yourself. It's mo (Jan 2008) in beta and therefore I offer no recommendations as to its income potential.
Make profit in a virtual world:
Many people are now making money by selling a variety of things in virtual worlds like second life. Second life is hardly what you would call in the classic sense, a video game. Its more of a virtual meeting place where one can meet and interact with others in a virtual world. In this world you can buy clothes, modification to your avitar (virtual character) and even real estate. You can set up a shop and sell things that don't actually cost you anything to make and you can have an unlimited inventory. While it may not be what most of us think of when we talk about making money playing video games, there are plenty of opportunities there for entrepreneurial people.
Apply lessons learned from the games you play to your real life.
If you play strategy games you will know that the person with the most resources invariably wins. Regardless of weather its gold, wood or tiberium, the resources that you have to mine in strategy games are the currency in that game. You could learn a lot about the things you do in these games and then apply the to your life to help you financially. For example, some games allow you to build structures that bring in resources (money). This is what you should try to do in life, build income generating vehicles which bring money into your life. This is easy to do online.
Online you can create a blog/website about your gaming experience (as explained above) which you can monetize. Once you have a number of articles or post, the site will start generating income. This is the same as in the strategy game. All you need to do now is make another and another to buildup a regular income. More information can be found here.
Years ago the only way to make money from playing video games was to be a video game 'tester'. While its true many testers are required to play a game before it comes to market, the reality is these jobs are only given to people who have other skills to contribute to the development of a game and are therefore employed first and foremost for those skills, or they are poorly paid and go to friends of the employees at the game development companies. The other option for making money playing video games that have already been discussed are much better prospects.
One final thought about making money from playing video games.
If you do decide to seriously look into making money this way, be aware of a few certainties:
If your playing video games full time then this will become your job and your job invariably becomes boring. After playing your favorite game all day for months on end, it will no doubt cease to be your favorite game, in fact you will no doubt start to see it as a chore. The good thing is, that at this point you could start playing some other different games the only thing you will need to weigh up is profitability. You ability to collect gold/items and level up in a new game will be greatly diminished, only you will be able to decide which is more important, the money or the entertainment value of the game.
Make sure you consider your game playing environment. Choose a comfortable ergonomic chair with lumbar support and get up from the chair once in a wile to stretch your legs. There is no point playing video games all day to make a few bucks and ending up with chronic back pain all your life.
Check out this New York times article The Game Is Virtual. The Profit Is Real.
Posted in You too can (how to articles)