One of the best parts of life is playing games – whether boardgames on family night, video games after a long day of class or work, or role-playing games on the weekends. If you love games, why not put them to work creating income for you? From making a little spending money to embarking on a full career, I’ve got 7 ways for you to make money playing games.
Play Online Games via Points Clubs.
Sites such as Swagbucks and MyPoints offer their members opportunities to play online games in exchange for points – and these points can then be traded in for gift cards or even Paypal payments! Now, this method often includes spending some money up front: you purchase game tokens at GSN.com (or whatever game site your points club partners with), and earn a certain number of points in exchange. But if you like to play those sorts of online games anyway – games like Super Plunko, Deal or No Deal Slots, and Bejeweled 2 – this can be a good way to turn your enjoyment into a gift card or cash return. And Swagbucks even has some free games on their own site!
Provide customer service for other gamers.
I know: technically, this isn’t getting paid to play games. Still, it is getting paid for the expertise you’ve developed while playing games! Companies like Sutherland Global Services sometimes put out the call for Gaming Consultants – a customer support position for people who are experienced gamers or experienced with gaming technical support. With Sutherland Global Services, they even supply some of the equipment you need; all you need to bring is that gaming experience and a few other skills like being great at social media and multitasking. Often these positions are part-time but well worth your time when you love gaming. It looks like these positions reportedly net about $9 per hour.
Become a playtester.
If you enjoy really getting into the guts of a game and pushing it to the limits – basically, trying to break it – then becoming a playtester may be a good fit for you! As a playtester, you’re often provided with a video game in a pre-release state (along with some testing guidelines) and then asked to play the game extensively. You’ll need to provide equally extensive reporting on how the game responds. Some of these positions actually require a geographical location – like being close to the game company’s headquarters – but many companies are also considering remote playtesters these days. To find these positions, keep an eye on your favorite companies’ websites – they’ll occasionally put out a call for playtesters, though they sometimes compensate with product rather than pay – or keep tabs on the positions open at QA companies like VMC. You can also sign up to be a playtester at PlaytestCloud and Playtestix.
Become a professional gamer.
This is a risky method for making money off playing games, but it may be worth it if you enjoy the thrill of competition! Professional gamers need to be the best of the best, and – if you want to get into eSports – you may need try out for and make an eSports team full of the best of the best. So where does making money come in? That comes from winning championships and landing investors or endorsements; as eSports become bigger, they’re attracting more attention and more money, with prize pools adding up to millions of dollars. If you’re in North America and hoping to land on a team, check out Evil Geniuses, Cloud9, and Team EnVyUs.
Become a gaming coach.
When sports develop, a whole industry follows – and where there are many potential professional gamers, there are just as many teachers and coaches! You can get in on this developing industry by putting your gaming experience to work as a coach. If you already have a solid reputation as a professional gamer (or at least as a skilled public gamer), you could recruit private students directly. Or you can apply to a site like Gamer Sensei and make up to $25 hourly as one of their teachers. And if you’re a really skilled professional gamer? You could become the coach of an eSports team; reportedly, coaches of big teams can make tens of thousands of dollars each year and receive full benefits.
Write for games.
If you’re a talented and creative writer or artist, you may be able to write or produce art directly for games! While it can be incredibly difficult to break into video game writing, writing for tabletop games can be a very attainable gig for freelance writers with tons of tabletop roleplaying game experience. And for artists, this is even more true! Keep an eye on the career or submissions pages for companies like Fantasy Flight Games, Green Ronin Publishing, and Onyx Path Publishing (OPP art submissions here).
Become a YouTube Celebrity.
So, you love gaming – but are you also funny and engaging? Do people love listening to you talk about video games, and laugh at (almost) all your jokes? Then you have the potential to turn that into money, my friend! There’s a lot of competition, but truly entertaining gamers can become YouTube celebrities and earn ad revenue off videos of them talking about and playing games. You can do Let’s Plays, where people watch you play a video game while you narrate what you’re doing, or even simply review games. If you become popular enough, you may even receive complimentary merchandise from game companies who hope you’ll talk about them! Just understand that you’ll need to hit 10,000 lifetime views on your YouTube channel before you can start showing ads, and you’ll likely want to keep it family friendly to ensure a large audience.
Ready to game for money yet? That’s what I thought! I’ve given you the roadmap to work with and several companies to approach – now you’ve just got to get out there, make contact, and follow through when the opportunities arise. Don’t forget to let me know how you’re doing, too – I love to hear my readers’ stories, as you all seek to establish your work-at-home life!