Yes, You can Make Money Playing Video Games. Here Are 7 Ways to Do It

Frederick Aldeco was the youngest of three boys who loved to game.

Growing up, he and his brothers first fought over who could play the Nintendo, then the Super Nintendo, then the PlayStation — he could only play when his older brothers let him.

But then he got his own Game Boy. It came with Pokémon Yellow, and everything changed.

“I could play anytime I wanted to without them having an issue,” Aldeco said.

Nearly two decades later, Aldeco, 29, still loves Pokémon — so much so that he runs a Pokémon news channel on YouTube under the moniker DaddyGamer Fred.

Besides that, he’s done what most gamers dream of doing: Making money playing video games. While it’s not his full-time gig, Aldeco said his content has earned him up to $ 300 a week.

Over the years, gaming has become increasingly popular with almost all age groups. The Entertainment Software Association has tracked gamers with an annual survey since 1997, and its latest data show that 64% of households own regularly played gaming systems. Perhaps what’s more surprising is that association research shows the typical gamer may not be who you think. In the U.S., more women play video games than teenage boys.

And if you belong to this new wave of gamers, you’ve probably thought at some point, “There’s got to be a way to get paid for this.”

Turns out, there are plenty.

How to Make Money Playing Video Games

These recommendations require actually playing a video game to earn you cash. You may need some in-depth knowledge or skills for most of the following methods — but not all of them. So don’t worry if your gaming abilities aren’t esports-ready just yet.

1. Participate in Video Game Tournaments

The League of Legends World Championship is an esports tournament that can earn elite winners millions of dollars and millions of fans, but most gamers are not at that level and never will be.

Instead, opt for amateur tournaments to earn $ 5 or $ 10 per match. GamerSaloon is one video-gaming site where you can do just that. Anyone 18 years or older can create a free account and start joining tournaments. The more you win, the more you earn.

The website is open to gamers around the world, but the system is based on the U.S. dollar. All other currencies are accepted but will be converted automatically.

Popular games on the site include NBA 2k19, Fortnite, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, UFC 3, FIFA 19 and others.

2. Become a Beta Tester

Millions of people now pay for video games before they are released by pre-ordering them.

Wouldn’t it be amazing if video game companies would pay you instead to play their video games before the release date?

Actually, that’s a thing.

Several companies pay people to beta test video games to collect feedback and work out the kinks before the mass market gets its hands on it.

For the lucky gamers who live near Redmond, Washington, Nintendo partners with two staffing agencies to beta test games on-site. Unfortunately, there are no remote testing options available.

For those living outside the area, there’s VMC Consulting, a tech company that specializes in quality assurance and support. It runs a Global Beta Test Network, which tests major multiplayer video games for consoles and PCs before their release. Applicants can live anywhere, must be at least 18 years old and must use Discord (a chat messaging system for gamers) to give feedback.

3. Start Streaming

No, not on Netflix. In the video-game world, streaming has a different meaning. It refers to a live feed of someone playing a video game. Streaming services allow the streamer to interact directly with the audience via a chatroom system. Viewers can also tip the streamer in real time.

There are several free streaming services to choose from, the most popular being Twitch.tv. You don’t have to be a pro to stream, either. You just have to be entertaining. One streamer, Cory Michael — aka King Gothalion — turned his streaming hobby into a six-figure salary.

Michael said the main three sources of income come from subscriptions, tips directly from your viewers and ad revenue.

Even if you don’t manage millions of subscribers, streaming could still get you tips here and there, and once your channel becomes more popular, you could land a paid partnership with the streaming service.

4. Create a Business on Second Life

Fifteen years later, Second Life is still kicking with about 750,000 monthly users.

Second Life is a video game that was slated to revolutionize the internet (before social media came along). But it’s hard to call Second Life a video game. It’s more than that.

There aren’t any overt objectives. No bosses to beat. No princesses to rescue. Instead, all of its content is user-generated, from the avatars themselves to the worlds they inhabit. In Second Life, people date, have children, build houses and travel to replicas of famous landmarks.

People spend years carving out a piece of digital paradise. Some hire real-life experts to help get it just right. In-game specialists can make bank, too. Architects, publishers and fashion designers have used their industry knowledge to bolster their virtual businesses. There’s even a journalist, Wagner James Au, who works inside Second Life and reports on in-game artists and entrepreneurs.

Second Life spawned the first video game business millionaire, Ailin Graef, and she’s not the only person to make a fortune with the game.

There are multiple people and businesses that have made over a million U.S. dollars in Second Life over the years,” said Brett Atwood, Director of Marketing at Linden Labs, the company that created Second Life. “Many are still active.”

Since Second Life’s launch in 2003, players have spent billions of dollars of real money on in-game currency called Linden Dollars (or L$ ). The exchange rate currently is about 250 L$ to $ 1. Users can go to the Second Life exchange store to purchase L$ , then use L$ for in-game services. The level of customization is incredibly granular, and users are eager to pay L$ for real-life experts to apply their knowledge to the virtual world.

Atwood said the big bucks are usually in virtual real estate and fashion.

For other business ideas and examples of Second Life entrepreneurs, check out its business site.

5. Coach Others in How to Play

Are you a Starcraft god? A Fortnite legend? Share your strategies with us noobs for cash.

You can teach beginners basic lingo or coach seasoned players on the latest competitive strategies. Some online tutoring websites, Superprof for example, are general tutoring platforms that happen to allow video-game listings.

However, there are some other options that are tailored specifically for gaming lessons. Gamer Sensei is one such platform that hires senseis, aka coaches, to teach lessons in specific games, including League of Legends, Counter-Strike, DOTA 2 and — of course — Fortnite.

Making a sensei profile is free. Senseis set their own schedules and prices and have no hourly time commitments.

Another option is Gameflip Gigs. Gameflip is a video game marketplace, where people can buy, sell and trade video games and related content.

The company recently launched Gigs, which is still in beta but is open for applications.

The gigs revolve around four types of services:

  • Create: Good at graphic design? You can craft the perfect avatar or graphic for a gamer’s profile or online store.
  • Entertain: If you’re hilarious, get paid for it by joining people’s in-game parties and having fun.
  • Coach: Teach others the way to victory.
  • Carry: Some people just like winning. You provide that service.

During the beta, Gigs members have a $ 1,000 limit on what they can earn.

Other Ways to Make Money With Video Games

A person holds video game boxes and a controller.

Maybe you aren’t comfortable with turning your hobby into a job. You want to keep it sacred and fun. That’s all right, too. You can still make plenty of money with gigs related to video gaming that don’t require you to play them.

6. Sell Video Games for Cash

Do you blast through video games? Are you constantly in search of new ones to conquer? Then you should consider selling your used video games once you’re finished.

Your pile of old games can fund your next virtual adventure, get you some quick cash to make rent, or if you’re like Aldeco, help fund your move from the U.S. to Switzerland.

The Penny Hoarder’s guide walks you through the best technique to sell video games through GameStop and get up to 50% extra cash for your games. I turned a $ 72.40 cash offer for a few of my video games and a controller into $ 111.14.

If you’d rather not make the trek to GameStop, Gameflip allows users to buy and sell their video games and gift cards online.

That’s what Aldeco used to downsize before his move overseas. He sold off all his physical games and consoles but kept the handheld devices — his trusty Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita.

Alternatively, you can sell games on eBay, but you may be stuck with a bunch of additional fees if you don’t meet the site’s minimum seller service standards.

7. Make Video Game Guides

Perhaps you’ve played a game for so long that you’ve discovered all the Easter eggs, all the glitches and all the best farming spots.

You can create guides to help people do the same, whether they’re articles or YouTube videos.

Stephen Robinson, better known by the moniker Ratty Star, creates YouTube guides for a post-apocalyptic role playing game, Fallout 76.

“I have had some success,” Robinson said, “with a few videos getting a few thousand views, with my highest currently at 63,000.”

Several major gaming publications accept freelance pitches for video game guides and commentary, too. So if you prefer writing to video editing, give IGN, Kotaku, Escapist Magazine, Game Informer and GamesRadar+ a shot.

If you’re not a seasoned freelancer, we have a guide that walks you through how to come up with story ideas, pitch to editors and ultimately make money as a freelance writer. In the meantime, you can build up your portfolio by writing for GameSkinny, which will pay you based on how many views your articles get.

Neither Robinson nor Aldeco is famous. They have about 2,500 followers between the two of them. Getting famous really isn’t the point.

“I’m doing it because I’m enjoying the creative process,” Aldeco said. “Whenever the money comes, of course it’s a plus, but [it’s] not truly the end goal for me.”

Adam Hardy is a staff writer on the Make Money team at The Penny Hoarder. He has played video games since he was 6 years old. Read his full bio here, or say hi on Twitter @hardyjournalism.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

The Penny Hoarder Promise: We provide accurate, reliable information. Here’s why you can trust us and how we make money.

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CBS Blocked a Medical Marijuana Commercial From Playing During the Super Bowl

(Bloomberg) — The Super Bowl isn’t ready for medical marijuana.

Acreage Holdings, the multi-state cannabis company backed by John Boehner, says CBS rejected a television advertisement that calls for the legalization of medical marijuana. The network, which is airing the game on Feb. 3, nixed the proposed spot after seeing a rough outline, according to the company.

While medical marijuana is now legal in more than 30 states, the federal prohibition on cannabis has restricted research and made it difficult for some potential patients to get their hands on a drug that proponents say helps treat seizures, pain and other ailments.

The advertisement aimed to “create an advocacy campaign for constituents who are being lost in the dialogue,” Acreage President George Allen said. Super Bowl airtime would have been the best way to achieve this, he added.

“It’s hard to compete with the amount of attention something gets when it airs during the Super Bowl,” Allen said in a telephone interview.

CBS didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment on Monday, which was a federal holiday.

The Super Bowl is typically the most-watched television program of the year, and it’s an opportunity for brands to get in front of millions of Americans. Companies typically debut new publicity campaigns and air their most creative commercials during the event. Some viewers eagerly anticipate the advertisements that run during stoppages in play.

In past years, some advertisers have also grabbed the spotlight for offering up commercials that weren’t likely to be approved.

Injuries, Seizures

Acreage, one of the most valuable U.S. weed companies with a market value of more than $ 2.4 billion, had hoped to raise its profile and push for increased access to medical marijuana. The proposed ad features two subjects who have benefited from medicinal cannabis: a veteran with combat injuries and a child with seizures.

Super Bowl ads are expensive, reportedly costing more than $ 5 million for an average 30-second spot last year. Acreage, which went public in Canada last year, was prepared to pony up, and created the ad thinking it had a legitimate chance of getting onto the air. The company said it was careful to position the spot as a “call to political action” rather than a pitch for its brand, which now has cannabis operations in roughly 15 states.

“We certainly thought there was a chance,” Allen said. “You strike when the chance of your strike has the probability of success — this isn’t a doomed mission.”

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Actress Octavia Spencer isn’t on-screen in Green Book but because she was so drawn to the story she opted to become an executive producer.

Green Book gives us a look inside the road trip of Jazz pianist Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali) and his driver/bodyguard Tony Vallelonga (Viggo Mortensen) as they traveled through the deep south in the 1960s for Shirley’s tour.

Spencer, who was born in Alabama, called into the Tom Joyner Morning Show to discuss how she became involved in Green Book and how her southern roots had a lot to do with it.

Check out the full interview above.

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Prince’s Estate Demands Trump Stop Playing His Music At Rallies

At a rally in Mississippi, Trump played Prince‘s iconic 1984 song “Purple Rain.” Prince’s estate was not here for it.

“The Prince Estate has never given permission to President Trump or The White House to use Prince’s songs and have requested that they cease all use immediately,” Prince’s estate said in a statement via Jeremiah Freed, also known as Dr. Funkenberry.

Here is a video below of the song being played at the Trump rally:

While Prince was certainly a political artist, he often talked about race, poverty and faith in his music. He was not associated with a particular political party, and as a Jehovah’s Witness, he was also open about never voting.

In 2009, Prince told Tavis Smiley about President Barack Obama, “Well, I don’t vote. I’ve don’t have nothing to do with it. I’ve got no dog in that race.”

He continued, “The reason why is that I’m one of the Jehovah’s Witnesses and we’ve never voted. That’s not to say I don’t think … President Obama is a very smart individual and he seems like he means well. Prophecy is what we all have to go by now.”

In 2015, Prince played a private concert for Obama in the White House’s East Room before shows in Washington, D.C.

In 1990, Prince gave $ 2,000 to Minnesota Sen. Rudy Boschwitz, who was a Republican. Boschwitz’s campaign director said at the time, “It’s safe to assume that Rudy is not familiar with Prince’s work.”

Boschwitz lost to Democrat Paul Wellstone in the 1990 campaign.

Well, let’s hope other people will be voting in droves on November 6.

 

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Prince’s estate wants Trump to stop playing his music at rallies

Add Prince to the list of musicians whose songs President Trump doesn’t have permission to play at his events.

Prince’s estate requested in a statement that Trump and the White House not play the Purple One’s music moving forward after “Purple Rain” was used at a recent event in Mississippi.

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