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Is Professional Gamer a Real Career?

I remember the days when my mom would tell me that playing video games was a waste of time, it wasn’t healthy, bad for my vision…and the list goes on and on. And maybe there’s some truth to a couple of those statements, but there’s a risk to everything we do, right?

Gaming is increasingly popular with each passing generation as technology becomes more and more advanced. Where our generation once had to blow into Nintendo cartridges to keep the game going, this generation has video games readily available at their fingertips. And while this may seem like a foreign concept, or even abnormal, reality is that it’s the new norm. The potential for kids to make their favorite pastime into a career is becoming more likely with each passing day.

Professional gaming is a real career that can earn your gamer a hefty salary. From YouTube channels to Twitch and other live streaming platforms, the gaming industry is booming.

One example is Jeffery Shih, who goes by the user name TrumpSC. With more than 20,000 viewers in a single night, Jeffery started live streaming playing video games through different platforms, like Ustream and Livestream.

It’s important to remember that when live streaming was first introduced, it was an investment. To live stream videos, users had to pay a monthly fee. In 2011, Jeffery took the risk, paid for a subscription, and built an audience—from about 500 to 3,000 people in the first couple of months. Now he has more than 700,000 followers on Twitch.

His game of choice was Starcraft. He played the game, gave commentary, and gained enough followers to make the monthly payment worthwhile. To make live streaming an enjoyable experience for the viewer, Jeffery invested in a good microphone and webcam.

To make it as a professional gamer, you have to be dedicated. It really is a career—there is work and scheduling and planning that goes into making sure that your content is relatable and that your personality is captivating to your choice audience. There are millions of kids that can record themselves playing their favorite games, but professional gaming is more than a hobby.

To become a professional gamer, you have to build an audience, and that requires forethought. You have to practice and research your game to understand it inside and out. You have to plan out when you’re going to stream, the best time to stream to get the best audience, how to communicate with the audience while streaming. It’s a career of the 21st century. It’s a career in the entertainment industry. It’s a career with the potential for a very lucrative salary.