The past decade has seen gaming go from a pleasant pass time to a full-blown hobby, a spectator sport and has provided many with full time jobs. Where gaming was once seen as a geeky hobby for adolescent male teens, playing games has become a way of life for many people – male and female, young and old. Furthermore, simply playing a video game is no longer the only way avid gamers can get their kicks: Cosplaying, video game journalism, streaming, developers, designers, script writers and anyone working within the esports industry are also experiencing the advantages of the booming video game industry. But it should be known that the average gamer can also receive significant benefits from playing video games and these benefits are even helping people to gain full time employment in a field that has nothing to do with video gaming. Not convinced? Read on to find out how this is happening.
Video gaming as a full time job
The popularity of modern day video gaming mixed with the internet and streaming platforms such as YouTube and Twitch has meant that video gamers are able to earn an income from playing video games. Famous YouTubers such as ‘KSI’ and ‘Pewdiepie’ have become multi-millionaires due to their popularity and phenomenal viewing figures on YouTube. Both aforementioned YouTubers begun uploading videos of themselves playing video games from their bedrooms. Both started with zero subscribers and now, just several years later, have over 15 million subscribers each. Platforms such as YouTube allow gamers to share their gaming experiences with a worldwide audience. Of course, becoming a YouTube star is not as easy as it sounds. You have to be interesting enough so that other people actually want to watch and comment on your uploads so being an entertainer helps. Being a full time YouTuber also means treating your YouTube channel as a business – doing your own tax returns, creating a schedule, promoting your channel, using social media etc – but all of these things are great to have on your CV.
The evolution of esports has created another way in which gamers can list gaming as their full time occupation. Esports, if you have not heard of them by now are the wildly popular entertainment sport which attract fans from all around the world. Esports is essentially a term for competitive gaming and these professional esports players are now coined as esports athletes. The top-tier esports athletes travel the world playing video games competitively and for vast amounts of money. High ranking esports events such as the ‘International 2017’ (Dota 2) had a prize pool of over $24 million whilst the winning team of the event was handed over $10 million. Of course, reaching this level of success requires immense skill and commitment, the average age of a professional esports athlete is around 23 and by this age they will have clocked up thousands and thousands of hours of practice.
These days, esports are considered legitimate sports in a variety of countries on par with sports such as tennis and chess. They’re viewed by an audience of over 100 million whilst some experts have predicted that by 2020, esports will have a viewing audience of 385 million with a total revenue of $1.5 billion. But the evolution of esports has not meant that historic stereotypes have disappeared. Games are often still deemed lazy, anti-social or immature – especially by older generations. Gaming does attract the introverted and the physically inactive and teenagers – who typically have more time on their hands than adults do.
The amount of jobs which have been created by the booming video game industry is not to be stressed enough. On the internet alone, there are an unlimited number of websites which are dedicated to video gaming and esports, sites such as PC Gamer, Gamasutra, IGN, Esports Obsever and EsportsOnly are all taking advantage of the intense popularity of video games and esports. It is time to admit that being a video gamer is not a waste of time and in actual fact, can help improve certain skills such as; team work, problem solving, maths and reactions.
A generation of video gamers
Millennial recruiters, who are now beginning to find themselves in positions of management are realising that a youth spent playing a variety of video games can create and enhance skills that will be valuable in the workplace. There are a number of articles online which discuss how gaming can both enhance vital skills needed in the workplace as well as making workers more productive. Furthermore, many workers use gaming as a way to unwind and de-stress after a hard day at work. With office jobs (sitting in an office sat in a chair in front of the computer all day) becoming more and more the norm, it is vital that employees find a way to utilize their creative sides and video games allow the creative aspects of our personalities to shine says one article by the BBC. Some offices now have games consoles set up so that employees can compete against each other during lunch breaks – this offers a great team bonding exercise for employees and is also a welcome break from the sometimes monotonous work routine. As long as video gaming doesn’t make employees less productive, where is the harm in it?
Social gaming and self-motivation
One thing that all recruiters are looking for are employees which are hard-working, have good self-motivation, can work well in a team and are capable of original thought. If you are able to explain on your CV how gaming has helped you to grow these skills, then you are at least some of the way there to landing the job. Let’s not forget that video gamers do not play through and complete video games out of financial incentive, instead the reward comes out of a job well done and the challenge that completing a video game involves.
If you are able to explain on your CV how gaming has helped improve you as a person and has provided you with abilities that you would not have if you hadn’t have played video games, there is absolutely no reason this shouldn’t help you during the interview process. Life is about experiences; humans learn from everything they do and everything humans subsequently do, improves them going forward. Many journalist’s news rooms are looking to employ millennials due to their skills with computers. Almost all news outlets now have an online version so in order for newspapers to ease into their new home online, they had to employ young journalists who were computer literate. Millennials are constantly labelled as lazy etc but pay no attention to this, you have skills many don’t have – use them and climb up the career ladder.
Of course, including ‘gaming’ as a hobby on your CV will not always be appropriate. Some companies will still prefer candidates that stick to the traditional, since not all employers are of a younger, tech-savvy generation. If in doubt, it might be wiser to play it safe. Nevertheless, if you think your gaming achievements are relevant to the qualities an employer wants demonstrated, then include your gamer experience!