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Next Time Your Kid Wants To Play Video Games All Day, Hear Them Out First

Image via Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

If you're a parent and argue with your kids for wanting to play video games all day, maybe you should hear them out first. Being a gamer is quickly transforming from a fun way to kill time to a potentially lucrative career.

Not convinced? In July, a 16-year old won $3 million after winning the Fortnite World Cup. Three others also became millionaires during the event, where the developer of Fortnite paid out $30 million in prize money. Video game developers are paying "live-streamers," people who play new releases online to help generate a buzz, upwards of $50,000 per hour. These top live-streamers are making almost as much as the median household income to play video games for an hour.

Esports, a form of competition using video games, is growing exponentially. It's estimated that by 2021, esports will have more viewers than every U.S. professional sports league except the NFL. Professional sports leagues such as the NBA and MLS have partnered with video game developers to create esports leagues. ESPN, which has been one of the worst hit networks from the cord-cutting trend, has inked a deal to bring esports to its viewers. The International Olympic Committee has even gotten to the point of considering adding esports to the Olympics.

Even if you're not getting paid to be a live-streamer or a player in an esports league, there is an increasingly active market for people simply watching others play online. Young gamers aged 18-25 are spending 3 hours and 25 minutes per week watching other people play video games. That's almost more than an hour than they spend watching traditional sports.

Technology companies are throwing money at this growing market. Amazon paid almost $1 billion for video game-streaming site Twitch in 2014. At the time, it was one of their largest acquisitions and it has certainly paid off. Alexa, which ranks website traffic, lists Twitch as the 37th most visited website in the world, ahead of websites such as Pornhub, ESPN and the New York Times. Logitech, the company that's popular for its products such as computer mouses and keyboards, just acquired Streamlabs, which enables live-streamers to overlay everything from sponsorship logos to donation alerts on video game streams. Google's YouTube is also a popular portal for live-streamers, becoming the top site for mobile video game-streaming.

The video game world has come a long way from the days of Duck Hunt and Super Mario. With the rise of esports and live-streaming, the old stereotypes of gamers are already starting to fade. After all, the people who are turning gaming into lucrative careers may be the ones with the last laugh while many people are saddled with student loan debt at a job they hate.

Leftover Crumbs

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