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Dream Remote Jobs For Gamers

Writers write, painters paint, and gamers…well, game. Nothing surprising there, right? The thing is though, unlike those other examples, people can fairly easily make a living at writing or painting, but gaming? It’s not unheard of. It’s certainly within the realm of the possible, but let’s face it. There aren’t exactly legions of people worldwide making a living by playing games, and since that’s true, the next best alternative is to focus on…let’s call them “flexible employment options.” These will be clever ways of earning a reliable income, allow you to work more or less on your own schedule, and most importantly, allow you to work from home. With no commute time to worry about, and no dress code either, that leaves all the more time for the important stuff – gaming! So let’s take a look at some options.

Work From Home

Once bitten by the love affair with gaming in general, it’s only natural to want to be part of the life, connected to it in some real and meaningful way. Fortunately, there are all sorts of ways you can make inroads into the field, and given that the gaming industry is poised to reach $70 billion dollar by 2015, design houses are always on the lookout for new talent.

Probably the easiest way to break into the industry while retaining your ability to work remotely is if you’re a computer programmer. Computer programming is as much an art as a science, and not everyone is cut out for it, so the big firms are constantly on the prowl for people with this particular skill.

If you’re not a budding code talent, however, there’s one other fairly reliable way “in.” Namely, translation services. Gaming is a global phenomenon, and language skills, especially in the United States, are surprisingly hard to come by. If you’re fluent in some other language, you could easily find your way to a permanent position with a major design house. The downsides in both of these cases, however, is that not everyone is going to have, or be able to readily acquire these skills.

Freelance

Since the rise of the internet in the 90’s, it has only gotten progressively easier to find ways of making money online. Let’s face it, gamers have skills that people need, and more importantly, gamers tend to have skills that game designers need.

Take the demand for digital artists and animators. Can you imagine making a big budget, modern game without making extensive use of both? It happens, but it’s almost unheard of. Unfortunately, these are such wildly popular fields that there are a lot more people interested in jobs like these than there are for full time positions. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible of course, only that you have to get a little more creative. So if these are skills you possess, consider going the freelance route. Create “kits” or “sets” and offer them for sale on places like Unity3d, DAZ Studios, or Renderosity. There are hundreds of digital artists who make a good living by selling their wares in venues such as these, and you can further supplement your income by hiring yourself out for specific projects on oDesk or eLance. There are always small, indie projects hungry for your talent!

Get Paid to Play!

Yes, it is possible to make money playing games, and there are a couple of different ways you can do it. First, and more traditionally is, you can start hanging out in forums where paid game developers lurk and talk. Over time, if you express an interest in their projects, and offer keen insights, you might be asked to participate in unpaid betas, and a very (very) few of these get tapped to work on paid positions inside the company. It’s not common, but it does happen. This could be you!

If that sounds like it might take too much time and be too uncertain, there’s an easier way, although this goes against the terms of service of many games. Not all, but many. As you know, there are a multitude of gaming websites like this that cater to every taste and preference imaginable. There’s a certain segment of the player base that wants the power, but also wants to take a shortcut to get it, and a quick survey of eBay will reveal that gaming accounts are a lucrative trade for those willing to “grind” and put the time in. Spend hours and hours playing, building a certain kind of character, then offer it for sale and start again. The upside here is that you’re literally getting paid to play. The major downside is you never actually get to enjoy the fruits of all the labor you put into your characters, because you part with them for cash, but if you absolutely have to earn money playing a game, this is certainly one way to go about it!

Chris Hartpence is an author and the lead game designer for http://playtheplanet.org. He has written strategy guides for a number of games over the years.