No matter how busy my schedule is, I always make a little time each week to play a PlayStation 2 game. The disc that's currently in my son's video game console is Crash Bandicoot, Twinsanity. According to the load screen, I've only completely 27% of the game. No, that's not a lot, but I don't have a lot of time to spare - since these days (compared to when I was a few years younger) I actually do require a full night's rest. I've often though that it would be pretty sweet to be a professional video gamer, but this news article tells a different story: "Professional video gamer says it's not all fun."
According to the story, "The self-taught player [Tom Taylor, aka Tsquared], who has been playing competitively since aged 14 and turned pro at 16, dropped out of school to concentrate on building a career in gaming. Taylor, 19, now earns $120,000 to $150,000 a year between prize money reaped playing 'Halo 2' and Gaming-lessons.com, an online site he founded last year to teach people gaming skills—and he is about to almost double the hourly tutoring rate he charges."
Holy cow! $120,000 to $150,000 a year at age 19?! And this is bad how?? "But he says he has had to be disciplined to succeed, sometimes playing games for up to 12 hours a day ahead of competitions and sticking to an exercise regime and good diet to keep a mental and physical edge." Tsquared told Reuters, "A lot of people think playing video games isn't a lot of work. It doesn't leave a lot of time for vacation. In five years I've never had any personal downtime for myself."
I would happily exercise and eat healthier for that salary, even at age 37. Play games up to 12 hours a day? Ohhhh, the torture.... And as far as personal downtime, how much does anyone have of that these days? If you have a job, a mortgage, a spouse, and/or child(ren), you probably can't remember the last time you actually had a moment where there wasn't something that needed to be done or washed or cooked or fixed or cleaned...
Become a professional video gamer? Where do I sign up? :-)
Sonja Thompson started at TechRepublic in October 1999. She is a former Senior Editor at TechRepublic.