Being paid to play computer games might sound like a dream that’s too good to be true, but as the industry has grown it’s fast becoming a reality for more and more lucky gamers. Furthermore, there are many different business models you can use to make money from games.
The first method of earning money from games is to get yourself involved in a MMORPG. That stands for ‘Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game’ and refers to any online game world that allows players to explore and interact; the two best known of these being of course ‘World of Warcraft’ and ‘Second Life’.
Once you sign up to one of these game worlds you’ll be surprised at just how seriously some of the players take them. They are fully immersive game worlds where your status means everything. So much is this the case that a real-life murder has actually occurred following the faulty trading of tools in WoW (which should go as a warning that this isn’t a place to try scamming people out of their cash). In World of Warcraft you will first need to choose your character type and decide whether an Orc or an Elf better reflects you as a person. From here you will need to become good, at which point you will be able to sell a variety of services.
First of all you can make money by selling items you’ve found in the game world. You will need to have high ‘experience’ points to obtain said items in the first place, so once you do players with lower experience levels will often offer to pay real world money if you pass the item over in the game world. Players can also sell of virtual gold for real world gold in what is referred to as ‘virtual economy’. In Second Life, a game that aims to more closely resemble reality and is enjoyed by an older demographic, the virtual currency Linden can freely be converted into real world currencies. Within the game players hold jobs and buy properties and real estate and essentially live entirely ‘second lives’. By playing the game correctly then it is possible to put in a little real world money and multiply it in Second Life.
In many game worlds there are elements of the game that cannot be sold or bought such as the aforementioned ‘experience levels’. For this reason players will also be willing to spend money to buy other user’s accounts, meaning that a simple business model would be to level up characters then sell them on for real world cash. In other instances where users don’t want to put the time in to level up their characters themselves, they may also be willing to pay others to do so for them in what are called ‘levelling services’. Other players may want their accounts to remain active while they are on holiday or business and so will pay others to play in their steed while they’re away. If any of these services sound like something you’d be interested in and capable of providing, then you can begin advertising either within the game world or on related forums.