So I can’t actually be paid to play Video Games
Victoria Zerbst went looking for a dream job and came up empty.
I am always on the look out for easy ways to make money quick and with very little skill involved. Then my videogame nerd friend told me I could totally stream myself playing video games, show a bit of cleavage, and wait for thousand-dollar donation from horny gamer boys.
This sounded like a joke but the nerd friend kept bringing it up like it was actually a viable solution to the ‘I need money’ problem. So I decided to investigate. Was there really an Internet space where guys donate thousands of dollars to gamer girls?
Apparently this space is called Twitch TV. You’d think it would be an obscure and disorganised site but it turns out Twitch TV engages an average of 43 million viewers per month and Amazon bought it last year for $970 million.
This was sounding more legit so I resurrected my gamer name from year 8 (v0wnageclown) and waited for the money to pour in.
My nerd friend told me to look out for KittyPlaysGames, a totally attractive female gamer from Canada who once received a $7,000 donation. Maybe I could learn a few things.
The first thing I learnt was that I wasn’t going to make any money from Videogame Streaming. Problem number 1: I don’t know how to play video games. I have very little skill and even if I did how could I choose between playing League of Legends and Dota 2?
Problem Dota 2: It is very hard getting people to watch you play videogames. Especially if you don’t really know how to play videogames. You have to build a reputation, invest time and energy into your profile and be an engaging person to watch.
Problem 3: Turns out streaming with your tits out is a bit controversial. There are all these amazing online conversations about why female gamers on Twitch need to cover up their breasts and not use their sexuality to get money from horny gamers. There’s an article on Kotaku called Why People Are Arguing About Women Streamers Showing Skin? I recommend you read it.
But there are also Twitch TV Rules of Conduct. Above the rules about homophobia, hate speech, harassment and hacking, there are rules about sexually explicit acts and ‘dressing appropriately’. The website reads ‘Wearing no clothing or sexually suggestive clothing – including lingerie, swimsuits, and undergarments – is prohibited, as well as any full nude torsos*, which applies to both male and female broadcasters.
See, male AND female. There isn’t as much inequality as you’d expect. Male streamers also get donations. Mostly because of skill and banter. Why anyone would care enough to donate thousands of real money is beyond me (bitcoins and dogecoins accepted too). Sodapoppin, for example, mostly plays World of Warcraft and he has had one off donations of $50,000 and $35,000 donation before. Who has that kind of money?
Checking out Twitch TV gave me the weirdest insight into supply and demand. Some streamers are making an absolute killing but then again they are spending hours and hours playing video games.
So if you’re a cheeky opportunist with a flexible moral compasses like me, better luck next time. Streaming sexy videogame playing on Twitch TV is not the best way to make money. I’ve heard taking part in clinical trials is pretty lucrative though.