Have you ever wanted to make money playing video games? I know I have. As a kid, I would sit down and watch my favorite Minecraft videos from my favorite YouTubers. I used to dream that one day I could make money from playing my favorite games, too. I know I wasn’t the only kid who felt this way, either. In fact, millions of children, just like me, sit down and wonder the same thing every day.

What if I told you that this dream could become a reality? There is, believe it or not, already a way for people to make money playing video games. It’s called eSports, and it’s already massively popular in today’s online world. What exactly is eSports? Well, just like traditional athletics, including the NFL, NBA, MLB, etc., players train to compete in front of millions of people. They work to show off their skills and win money for their teams.

Many people, mostly parents, don’t want their kids getting involved in this industry. They believe that these competitive games will die out, and that it’s all just a fad. Others can’t believe that video games, of all things, are earning people money.

However, I can assure you that this industry won’t “die out” anytime soon and that video games can, in fact, earn you plenty of money. According to Qi Peng, in the article “Esports Governance: Exploring Stakeholder Dynamics,” eSports generated $957.5 million in 2019 and has a “projected annual growth rate of 15.5 percent between 2018 and 2023.”

Impressive statistics, but I can already hear objections. Some parents say that kids should devote their time to a more “productive” hobby like playing football. Or they express disbelief that any multimillion-dollar team would recruit a kid. Not true. Just like traditional sports, kids need to practice in order to be able to compete. Just like traditional sports, many colleges already have eSports teams. Many large teams look for promising college players to recruit.

In fact, there are more opportunities to participate in eSports than in traditional sports. In football or basketball, for example, there are only a set number of teams that can compete. In eSports, there are hundreds of teams ready to recruit players. You can even make your own team! It isn’t hard to be able to make a living playing video games. And compared to “real” sports, it is actually really easy.

That’s why, right now, I want to speak directly to parents. Let your kids play their games. Their video games may be the very thing that takes care of you when you grow too old to work. I know the idea of letting your kids play video games for a few hours a day seems wrong, but I promise you it’s not. If anything, playing video games could turn out to be more “productive” than playing a “real” sport.

Bradley was born in Show Low, Arizona, and has lived in various places throughout the country. He is a 2021 graduate of NUAMES High School and will be continuing his studies at Weber State University.

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