Video games have exploded into a multibillion dollar a year business. Every year new video games are produced, and people of all ages flock to stores to pick up the latest titles. I have been playing video games since the very first year that the Atari game system came out. My generation was the first that embraced the idea of video games, but succeeding generations have turned the industry into what it is today. Playing video games is a blast, but the popularity of gaming has also turned into a career path.
Video gaming in the United States is very popular for a recreational activity, but it is also starting to become a great way to make quite a bit of money. World Championships in certain games are bringing six figures as grand prizes, which makes them very popular to world class gamers. The reason these gaming competitions can bring in such large prize pools is that many different advertisers see the opportunity to target their audience at these events. Most of the time the winners of these competitions are in their twenties and the audience ranges from the teens to the early thirties. This particular target audience is one of the largest spending groups for entertainment in the world.
These video gaming competitions are growing very large in the United States, but they have exploded in Japan and some European areas. In Japan the best video gamers are treated like rock stars, or superstar athletes. They must be protected by bodyguards when they go out on the street, because their fans go crazy when they see them. These gamers are also making a tremendous amount of money playing at these competitions. Their winnings can total almost one million dollars in prize money, but they can also bring home another five to ten million dollars every year from the endorsement deals they receive. I believe if this trend continues many kids will be looking to hone their skills at video gaming, not just for the fun of it, but for the very viable option of making a huge fortune playing games the rest of their life. Perhaps video gamers will even replace basketball stars on the cereal boxes!