Many people think of gaming as a hobby, or something we do in our free time when we are relaxing alone or with friends.
However, the global gaming industry is worth over US$150 billion. A big industry means a lot of jobs, too. So if you never thought of gaming as a profession, but just as a hobby, think twice, because it might just be the perfect career for you.
We spoke with Wayne who shared his first hand experiences and tips in his gaming career so far.
What is a typical day on the job like?
Playing lots of video games! Looking at a website and Discord to see what jobs are available to undertake. I also spend a lot of time socialising and networking online. Networking with other gamers helps create a mutually beneficial and co-operative network that supports one another. I can play as much or as little as I feel, dependant upon if there are activities that I want to do and what’s going on in the real world. I try to balance my virtual time with some outdoor activities. Walks around the local nature reserve etc. My eyes go square if I spend all my time staring at three monitors.
Why did you choose to be a gamer? What or who inspired you to give this job a shot?
Luck! I was talent scouted and the rest is history! I started off playing like any other person, I played for fun. I’ve played video games all my life. All the way back to the original Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and Sega Master System (I now play PS5 and PC). It was identified that I was good early on. Especially at games that I enjoyed. That’s where I excelled. In 2015 I was convinced by my cousin to stream my gameplay on Twitch. In a short period, I amassed 3.5k followers and I was well on my way to becoming a Twitch Partner. I was then talent scouted for two account recovery firms, also known as “recovs”. I was also talent scouted to do some eSports. I played a few “sweats” tournaments, however, the game I specialise in, and main, did not take off in the eSports arena. So I focussed upon “recovs”.
I am very lucky to do what I do. With over a million players logging on daily to play the game I play, I am very lucky to be able to make a living from it.
What would you say are three key personality aspects or skills that contributes to success in this role?
For what I do… networking! First and foremost, you’ve got to have access to a talent pool of players who are willing to support you in what you do. I specialise in Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) games. Therefore, you need to be able to connect with people and work cooperatively to achieve the desired outcome. Secondly, verbal communication, both whilst playing and whilst networking. Know what to say and how to say it is important. Most communication is actually through bodily language. Not being able to see others means that there’s a greater focus upon verbal communication. Lastly, hand-eye coordination is important.
Natural talent is not enough. Learn your trade and practice, practice, practice! I spend a lot of time on YouTube and Twitch learning the latest developments that will give me that competitive edge. It is not different from any job including sport..
What have you learned about yourself through the work that you do?
I am good with people. I know how to talk to people and I know how to work collaboratively. My skills in this area have improved further, as working in this manner requires negotiation and just some good old fashioned “give and take”.
What’s been your best moment while doing your work?
A singular moment… there’s been so many! Meeting people. Gaming has allowed me to improve my real social life. I have met people from all over Australia, in real life. Gaming has also allowed me to verbally speak to people all over the world. I have been to conventions and meet some of the most amazing people. Gaming has also, allowed me to do charity work for AbleGamers (a non-profit organization and foundation dedicated to improving accessibility in the video game space, enabling more people with disabilities to be able to play video games), Miracle Babies (Supporting families with premature and sick newborns through vital services), and Hope Heroes (NFP is a non-profit humanitarian organization with a passion for providing long-term hope to victims affected by life-changing disasters).
And a challenging moment?
You are dealing with differing types of people from differing walks of life. Some of those can be quite toxic. Not everyone shares your values. Surround yourself with good people.
How do you keep going when things get challenging?
Mental toughness and resilience are important. Things can get tough. Surrounding yourself with the right type of people who will support you, in both real life and when playing games. This is key. Also, regular breaks, exercise and real social life are important. It’s all about balance.
Are there any surprising or odd things that people wouldn’t expect if they picked this career?
People! People can be weird and wonderful! They can bring you much joy and pain. I can’t stress it enough… surround yourself with the right people!
What advice would you give to someone considering pursuing a career in this industry?
Find something you enjoy playing and practice playing it! Take regular breaks and maintain a work/life balance! Surround yourself with supportive people. Do remember though, you are turning your hobby into a job. There will be days where you don’t want to work. When you don’t want to play. If this is your main job, there will be times where this is not fun. Got to take the rough with the smooth!
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