Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Call yourself a Gamer?

Short on cash? Let your favorite video games make you money.

It's 2am and you've just entered your sixth hour of gaming. You are three Redbulls in and forty-some games deep. You've been perfecting your game all night and have been destroying everyone who dares to challenge you on Xbox Live all night.

You've have proven your skill. But what do you have to show for it? Nothing, but a few empty cans of Redbull and an unfinished essay you swore you would have written by 11pm.

How about $100?
Impossible right? Thanks to the brilliance of the internet and some creative web designers it is completely possible.

The job of being a competitive gamer has always been a distant dream of late night basement gamers. However, the exclusivity of this profession is no more. Recently more and more sites such as Gamer Saloon having been popping up, offering everyone with a gaming console that has the ability of online play to make money through winning matches.

Sites like Gamer Saloon give you the ability to setup an account where you can enter in online tournaments or one-on-one battles in a chance to win some money. They support tons of titles, such as Madden, Call of Duty, Star Craft, and many more.

You have the option to enter free tournaments which have anywhere from $5 to $1000 pots. Many of the tournaments require no buy-in cost. However, if you feel you would really like to prove your skill you can enter one-on-one matches or more exclusive tournaments which usually have $1 to $5 buy in fees. The site then keeps track of how much money you are making and once you're ready to cash out the site will send you a check or deposit the money into your Paypal account.

So "what's the catch?" you might be asking at this point. Well, the site obviously needs to make money. So, the site will take off $1 from the winner on any game where $7 or less is won. If more than $7 is won the site will take off 14%, not too bad in my opinion. The other catch is that it works on an honor system. I know what you're thinking, there is no way I'm trusting an honor system with my money. However, the honor system has a fairly good backup system. Once the game is won, both players must report to the site who won. If no winner is verified than it is "disputed".

In a dispute you may send in either a screenshot of the winning score, a picture of your game history showing you were indeed victorious, or in some cases an email saying you won (many games can be set to automatically send you emails after a win). If a player loses three or more disputes their account will be suspended. To date less than 5% of disputes are unsolved.

As competitive gaming grows to more and more casual gamers betting and paid tournaments such as those found on Game Saloon are becoming more and more common. In the new, highly anticipated game Call Of Duty: Black Ops there will be a built in betting mode. This will eliminate the need for an honor system and will likely further the popularity of competitive gaming.

Soon competitive gaming may be built into many popular online games. So, the next time someone tells you you're wasting you time with games, just remember, someday in the near future that same game could be making you hundreds of dollars.

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