If you think playing video games is a waste of time, think again. A 14-year-old gamer from New York is $200,000 better off after spending his days not going to school but playing Fornite instead.
The Sun reports that Griffin Spikoski is an internet sensation now after playing Fortnite anywhere between eight and 18 hours a day and uploading the recorded footage to YouTube.
In turn, the shrewd young gamer receives a big bag of cash from advertising sponsors and subscriber donations. It really is money for nothing but nice work if you can get it.
Things took off in a big way for Spikoski about nine months ago when he was captured on camera laying down the law and beating a well-known Fortnite gamer. The footage of the incident earned him an impressive 7.5 million views and his career really took off.
Of course, if you're capable of making a whole lot of money from something you love doing, then chances are you're a pretty smart cookie, and Spikoski is smart enough to not ignore the fact that a sound education is priceless. As such, he fits in his gaming schedule around online high school courses.
Known to his over 1 million YouTube subscribers as Sceptic, Spikoski admits that on the weekend, his Fortnite sessions can last anywhere up to 18 hours and confesses that although it may seem a bit excessive, "it's kind of like my job."
Spikoski's parents are fully supportive and have even hired an accountant and financial advisor to help their son manage his unusual income and set up a company. Spikoski's parents don't see their boy as just a gamer but an athlete whose sport is gaming and believe other parents should encourage their children if they're passionate about video games and not just write it off as a bad vice.
As for Spikoski, he has a wise head on his shoulders and plans to use his Fortnite fortune sensibly. He hopes to use it to buy a house at some point in the future and also to pay for his university fees.
The public's perception of hardcore video game players has changed since the days they were derided as basement-dwelling geeks with no social skills. In today's world, there's a lot of money and kudos involved in becoming a professional gamer.
Forbes reports that potential employers should carefully consider an applicant who lists playing games as one of their interests, in much the same way as they might someone who lists playing classical guitar or chess as one of their hobbies.
The article argues that modern games are increasingly complex and are less about reflexes and aim, and more about challenges, problem-solving, and personal development.