You've seen it a million times. Three teens huddle around a video game in an arcade. A young girl on tippy-toes plays Ms. Pac-Man. You relive your youth as you watch an 11-year-old boy destroy invaders from space on a GameBoy. A tear comes to your eye. You sniffle.
"I want a piece of the action," you say. "That should be my video game that little brat is playing!"
OK, so you're not that sentimental. But you've probably noticed the $8 billion video-game industry (and that's just the PC and console markets), and you want to play video games for a living. "See, Ma?" you imagine saying on your cell phone from Bermuda. "I can get paid to do this!"
So turn off your Sega and start asking some serious questions. Like, what's your definition of a video game? Are you talking about arcades? The kind played on your Mac or IBM? A video game on a console? Or the kind offered on the Internet? If you're going the Internet route, do you want it to be advertiser-supported, or free, or a bit of both?
Geoff Williams (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a newspaper reporter and freelance magazine writer. He estimates that as a kid, he spent $27,311.92 playing Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man.
Geoff Williams has written for numerous publications, including Entrepreneur, Consumer Reports, LIFE and Entertainment Weekly. He also is the author of Living Well with Bad Credit.