People who got insanely rich playing video games

Video games are one of the coolest things around. You can be a space marine blasting through evil alien vampires or a normal marine blasting through evil Nazi vampires. The possibilities are endless! Video games are just plain good fun, but as our parents always told us, they're not going to get us anywhere in life, right?

Wrong! Ha-ha, Mom and Dad (or some other combination), video games can make us rich. Look at all these people who made big bucks doing little more than playing video games.

Lots of people sell virtual goods

Selling things is the oldest way to make money that doesn't involve sex. You do work, make things, and then other people go, "Hey, I want that." Somehow, this did not stop at actual physical objects and has continued on into the realm of the digital world.

You can make a huge amount of dough just by selling virtual goods. For instance, Jenna Bagwell? She makes $100,000 every year selling stuff in Second Life. Most people have never even heard of Second Life, but she pulls in six figures annually selling imaginary items in it. Of course, that's not quite as awesome as the man who sold a single virtual asteroid (called Club Neverdie) for $635,000. Do you know how many kids you could send to college with that money? Do you know how many cans of Mountain Dew that is? All for a fake asteroid that could be hacked as easily as skfhdsrklsks v1d30 gam3s r duuuumb lols

Bjergsen is one of the richest eSports players in the entire world (and he's 18)

League of Legends is seriously the least interesting game on the planet. We're reluctant to even link to footage of it because we don't want to be charged with homicide by boredom. Seriously, it's not a great game, by any normal definition. But it makes some competitive players very rich, including at least one 18-year-old.

Bjergsen (his gamer name, like Neo was Keanu Reeves's digital name) is an eSports player who makes around $40,000 a month. Of course, that's just an approximation. We have no idea how much he … oh, we do know how much he has? And it's $120,000 from 24 tournaments? Jeez. All right, everyone whose parents ever told them video games were bad for you or rotted their brain, take this article and shove it in their faces. And then start playing games. You want to be rich don't you? Get gud, son.

The world's best Zarya

Zarya is, undoubtedly, the coolest character in Overwatch. (If you don't know what Overwatch is, it's an online multiplayer first-person shooter that's achieved criminal levels of popularity.) However, she's also a tank—so while she's very big and strong, she's super slow. It takes a lot of skill to play as her, but one player is so good that her opponents thought she was cheating.

Geguri (that's her name, because if you play video games professionally, your name definitely ain't gonna be something normal) is a professional Overwatch player, making money, but doing so well so consistently that to prove she wasn't cheating, she had to play in front of her opponents with all of her moves filmed. Oh, and the opponents said if she wasn't cheating, then they'd quit. That's right. She played the game so well she destroyed two people in real life.

So that's it. All you need to do to get lots of money playing games is to be so amazingly good that your skills literally force other players to lose all hope. Simple really.

The team funded by a billionaire

Patrons used to make the world go round. These incredibly rich folk would help an artist survive. The patrons would be, sort of, their employers. The same basic conceit went into the website Patreon.

Sadly, though, unlike in olden days, being an artist with a fully funded venture is most often impossible. But not for everyone. For instance, there's one DOTA 2 team (DOTA 2 is a game; unless you're a huge nerd, you've never played it) that is completely sponsored by a billionaire. Think about being a billionaire and deciding to devote your money to a team called Newbee who play video games for a living.

Now, granted, the team is popular and does make money, but still … doesn't a billionaire have anything better to do with that money? Couldn't you cure cancer with that? Feed the hungry? No? Is none of that as cool as video games? Okay … well, can we have some then?

The speed runner made of money

Speed running sounds a bit redundant doesn't it? What, are you going to slow run? But it's a very specific phrase referring to getting through a game as fast as possible. Now, we don't mean just hitting "skip" every time there's a cut scene. No, see, speed runners have played the games they're running so many times—over and over—that they know every single possible part of it, how to get through the level as fast as possible, and how to exploit the game into breaking itself so they can move through it faster. For instance, a game that normally takes dozens of hours to beat, can be finished in about 13 minutes.

This isn't a random guess either. We're specifically referring to Cosmo Wright's time beating The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Due to his awesome video game skills, and streaming his speedruns, Cosmo Wright has amassed quite a pretty penny. See, all you have to do to turn your video game skills to gold is practice practice practice … forever.

GameGrumps, the comedy YouTube channel worth millions

You know what is still a thing? YouTube. And like a lot of other less respected Internet sites, it's a place you can make big big bucks. Just ask GameGrumps. Or, well, you can't because it's a corporation and despite US laws saying they're people, corporations do lack sentience … for now. But GameGrumps is worth almost $3 million. How? Because it's, well, kinda awesome.

All the people of GameGrumps do is stream themselves playing video games, with added funny commentary on top of it. How that turns into a million-dollar organization defies most forms of logic, but once we start watching, we can't really stop. All that ad revenue adds up to make them bucketloads of money. Guess we should start filming ourselves playing games … or, wait, does rampant cursing and sobbing not equal good ratings?

Scarlett, the eSports star who makes a fortune from winning tournaments

Video game competitions have become a huge and serious thing, and if you compete in them, you can make millions. Well, you probably can't, but some people can. Like Scarlett, the Starcraft player, who is one of the best in the entire world.

She's in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the best female eSports player in the entire world. She plays dozens of different games, but she's best known for her Starcraft II skills. She's made $144,414 as of November 2016 and is the only female player to defeat a male opponent. We're not entirely sure why female and male video game players are ranked separately or play differently from one another, but hey, that's Guinness's business.

Shane Jeffreys makes half a million selling characters

What's one of the most fun things about playing video games? Well, it depends on who you ask, but almost everyone would put grinding near the bottom of the list. It's where you raise your character's level and stats by fighting boring characters over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. However, grinding is the best way to get your character to become the coolest and strongest. So you could either grind … or you could just buy someone else's character from them.

Yes, that's right, there are a bunch of people who make money by playing the game—the same way we might—and then turning around and selling that character to other people. Take, for instance, Shane Jeffreys. He has made almost half a million dollars selling various World of Warcraft accounts. Because, see, while WoW is super popular, it's also super bad.. One WoW character sold for $10,000, just by itself, all fot a digital character that someone else played.

The game itself costs less than $100. That's like buying a house for $100,000 and then spending a billion dollars on a nice shiny (yet still used) toilet. It's the digital equivalent of buying ripped jeans. But, hey, at least Shane Jeffreys is happy with it. Maybe we should start playing WoW too?

Nah. Not even half a million makes that worth it.