The other day, I was sitting in my office and one of my colleagues stopped by and excitedly shared a story about how, for a few years now, he’s been hounding his son to stop playing video games so much (specifically Halo). However, his son recently threw my friend and his wife for a loop when he made them an offer — let me play Halo as much as I want, and I’ll earn money doing it.
My friend (the father) scoffed. Make money playing games — yeah right. Well — turns out my friend’s teenage son, through self-training and a natural adeptness for gaming, stumbled upon one of the most remarkeable ways for kids to make money online. It turns out that the virtual world is now a growing virtual marketplace, and that marketplace transfers directly into real money in the real world.
If a kid is especially skilled at leveling up in specific popular MMOs, or has a natural skill at creating virtual items, clothes or acquiring virtual “toys” (you’d be absolutely amazed what kids can do online today), then your own kid stands the chance to earn some pretty good money. In fact, should they spend several hours a day focused on this “job,” they could probably make almost as much as you do! Don’t believe it? I recently wrote an article about how teens can make money online by writing articles or writing programs for clients, but in this article I’d like to introduce you to the brave new frontier known as the virtual marketplace.
#1 – How Kids Can Make Money Online With Account Leveling
Do your kids spend countless hours playing popular multiplayer online games? Or maybe you don’t allow them to, but they constantly beg for more time for gaming? Or, on a more personal level, maybe you are one of those kids who love online gaming but your parents are constantly hounding you about getting off Halo or Second Life and telling you to find a job with all of that “spare time” you’ve got to play games.
Well, I’m here to offer all of the kids of a world with a powerful bargaining chip. What if gaming could be a job? What if you could earn more by leveling up in World of Warcraft than you could by flipping burgers are your local Burger King? This could be one of the most remarkable ways for kids to make money. Well I’m here to show you how that’s actually possible – depending on your particular skills within the virtual world.
Starting with the most popular MMOG site, World Of Warcraft, it’s not difficult to recognize how quickly such a community can turn into a dream opportunity for entrepreneurs. You’ve got a huge community of folks all working toward achieving similar goals. Some folks are much better at it than others, and excel much faster. In fact, there are some gamers who can level up on games like WoW or Halo to crazy levels in just a matter of hours. They know what to do, where to go and how to get it done.
Other people like to socialize, spend hours just roaming around and performing occasional quests. One thing mostly all MMOG players have in common is an envy for the “top echelon” of levels, and a common respect for those gamers who’ve made it there. This envy creates a marketplace by principle of “supply and demand.” The demand for having an account that’s at a high, powerful level – and a low supply because of the difficulty and skill required in getting there. This gives skilled gamers an edge in a growing niche market.
If you want proof that there’s such a marketplace that even exists, just take a look at BuyMMOAccounts, one of the more popular places online to buy and sell WorldOfWarcraft accounts. Sure, some of these levels are amazing and not exactly easy, but you can be sure that if someone will pay almost $200 for a top account, they’ll be willing to pay you $50 to $100 for an account that gets them past all of the boring and annoying newbie levels that new players have to suffer through. There are people willing to invest in bypassing those levels, and you could use your gaming skills to offer them that valuable product that they desire. While WoW is the most popular for buying and selling accounts, almost every single MMOG out there creates its own marketplace. is a good example of a place where you can enter six such marketplaces to peddle your high-level accounts.
Play4Uber includes a section for WoW (both US and EU), GuildWars, Lord of the Rings Online, Final Fantasy XI and Eve Online. These are only two sample websites in a growing sea of sites that are popping up and offering you, the expert gamer, an opportunity to earn some awesome cash from those skills that you’ve developed during those late-night, Red Bull fueled gaming sessions.
#2 – Making Money With Special Items
If you or your kid is not so much a “leveling-up” sort of gamer, but you instead prefer participating in virtual worlds where items are earned, created, bought and sold in much the same way they are in the real world, then there are also money making opportunities for you too. In particular, the world of Second Life is seriously transforming what it means to be working online.This represents one of the coolest ways for kids to make money virtually.
At first, Second Life was a huge online community that was mostly just a novelty. But, as that community grew and the user base exploded, opportunities also grew for savvy and creative virtual entrepreneurs. Second Life offers users a creative and very flexible design tool where users can build their own items, from amazing cars to clothing to jewelry and more. Scripting is included so creators can incorporate functionality and behavior to those items. Rare, customized items are very much a status symbol within this virtual world – and they are rapidly increasing in demand and value. The place where you sell your items are most commonly right there in the virtual world. Blogs and forums throughout the Internet discuss the amazing items within their favorite niche, which you can find and buy on Second Life, such as this UK blog called “Music Thing.”
People actively spend their time designing item after item, and place them up for sale in their virtual Second Life store. Think kids can’t do something like this? Well then you may not be aware of Teen Second Life.
#3 – Raking In The Cash With Toddler Games Too
Most of the virtual income opportunities I’ve discussed in this article are focused on older kids, usually teens, who are now pros at games like Halo or World of Warcraft. But, what about those little ones who’ve grown tired of their Webkinz account (or should we say their Webkinz mansion) that they’ve spent several years building up. You’ve spent lots of cash buying those little stuffed animals and collecting codes, and your little kid spent hours playing games and collecting cool Webkinz items for their Webkinz home. Is there a way for your child to rake in a little cash for all of that effort? You bet there is – help them sell their Webkinz home.
Searching Craigslist for Webkinz accounts or Webkinz homes turns up an entire marketplace for Webkinz, and if your kid is especially adept at turning that $5 to $10 Webkinz code that comes with a stuffed animal into a sweet $50+ sale in a few days, that’s a nice wad of cash for their piggy bank!
It’s a whole new world online, and getting a “real job” just doesn’t mean what it used to. There are now virtual jobs that pay more than real jobs in most communities, and letting your kids explore the virtual world as an entrepreneur (rather than just as a gamer) will teach them business and marketing skills that they’d probably never otherwise learn.
Do you think online gaming is a growing market opportunity? Have you ever sold gaming items or accounts for real cash? Share your experience in the comments section below!