Kids get rich playing video games!!

kid video game
The video game world is full of success stories — geeks who got the last laugh by becoming superstar developers with fat bank accounts. But as the industry matures, so do the people in it, making room for a new generation of entrepreneurial gamers.

And already, people too young to even buy beer are making a fortune from the video game world. Here are a few up and comers to keep your eye on:

 

Tom ‘Tsquared’ Taylor

Age: 21

Why you should watch him: One of the world’s foremost “Halo” players, Taylor is one third of team Str8 Rippin. He’s also the face of Major League Gaming and one of the top-earning players today.

Bragging rights: Taylor’s face was pasted onto 175 million bottles of Dr. Pepper in the early part of 2009, part of the drink’s sponsorship of Str8 Rippin.

Financials: Last year, Taylor earned over $100,000 in cash and prizes.

 

Bryan ‘Legit’ Rizzo & Eric ‘Snipedown’ Wrona

Ages: 19, 18

Why you should watch them: They keep lower profiles, but the other two-thirds of Str8 Rippin are also sponsored by Dr. Pepper and could see their fortunes expand as they get older.

Bragging rights: Taylor’s face was pasted onto 175 million bottles of Dr. Pepper in the early part of 2009, part of the drink’s sponsorship of Str8 Rippin.

Financials: Both earned between $30,000 and $60,000 in prizes and sponsorship fees last year.

 

Victor M. ‘Lil’ Poison’ De Leon III

Age: 11

Why you should watch him: De Leon has been a pro gamer since he was 4 years old and has participated in over 250 tournaments to date. Despite his young age, there are few in the world that can beat him.

Bragging rights: He has been cited as the world’s youngest professional gamer by Guinness World Records and was once featured on “60 Minutes.”

Financials: His father, who oversees his career (and ensures it doesn’t overtake his life), won’t say how much ‘Lil’ Poison’ has accumulated over the years, but does acknowledge it is roughly enough to pay for a private college education.

 

Arjun Mehta

Age: 14

Why you should watch him: Two years ago, Mehta founded PlaySpan, which allows players in hundreds of video games and virtual worlds to purchase virtual goods for small amounts of cash.

Bragging rights: Since then, the company has raised $16.8 million in venture capital funding (though Arjun’s father runs the company on a day to day basis now).

Financials: Unclear, but with that much VC funding, it’s safe to assume he won’t have to apply for financial aid when he goes to college.

 

Lim Ding Wen

Age: 9

Why you should watch him: The Singapore resident is the creator of “Doodle Kids,” an iPhone app that has seen nearly 500,000 downloads. His second iPhone game (“Invader War”) is expected to arrive next month.

Bragging rights: He and his father wrote similar drawing apps for the iPhone and released them at roughly the same time, making a contest out of whose was more popular. Dad took an early lead, but Ding Wen’s is now outpacing his father’s by a 10-to-1 margin.

Financials: The game is a free download — and “Invader Wars” will be as well. After that, who knows?

 

Dan Slutz

Age: 17

Why you should watch him: Slutz won an “Invent a Game” challenge sponsored by Electronic Arts and Best Buy earlier this month. The game, “Rhythm,” a music-based platform title, will be distributed for free by EA.

Financials: Beyond having a door opened to him in the game development world, Slutz took home a $10,000 U.S. Savings Bond for winning the contest

Blake Peebles

Age: 16

Why you should watch him: The North Carolinian is so adept at “Guitar Hero” that he convinced his parents to let him quit school to practice the game for competition. (He’s now tutored at home.)

Bragging rights: He got to quit school to play “Guitar Hero,” fer cryin’ out loud!

Financials: So far, he has only won about $1,000 playing the game, but he’s headed to the U.S. regionals of the World Cyber Games in August. If he wins there, it’s on to the nationals, then a world tournament in Germany. And with each victory comes more money.

 

*yahoo

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