Are you looking for a job? Do cartoon moths fly out of your wallet every time you open it? Are you, in short, "totally brassic"? If so, then take a look at our Top 10 Ways To Make Money From Gaming. It won't help you financially, or even really entertain you, but it's something to do while you wait for the Jeremy Kyle Show to come on.
Are you good at games? Not just, "yeah, I pwn my mates" good, but good to the point that you're sort of like Rainman with a fight stick? Well then, it may be time to turn pro. Tournaments like the Evo Championship Series cost as little as $10 US to enter, and if you emerge victorious you'll walk off with a cut of the takings - which should amount to about £5,000 or so. Of course, this will mean beating the likes of Daigo Umehara at Street Fighter IV...
Pros: You're being paid to play games. And if you ever manage to enter The Electronic Sports World Cup, you'll find that the prize money reaches ridiculous heights ($50,000+).
Cons: You'll need an insane amount of skill (and practice) to get anywhere. And no matter how good you are, you'll never impress pretty people at parties.
Use games to train for a new career
In May of 2006, Middlesbrough FC was in need of a new manager. One gamer, 25-year-old John Boileau, decided to apply for the job solely on the basis of his experience with Football Manager 2005 (plus a degree in geography and archaeology). Boileau cited numerous triumphs in his application letter, including his success in bringing Nuneaton Borough to the Championship in just eight seasons. Unfortunately Chairman Steve Gibson had to turn him down - explaining that Boileau would be unlikely to stick around, as he'd be soon snapped up by a European Club.
Pros: It doesn't cost anything to take a shot.
Cons: It'll never work.
Vilify the industry
If you write for a right-wing newspaper and it's a quiet day, or if you're the presenter on a chat show that largely caters to lonely old ladies with blue hair, why not wheel out the good old "video games are evil" argument. You know the drill: adopt a disgusted tone, insist that ALL games are horrendously violent, and if you've invited an industry spokesperson onto your show, try to cut them off before they say anything sensible. If all else fails, gather a group of small children and make them play Grand Theft Auto 4 or some other 18-rated game, then lament the loss of their innocence.
Pros: You get to sound smug and dismayed at the same time.
Cons: You're either Alan Titchmarsh, or someone like Alan Titchmarsh only not as famous. Good for you.
Use video games as the basis for a legal career
If you don't want to complain about games in a paper or on a chatshow, you could go one step further and become a self-appointed defender of society. Florida attorney Jack Thompson turned himself into a one-man crusader against gaming, and that worked out pretty well for him. Actually, it didn't. After numerous embarrassing attempts to link games (most notably the GTA series) to violent crime, Jack was permanently disbarred by the Supreme Court for inappropriate conduct.
Pros: You could be famous, or at least notorious. You'll make a few people laugh.
Cons: Pretty much everything else.
Become a cosplay escort
Pretty self-explanatory, this one. If you like dressing up as video game characters and you don't feel too precious about getting intimate with strangers, there's a brave new world of seediness just waiting to be plumbed. Unfortunately that won't be the only thing that will get plumbed: Prostitution is a risky business at the best of times, but particularly when you're dressed as a giant black-and-yellow mouse with an access flap over your arse.
Pros: It's the oldest profession in the world - but with a contemporary twist!
Cons: Disease, violent clients, and some incredibly awkward conversations at family reunions.
Sell advanced characters/collections (WoW characters)
Okay, so you've told your friends and family, joined a support group, and have finally decided to face up to your addiction. Since you'll soon be leaving the World of Warcraft for good, why not make a bit of money on your way out? There's an established trend for people selling their old accounts online, and auction site MMO Bay suggests that a geared-up level 80 character can fetch £100 or more.
Pros: Decent cash, and you get your life back
Cons: The market appears to be pretty slow at the moment - another tragic consequence of the Credit Crunch. You're never going to quit anyway, you big junkie.
Become a developer
Perhaps the most obvious way to earn a bit of cash is to make a game yourself. Fine, so you may well have to go back to school, but if you put the hours in you could end up making that ninja hamster simulator that you've always wanted. If you actually want to scrape out a living, you're going to have to join a major studio - or else come up with something really, really good for the iPhone. And no, we don't want another bloody tower defence game.
Pros: If you do really well, you'll get invited onto the Jimmy Fallon show. Or maybe Graham Norton, if you're a Brit.
Cons: You may have to work on utter drivel. You may spend six months of your life animating a Space Marine's bottom. You may be bullied by your publisher, and get lumbered with hideous deadlines. And at the end of it all, people like us will probably take a dump on your hard work.
Force other people to play MMOs for you
If you can't stand the idea of devoting your entire life to an MMO, why not force someone else to do it for you? A study from The University of Manchester claims that there are more than 400,000 people slogging away in virtual hard labour camps, gathering gold and other in-game items that can be then sold for real cash. Blogger Bruce Everiss has even suggested that there may be links between Chinese MMO Evony and organised crime. Unsurprisingly this and several other accusations resulted in a threat of legal action, although the libel case was dropped recently.
Pros: You don't have to spend hours playing the game yourself.
Cons: You'll need a lot of underlings to make it work - more than just your wimpy younger siblings.
Work in games PR
If you're a sociable type who likes games but who doesn't fancy getting your hands dirty with coding, you could do far worse than to give PR a go. Salaries are generally pretty high (far higher than games journalists, at any rate), and if you work for a decent company you'll get to watch and even play massive games while they're still in development. It isn't essential to be an attractive young woman, but it certainly doesn't hurt either.
Pros: Good pay. You'll also get to travel a fair bit and go to flash parties.
Cons: You'll be forced to babysit child-like journalists, buy them drinks and dinner, and not get annoyed when they vomit half-digested Wagyu beef onto your shoes. You'll also have to convince them that Generic Shooter 3: Revenge of Bald Space Marine is really good and worth 9 out of 10, otherwise your client/boss will shout at you.
Become a games journalist
It's pretty good, you know. You'll never be rich (or even anything but skint), but you do get to play all the big games before anyone else. This is fun, at least until you become a cynical shrivelled old husk who hates the world and everyone in it. If you're lucky, you also get to go on ludicrously expensive press trips which end with you vomiting half-digested Wagyu beef onto someone's shoes.
Pros: Free games, great trips. Also, it's not particularly hard. As this article perfectly demonstrates, you don't really need much in the way of talent to do it.
Cons: In addition to reviews and previews, you have to write pointless Top 10 articles [you're fired - Ed].