Anybody who’s been paying attention will know that videogames are more than just toys these days. They can educate, rehabilitate, up-skill, de-stress, and generally enrich the lives of their users in numerous ways.

And, on top of all that, they can make you rich. Say what now? Can I really earn money and have fun simultaneously? Read on to find out how.

Think of your gaming time as an investment. Many games are like vast open-world universes, and you can get lost in them for hours at a time. That’s exactly where the developers want you, and they keep you there for as long as possible by making progress painfully slow.

We have to invest a lot of time and energy if we want to remain competitive in a big online game. Must these investments come to nothing?

Nope! Multiplayer online games like Hearthstone, Fortnite, and Street Fighter V have proven benefits for our memory, reaction times, logical reasoning, spatial awareness, focus, lateral thinking, and more. These are all skills that you can bring to your professional life for monetary gain. If you’re lucky you can even turn playing games into your professional life by becoming an eSports competitor, but that’s an incredibly difficult feat.

Let’s look at a couple of more realistic ways to earn money from gaming.

Firstly, there’s Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, a classic team-based multiplayer first-person shooter in which a team of terrorists takes on a team of counter-terrorists in a battle to plant a bomb, rescue some hostages, or just kill each other.

Secondly, there’s Dota 2, a two-player MOBA in which each opponent controls a team of monsters battling to reach and destroy another player’s stronghold.

Everything we said above holds true for these games. In CS:GO, players have to memorize maps and weapon features, anticipate enemy behaviour, and exhibit cat-like reflexes and cyborg-like accuracy. In Dota 2, meanwhile, players have to learn the characteristics of a huge number of heroes and items, react quickly, use imaginative and novel tactics, and make zero mistakes.

And on top of that, both games have the potential to let you earn some money, even if you’re not good enough for an eSports career. Welcome to the skins trading industry!

Both CS:GO and Dota 2 contain unique virtual items. These are entirely cosmetic, with no impact on the gameplay, but they still have a real world cash value. In some cases, that cash value is pretty high.

For example, there are AWP sniper rifle skins in CS:GO that go for thousands of dollars. And in Dota 2, the super-rare Legacy Ethereal Flames Wardog sold for an astonishing $38,000.

Of course, most skins and items command significantly smaller prices. But you acquire them for free, just by playing the games as normal, so any money you make from selling them is clear profit.

Traders in skins and items often use Steam Marketplace to conduct their transactions, but there’s a catch: this platform doesn’t pay out. You can only earn credit to spend on Steam.

Therefore, it’s a good idea to use a third-party service like DMarket. On DMarket, you can buy CG:GO skins in this section of the marketplace, and buy Dota 2 items in this section, which is dedicated to Dota traders.

It all works seamlessly. You play your game, earn your items, sell them on DMarket, and pocket the cash.

To make it work for you, we recommend you bear these simple principles in mind. 1) Fun before profit. Your main concern should be to play a game you enjoy, with profit being a nice perk. And 2) Don’t expect to get rich quickly — if at all.

You should think of the cash you earn while playing games like CS:GO and Dota 2 as a sweetener, adding intensity to the whole gameplay experience. You’ll be rewarded just for playing, and you’ll be rewarded even more for playing well, giving you a bracing incentive to focus and get the most you possibly can out of your favourite multiplayer games.

What are your thoughts on monetizing gameplay in this way? Do you think it makes for a sound investment of time and energy? Let us know in the comments section below.