Game thinking from Adam Clare

Tag: moneyPage 2 of 3

People Make a Living by Playing….Golden Tee Golf

Pro gamers and pro gaming leagues are not a new invention or lifestyle; that being said, I had no idea that there are people in the USA making a living playing a golf game found in bars. Golden Tee is played by hitting a ball in a particular way (to emulate swinging a club), the game is networked to other arcade consoles. To keep things really fun the game is found mainly in sport bars.

Making a living from this golf game is different from making a living from StarCraft.

Mr. Kinzler goes to a bar to play golf every day. That’s his job. He is one of about two dozen men around the country, mostly in their 30s and 40s, who make their living playing Golden Tee, the most popular cash videogame in the U.S. In a typical month, he plays about 600 games, competing against 49 other players at a time for a top prize of $10. He says he earned more than $50,000 last year.

The money is earned through a system that is so similar to gambling that four states don’t permit the game to be played inside their borders. By involving a skill-based reward system other jurisdictions (including Canada) are fine with the game.

When a player wants to compete in a tournament, he—more than 90% of the players are men—pays $4 for the game and $1 into a betting pool. Online tournaments are capped at 50 players. The winner takes home $10, second place earns $8, third place $6 and so on. To make a living, Mr. Kinzler must win most of the tournaments he competes in and finish in the top four in almost all of them. Every two weeks he gets a check for about $1,500.

There’s more to be read at Yahoo.

Valve Hires Economist, Starts a New Blog

Valve has hired an economist to help them balance their inter-game economies (and intra-game too I suppose). Valve Economics is written by Yanis Varoufakis who seems to have some really nifty thoughts on the global economy and how screwed up it is. His first post on how he came to work at Valve through a strange email.

I’ll definitely be following this blog, if anybody knows of any other blogs/sites that discuss game economies please leave a link in the comments!

The real question of course is what’s the conversion rate between TF2 hats and dollars?

The first article that had me think really seriously about game economies was this one from The Walrus which was published way back in 2004.

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