Finally! Use those Gaming Skills for Money.

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This post brought to you by Officer D-Pad. Admit it, ever since you were five years old, you’ve been trying to figure out how to convert those glorious hours of button-mashing into of cash. The sounds of whatever spaceships, rockets and aliens you were preoccupied in would drown out your parents’ complaints of not filling out scholarships so you can take your sorry self to college. “No way,” they told you, “That playing those things are going to help you in your future.” Here’s your chance to prove them wrong. Scholargamers.com is offering people a chance to play and win scholarship money. I’ll wait as you check it out. Now that you’re back, there are a few things that need to be established before your hungry little fingers try to sign you up: One: The money is for middle- and high-school kids. Sorry, college-aged gamers, you’ll have to get a job like the rest of us. Two: The grand prize winner will be awarded $10,000; second place gets $7,500 and third will get $5,000. The top 15 finalists get some sort of prize to be used towards education, but there’s no point in being here if you aren’t going to go for the gold. You don’t play online to finish last do you? Three: This isn’t The Wizard. You’re not that one kid and there will be no Super Mario Bros. 3 at the end of the tournament. Sorry everyone. In a press release, marketing executive Angelo Tartaro said that gaining a college degree is a financial burden and that the company is “aiming to make that goal more attainable for kids who aren’t necessarily the star athletes or valedictorians.” Sure his quote makes it sound like the gaming community shies away from the physical activities, hard work and sunlight, but what he says does make a lot of sense. For everyone who can’t get money though grades, there are scholarships for all sorts of other things. Heck, you can even get scholarship money for speaking Klingon or going to your prom dressed entirely in duct tape (but let’s be honest, we gamers didn’t go to prom.) So by offering scholarships for gamers, does that mean that the mainstream has finally accepted video games and gamers for more than just basement-dwelling outcasts? Yes and no. Let’s look at who is offering the scholarship: Scholar gamers; a website dedicated to games. Video games (and this scholarship) might be getting a better reputation if the Mayo Clinic was offering money and showed that video games could improve your IQ by 100 points. But on the other side of the coin, the ESRB acknowledges that a huge amount of people play video games. According to a survey, 49 percent of gamers polled were between the ages of 18 and 49 years of age. That means that there are middle aged gamers, which would mean there are teenage gamers. By accepting this type of media into the mainstream, everyone gets a fair chance at free school money. Scholar Gamers recognizes this, and tries to give people what they want: to earn money doing with they love. Not all of us were given the chance at a full-ride to a big name college through athletic prowess or have the smarts to get there by brainpower. This is the chance for those pasty kids in the basement to not risk sun exposure and earn money for a higher education. So pick up your sticks and compete for a real reason. What’s the worst that can happen?

Well... I guess you could try just a bit harder.

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