How to Turn Your Child's Video Game Obsession Into a Profitable Career?

5 steps to turning your child's video game obsession into a profitable career

If you’re feeling like your child spends more time in a virtual world than in the real one, don’t stress; you can make it a good thing. Here’s how. 

Step #1 Change your outlook

The catatonic stare of a video game-addicted child can be hard for parents to witness. It’s almost like we can see the spark of active brain cells flicker and then die, through their wide eyes. But this obsession isn’t going anywhere and nagging or threatening will not take away their desire to play. It might, however, create a tense and negative vibe in your home and put a strain on your relationship with your child. As the parent, you have the power to change your attitude towards their game obsession. But how? 

Everyone is different. Everyone likes different things. Your kids will like what they like, whether you like it or not. Some people go through life without ever finding something they love as much as your child loves the virtual world, so you could even say, they’re lucky! Inspiration can come from anywhere. Once you've come to terms with the fact that its video games that inspire your child, you can start working on turning that inspiration into motivation for something more. Of course, set boundaries—no child should be allowed to wither away on the couch while life passes them by—but once you’ve opened your eyes to the positive side of their obsession, things become a lot easier.

Step #2 Think ahead

There are many surprising benefits of playing video games; building problem solving and visual-spacial skills, as well as making social connections through shared interests are just a few. Kids who play video games are often very creative, which, combined with their love of gaming can lead to some great career options as video-game designers, animators, or coders.

The average yearly salary for a coder in Australia is around $100,000, almost double the average salary in Australia. Coding is arguably the most important job skill of the future, so if your child already shows an interest in it, you’re in luck. It pays to nurture that interest properly.

Step #3: Broaden their interest

Now that you have accepted your child’s obsession, you can encourage it, but on your own terms. Talk about coding legends at the dinner table—Mark Zuckerberg started coding when he was 8; Bill Gates started when he was 13. Drop fact-bombs like “Elon Musk taught himself to code at the age of 10 and sold his first computer game when he turned 12!” Invest in some coding books and talk to parents of your child’s gamer friends to get them on the same page. Your mission: to turn your child's video-game obsession into something tangible. 

Step #4: Talk to your kids about their future

Now’s your chance to convert their passion into a goal for a future career!

With average salaries for developers in Australia going from $80k - $150k, they can do what they love and get paid (pretty darn well) for it! There are a few directions they could take in Australia:

Video Game Programmer - Responsible for writing the code that brings the video games they love so much to life. They take an idea, and work on transforming it into a fully functioning, playable game that other kids like them can become obsessed with. 

Video Game Designer - Responsible for designing the player experience and creating the storyline, characters, and dialogue in a video game. They also help set the rules and the strategy. 

3D Artist – Responsible for creating the models for all 3D art assets in a game ie, characters, weapons, surroundings etc. They take a brief or 2D drawing from a concept artist and turn it into a 3D experience

Step #5: Develop their skill early

It may feel like this is encouraging even more gaming, but what you’re actually doing is encouraging them to learn the skills behind the video games they play, in a fun, creative and safe space. 

At Code Camp, kids develop skills like creativity, collaboration and critical thinking while they design, code and create their very own game, which is super cool (not something any of us could have imagined doing as kids!).

Since 2013, Code Camp has inspired more than 100,000 kids to unleash imaginative ideas through technology, and they get to do it, surrounded by people who have real life coding experience and are probably as game-obsessed as your child. How great is that!?

Click here to find coding camps for kids near you.

Your Ultimate school holidays activity list

1. Get creative with Minions

What is it?

Kids go bananas for Minions (pun intended) and these school holidays they can express their fandom making a Minions movie using stop-motion animation techniques. Over 2 days, kids create their own Minions clay characters and design their own film set. The magic begins when they see their characters come to life by taking multiple images of objects and stitching them together to look like they’re moving! - It’s incredibly fun!

Why go?

‍If they watch their favourite animated movies on repeat, they’ll love creating Minions clay figurines and developing their own story, taking lots of still frames and stitching them together to create their very first movie!  

Ages: 5-7

2. Become a DJ

What is it?

Children will take their first steps into the exciting world of mixing music to create their own DJ set.  

Why go?

Kids will love mixing their favourite pop tunes using beat matching and transitions on real DJ decks. Plus, they will design their own DJ brand, develop branded merch, and even perform a DJ set to their friends!

Ages: 8-13

3. Pilot a drone

What is it?

Kids learn to pilot a drone using coding to design a flight path and watch in wonder as the drone takes flight!

Why go?

If your kid shows an interest in drones, they can learn more than just the basics of flying. Kids get a taste of cutting-edge technology and learn about coding, problem-solving, engineering, design, and more. They’ll learn about drone tech and safety, movie making, and discover how drones have a positive social impact when used to fight bushfires, rescue koalas, spot sharks on the coast and loads more!

Ages: 9-13

4. Become a YouTuber

What is it?

While they may not end up with YouTube stardom, we’re sure kids will have a new lens on screen time. They will be equipped with the skills to start producing and directing their own ideas instead of simply watching other people's! Plus, they’ll gain confidence ‘performing’ in front of audiences and on set and importantly, learn about staying safe online.

Why go?

Taking a YouTube fixation and turning it into something incredibly productive where kids will learn planning, storytelling, filming and video editing to become the star in their very own YouTube-style videos.

Ages: 8-13

5. Produce a LEGO movie

What is it?

Turn hours of playing with LEGO characters into an even more creative pursuit, by teaching kids to create their own LEGO Movie.

Why go?

They can use their favourite LEGO characters and sets, come up with a fun storyline and use stop-motion techniques to produce a short animation film. It will transform the way they play at home and offer endless hours of creativity for the rest of the holidays.

Ages: 7-12

6. Code a game

What is it?

Kids can design their own arcade-style video games (like Super Mario Bros), jam-packed with cool characters like zombies and unicorns, and awesome gaming features such as invisibility cloaks and shrinking potions. They’ll learn drag and drop code and logic to connect all the design elements together and bring their games to life!

Why go?

Kids are spending countless hours on Roblox and Minecraft these days. Get them to spark their creative side instead, by producing their own original games, using a combination of creative level design, storytelling and problem-solving to bring their creations to life. It’s so much fun, they won’t realise they are actually learning some very important coding and tech skills for their future.

Ages: 7-12

7. Develop a Website

What is it?

For kids with some proficiency in coding, they’ll create their own website from scratch about an animal, movie, sporting team or their favourite topic.  

Why go?

With 1.93 billion websites on the world wide web, developers are in higher demand than ever before. It’s a great head start to gain fundamental web building skills and your kids will have so much fun in the process.

Ages: 8-13

Fun School Holiday Activities in Australia for Kids 5-13

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