Iowa Man Makes More Than You, Playing Video Games
His name is Nick Overton and he's from Des Moines, Iowa. He makes his living as a gamer and YouTube and streaming star. Sounds fun, right? If you think it also sounds easy, you couldn't be any more wrong.
Nick Overton first became enthralled by video games when he was four years old. He got his first video game when he was six, a Nintendo 64. He still has the video of when he tore off the wrapping paper. The actual video begins at approximately 40 seconds. NOTE: NSFW language at very beginning. This is where it all started:
Fast forward six years and Nick's parents became concerned he was playing video games too much. His dad sold his XBox and all of Nick's games that went with it. Nick was enraged and devastated but didn't play video games for two years. At age 14 Nick got a job and a grocery store. He began to save money for, you guessed it, an Xbox 360.
In the last 13 years, in addition to graduating from the University of Iowa, he's worked for the predecessor of Twitch, the live-streaming service owned by Amazon. He was the CEO of Streamup, another streaming company. Nick also started a YouTube channel, ImMarksman, that now has nearly one million subscribers. He now gets paid by Counter Logic Gaming to play "Fortnite." The job also includes benefits, including a 401k.
Make no mistake, Nick Overton is a hard-working young man. He chats and live streams for five hours each day, makes videos, and practices against other professional game players. Each year he pulls in between $300,000 and $500,000 from gaming, YouTube, and Twitch. He tells the Des Moines Register he invests all but about 20 percent of what he makes.
If you believe you or someone you know is destined for a career in gaming, a new program Hawkeye Community College in Waterloo may be of interest. Yes, it's gamers in training, if you will. Scholarships are even available. As we jokingly say in radio, it beats working. I'm betting gamers feel the same way.