Turn your gripping hobby into a lucrative career option.

Parents, who are tired of trying to wean their children away from their computer games, may not be aware of the fact that this gripping hobby can actually turn into a lucrative and potentially big career option. This was the focus of a recently-held interactive seminar, organised by Image College of Arts, Animation and Technology (ICAT).

Adressing the gathering, comprising students and parents, COO and co-founder of Raptor, Jayanth Kannan, and Anthony Whitaker, technical director of RZ2, spoke about their personal experience and the state of this budding industry.

So, the young game addict, who wants to turn his passion into his profession, may want to know about remuneration. Mr. Whitaker says: “I know people who are earning more than Rs. 1 lakh per month with just two to three years of working experience.” While starting salaries may not match the take-home-pay of your average software programmer, you can really make it fast in this industry, he explains. “I started my own company right after my second PUC, all the leading gaming companies have started in garages with not more than 10 people. I encourage interested youngsters to create their own games. I know of people who have worked in a group of two and three, coming up with games that have earned them lakhs,” Mr. Kannan says. ABI Research of New York predicts that from $35 million the gaming income will grow to $65 million.

ICAT offers B.A. and Diploma courses in 3D animation, visual effects, game design, game development etc. The several categories under which you can choose to work are producers, programmers, artists, designers, audio engineers, script writers and testers. Like any other creative field, Mr. Kannan says, it is a struggle to reach the top. “One sector of gaming that is growing tremendously is ‘serious games and simulators.’ These games are for training of a skill or task. Flight simulator is one of the most commonly known serious games. There are others which are used by banks and shops like McDonalds to train their employees in certain tasks.”