SOME may consider playing video games for money to be a foreign concept.
But for Portsmouth-bred Leah, playing games is now a full-time job.
Leah Earnshaw hosts live broadcasts of herself playing games on Twitch – a website exclusively created for streaming video games.
Much like any other full-time job, 24-year-old Leah broadcasts every day for several hours.
It began as a hobby, and she said: ‘I used to be a videographer, and started streaming as a way of boosting my confidence by playing a game called Destiny.
‘It just started blowing up, with more and more people viewing my broadcasts and subscribing to me.’
The subscriptions, which cost £3.73 ($5) per month, go alongside sponsorships from companies and donations from viewers to generate an annual income that Leah claims is ‘higher than the average household’ – though she hasn’t disclosed the exact figure.
She said: ‘It is an intense job, if I’m honest – you are broadcasting for hours on end so have to be entertaining throughout.
‘Just a couple of bad minutes and viewers may head elsewhere, and new viewers won’t stick around.
‘When I’m not streaming, I am working on new graphics and tinkering with different ideas and stream settings.’
Leah says that she doesn’t expect this to last forever, but has a backup plan in place.
‘For now, I’m just going to ride this wave for as long as I can’ she said: ‘But nothing lasts forever.
‘I could go into graphic design or back to videography, but there are a few other options around – it may not even be a job that exists yet.’