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Getting paid to play games

(Ken Macharia) What if someone paid you to play video games, the whole day? Unthinkable? Not quite. Apparently, this a growing segment in markets where the gaming industry has matured. Game testers are hired by gaming companies to check the quality of yet-to-be released games for flaws and improvements, and they are paid 10-15$ hour.

“The gaming industry is projected to grow to a $70 billion global economy by 2017. If we develop our own industry, we can create jobs for young people and keep them engaged,” says Paul Kukubo, Kenya ICT board CEO.

Kukubo was speaking during the launch of Plugged Digital Experience- an expo to be held on November 4-5 November at the Sarit Centre.

If you have an even slight interest in digital animation, visual effects, gaming, online content or mobile apps, then you simply can’t afford to miss the Plugged Digital Experience expo.

Several developers and content creators will be showcasing what they have been up to behind the screens. Hardware and software vendors will also be represented.

The nascent, but growing gaming community in Kenya has been holding competitions in different locations in Nairobi including the iHub.

“We sent two of the best gamers in Kenya to the World Cyber Games in China last year where they were competing against 65 other countries,” says Nathan Masyuko, CEO of NexGen, a gaming company that organizes competitions. “Only Kenya and South Africa were represented in Africa at the games.”

Some of the games on the competition list include; FIFA, Taken 6, Call of Duty and Company of Heroes. And although no one is willing to pay to play these games in Kenya, visitors at the expo will get a chance to experience the video games and other technologies at the show.

“We have planned the expo to be an experiential event. It’s not a see and don’t touch expo. We invite people to come test and experience games and applications,” said Bernard Neto, Creative Director, Tafsiri Entertainment Group, the organizers of the premier event.

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