Top-ranked teenager paid to conquer computer games

DREAM JOB: Ryan Simpson is taking his love of computer gaming and turning it into a profession. He is currently ranked 4382 out of millions of players.
DREAM JOB: Ryan Simpson is taking his love of computer gaming and turning it into a profession. He is currently ranked 4382 out of millions of players. Contributed

WHAT teenage boy doesn't dream of getting paid to play computer games?

That dream is a reality for Urangan High School student Ryan Simpson.

The 14-year-old has a part-time job as a computer games reviewer and can't believe he gets paid to do something he loves.

Ryan is an outstanding games player with a world ranking of 4382 out of millions.

He is employed by an American-based testing company to write one or two reviews a week on new and unreviewed games.

"I've been doing it for a few months and still can't believe I get paid to play games and write about them," Ryan said.

"I was put in contact with the testing company by a guy who saw how fast I could complete the games. I thought it was too good to be true.

"The company looked at my ranking in the world and gave me the job."

That was in February. Now Ryan spends about eight hours a day playing games, rating them and writing reviews of about 500 words each.

"Sometimes I use my job as an excuse when mum tells me to stop playing games," he said.

"But it is having a positive effect on my school work. It has helped me with my grammar and spelling because it has given me a reason to improve my English skills. In fact, I think English is fun."

Ryan's English teacher, Katrina Corcoran, said jobs which required literacy skills were a great incentive for students.

"Ryan can see a purpose for his learning," she said.

"He's a wonderful student and a great example to other young students who might find literacy a challenge.

"I must admit there are quite a few teenagers out there who would love to have a career playing computer games.

Topics:  youth youth employment

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