People will pay for just about anything that entertains them, it seems.
That is the takeaway from a dive into the world of professional online gamers in this week's edition of The New Yorker. Portland author and former WW reporter Taylor Clark hangs out with a bunch of indoorsmen and indoorswomen, who make big money catering to audiences on the streaming service called Twitch.
"Each month, a hundred million visitors watch their favorite personalities play video games on Twitch, spending an average of nearly two hours a day there," Clark writes. This audience is large enough to make the site one of the twenty most trafficked in the U.S."
One of those pro gamers, Anthony Kongphan, lives just northeast of Portland.
Here's how Clark describes him:
"Kongphan, who is thirty-two, stands out amid Twitch's largely sallow, nondescript streamer base," Clark writes. "Lithe and tattooed, with an impeccably spiked crest of black hair, he is a former model and actor who once had a part on 'The Young and the Restless.' After struggling to break through in Hollywood, Kongphan saw a friend streaming and decided to try it. He spent years building an audience, delivering pizzas on the side. 'I will never do it again, but I streamed once for sixty-three and a half hours straight.'"