For all you fellow gamers out there, both hardcore and casual, how many hours have you wasted away powering up the pixels on your computer screens and game consoles? How many paychecks have disappeared into the latest expansion packs? How many hours of sleep have been lost to an addiction to online multi-players? Society doesn’t always understand, but we know it’s worth the time and the money when we get the fierce gratification of overcoming an in-game challenge. If we could, I’m sure many of us would love to make a living off of the lives we lead in the virtual world.
For one Japanese man, referred to by his handle name, Moru-chan, that dream is a reality. Moru-chan spends approximately 12 hours a day doing nothing but gaming for a paycheck of one million yen (US$10,043)! He’s earning this money by basically living out three months of his life in the online world of fantasy role-playing game, ArcheAge. RocketNews24 has the scoop here in an exclusive interview with this very lucky man at the one-room apartment provided to him by his company.
Moru-chan is a long-time game lover who was chosen by ArcheAge’s project management team to be the recipient of one million yen in exchange for three months of online game play, which he streams live to Niconico every night. Such a life sounds terrific, but also a bit taxing, considering the severe lack of privacy and limited opportunities to get out of the house. However, when asked whether it was tough being locked up with his games all day, his response was clear and confident, “Not at all!!”
In the past, Moru-chan has done competitive gaming at a world-class level, making him a well-qualified choice for this work-necessitated game-a-thon. However, aside from his innate ability to sit at his computer for hours on end without tiring, there is little about him that one would associate with being a stereotypical gamer. For example, the first thing our reporter noticed upon visiting Moru-chan’s apartment was how bright and clean the space was! The thought of hardcore gamers can often bring to mind images of dark gaming dens, cluttered with cables from various game consoles, and smelling of an unfortunate mix between concentrated sweat and half-eaten burritos. Admittedly, that description is rather harsh on the majority of game fans, but the fact remains that this man’s living and game space was practically spotless.
Another thing to surprise our reporter was that Maru-chan is a happily married man! Better yet, his wife is fully supportive of her husband’s gamer lifestyle and is cheering him on from the sidelines.
So what does a day in the life of a professional online gamer look like?
12 p.m. (noon) wake up, bathe, eat, do laundry
3 p.m. play games
4 p.m. update personal blog
6 p.m. eat
7 p.m. play games
9 p.m. begin streaming online gameplay
6 a.m. go to bed
Rinse and repeat.
For a person who absolutely loves games, this really is the best way to live, especially seeing as how the work does not isolate him from the outside world. Thanks to his blog, the legions of commenters on Niconico, and the conversations that he holds with players in-game, Moru-chan is able to make and maintain relationships with a large number of friends online.
This past weekend, Moru-chan used his position as professional game player and idol of ArcheAge to organize his own in-game event. The big name gamer invited all of his Niconico followers to join him in a campaign against the game’s most powerful monster, the Kraken. On the day of the attack, an in-game fleet of more than 50 ships gathered together to join in the fray. It’s estimated that more than 700 players took part in the virtual onslaught. Unfortunately, the mission ended in failure, but players stuck around in an online forum following their defeat to identify their weak points and strategize for the future. Already, they are plotting revenge against the sea beast.
There’s no denying that Moru-chan has found the job most perfectly suited to his lifestyle. When asked about his regrets, the only thing he could come up with to improve upon this life of his was to make some Japanese hot-pot and host a party for his gamer friends. What an awesome life!
▼ Just look at how happy Moru-chan is!
▼ That two-screen setup looks great for gaming.
▼ And here’s the dual modems that drive his desktop.
▼ ArcheAge has a lot of detail, depth, and gives players the freedom to focus on what they like.
▼ This webcam is set up to show Moru-chan’s face as he plays the game live for Niconico.
▼ Our reporter could hardly believe how clean the apartment looked after a month of being occupied by a professional gamer!
▼ This is how things look when it’s finally time for bed.
▼ Here’s a few screen caps from the campaign that Moru-chan led against Kraken!
▼ More than 700 players took part!
▼ But, in the end, the foe proved too powerful…
▼ Keep up the good work, Moru-chan!
▼ We’ll leave you with one of the (actually awesome) YouTube ads for the game. They’re some of the few ads we actually don’t skip through these days!
[ Read in Japanese ]