Q. Is there really a viable career as a role-playing game professional?

Question: We have heard claims (from your or elsewhere) about being able to make a living as a paid professional game master, is this legit or a pipe dream?

A. There is definitely a legitimate potential to make a living as a paid professional GM.

 

Long Answer:

Research data is minimal. Only in recent years has media started to point out the small but growing number of paid game masters. Most just on a very part time basis. But demand and recognition is now growing rapidly, and expectations for a higher quality, premium, professional game master are growing.

Our staff has worked as paid game masters for years, some as far back as 1983 onward.

The emphasis is on the term professional. This means taking it far beyond just hobby focus, including acquiring training in a wide range of areas including ethics, legal concerns, demeanor, apperance, marketing, assessment, cost/benefit analysis, activity optimization, professional standards, and much more.

It does take years, and you won't "get rich quick". For most it will never be more than a labor of love with the occassional extra income. But for others it is possible to make a full time living, and for an even smaller elite group, some can earn a rather substantial living. We have seen our trained paid professional game masters make anywhere from at least $20 to more than $250 per hour! With a single GM booked more than 60+ hours a week and unable to keep up with the demand. Each individual's experiences will of course vary significantly.

We offer training for 4 RPG Professional paths (not counting the layperson programs):

  • Recreational
  • Entertainment
  • Educational
  • Therapeutic

 

If you have a teenager interested in RPG, but hesitant to consider using our services for them to receive education or therapy (for example) internvention, if they have aspirations to become a successful Game Master (GM) we do provide training for people to become professional paid game masters in regular recreational/entertainment (non-therapeutic settings) as well, and this may help them to feel more motivated about the possibilities.

For some people struggling to find a direction in life, finding out there is an actual potentially viable career path (with rigorous training, degree, & certification standards) can be a great incentive to more fully apply themselves during sessions.

Finding out what intrinsically motivates them is a key part of the Therapeutic Recreation methodology.

The recreation/entertainment paid GM is rare but growing (and had a lot of press coverage in recent years).

An example for those resistant to Therapeutic RPG, for the sake of intrinsic motivation and buy-in, if their strongest motivation is to try to put together and run a group, perhaps in discussion with them focusing less on the therapeutic aspects (many of which are inherent to the activity and we are able to optimize, but they can also realize on their own with training if they can become successful in their own groups), and instead focus more on the skill building to become a stronger player and game master. They might embrace the therapeutic RPG sessions more.

We can even provide players for them to practice with in a safe on site or remote environment to practice DM skills with useful feedback to help them improve as a GM.

You may also want to take a look at RPG Research, the 501(c)3 non-profit volunteer organization that provides copious amounts of relevant information for those wanting to become better game masters. http://www.rpgresearch.com

There are many other ways to approach this that we can discuss in the consultation.

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