Who says it doesn't pay to play video games?
Gamers-turned-content creators are raking it in as demand for online video focused on gaming grows.
That market is now worth $3.8 billion, according to a new report by digital gaming analysis firm SuperData Research. Much of that money is being spent on websites where gamers watch other gamers play.
Video game enthusiasts have always watched one another's play, but the combination of cheap production tools and the rise of sites like YouTube and livestreaming platforms like Twitch have turned this aspect of gaming culture into a multibillion dollar cottage industry.
Joost van Dreunen, CEO of SuperData Research, said gamers are taking ownership of the medium much the same way music lovers used at-home editing software to blend old songs into new mashups.
"This is part of a much larger trend of people changing their relationships with media and media consumption," he told CNBC.
SuperData estimates the audience for gaming-focused video content will grow 26 percent to 486 million this year. By 2017, it sees viewership growing to 790 million people.