I am not just a part of the games industry. In my secret identity I run a home, have a family, work on the Board for a local preschool, taxi the kids to events big and small. I interact with a reasonably sized group of parents, many of whom are finding ways to bring in a little extra income here and there.
Which is why I laughed so hard I nearly peed my pants when I ran into the pyramid scheme that was being touted this year at GDC.
I've been hit up by my friends over the years to be a seller for Avon, Tupperware, Pampered Chef, any number of different "sell your products from home" companies. The Grand Plan for each of these boils down to this:
Step 01: Sell our products from your home (usually by having "parties" where you demo the products, get everyone a bit tipsy and make your sales).
Step 02: Get your friends and/or clients (if you've developed any via Step 01) to become sellers so you receive a percentage of *their* sales as well.
Step 03: Revel in your newfound wealth as the effect continues to step down through the ranks and you receive a percentage on, not only your friends sales, but the sales of anyone they bring into the team... and anyone *they* bring into the team, etc.
Now, I will be honest, if sales is your THANG, you can make a *lot* of money doing this. I know gals who bring in close to 6 figures, but in order to do that, this is a full-time job. You have to treat it like a full-time job and you have to stick with it. So I'm not bagging on the business plan itself, it doesn't work for everyone, but it can be made to work if you're dedicated and professional.
The thing that struck me as funny here was that the Games Industry has become a large enough, a respectable enough industry for there now to be an interest in this kind of thing. That the people who put these plans and projects together have spent the time and effort find a way for gamers to enjoy the massive wealth potential previously only enjoyed by sellers of very sharp knives and produce preserving plasticware that burps when it's sealed right :)
I know it doesn't seem like it, but I feel this is quite a compliment. It's like we've gotten large enough and important enough for people to stand up and take notice.