It used to be that video games were seen merely as a pastime with no real reward outside of, you know, doing something you enjoyed in your downtime. But ever since they caught on with serious popularity in the mid-to-late 1980s, the culture has grown immensely to include a number of elements you might have never thought (or at least assumed) possible. There are professional tournaments for gamers now through the Major League Gaming, among others, which feature pros who can take down almost anyone in everything from Halo to Madden. Seriously, you can make a living simply from being (one of) the best at a specific game.

But what about the rest of us? The people who would rather just play, again, during their off-work/school hours for a quick gaming fix? The people who want to game just to game? Well, it turns out that we can get some pretty sweet rewards, too.

Depositphotos 38398139 s The Rewards That Come With Gaming

First things first: You’re actually able to get something out of simply shopping (and buying) the games you want to play. While the idea of a rewards program isn’t anything new for consumers—grocery stores have been doing it for a while now—it means more when you’re getting stuff back that you truly enjoy. Like video games and related content. Gamestop, for example, has its PowerUp Rewards system, which has two tiers (basic and pro) that come with exclusive offers, news, and whatnot. The pro subscription, which costs about £9/month, comes with perks like 10-percent off coupons on pre-owned games and new strategy guides; a one-year subscription to Game Informer magazine; and more.

Similarly, spending more money in the online gaming realm will come with some nice benefits. To be fair, this should come as no surprise to many, if only because physical casinos are typically pretty good to their regulars. Well, it turns out that this also applies to the VIPs in the online casino realm, too, which is made evident at InterCasino. As noted on their VIP events page, these high rollers have attended horse racing events at the Royal Ascot, watched the F1 Grand Prix in Monaco, and taken in some matches at the US Tennis Open semi-finals last September. It’s good to be a VIP.

Then there are the rewards that come along for gamers who simply want another incentive for what they do—game. Most notably, put together their Xbox Live Rewards program that provides bonuses for 360 and One owners who fill out surveys, unlock in-game achievements, and refer friends. These points are then converted to the currency of wherever you live and you’re free to spend them at the stores, where you can buy new games, avatars, and more.

Basically, it now pays to be a gamer, both figuratively and literally. You can get back what you put in—or at least a portion of it—if you’re a console gamer or online gambler. And if you are of the Xbox faithful, there’s little-to-no reason to not take part in their Live Rewards program. The incentives speak for themselves!