Mum-of-4 makes a living learning to play video games: ‘I’m breaking this stigma’
RIVETON, Utah – Devyn Ricks may be the very definition of a “cool mom” as she supports her family by teaching kids video games online.
Ricks, 30, runs his classes through Outschool from his home in Riverton, Utah. His weekly one-hour classes cost $15 to teach kids games like “Zelda,” “Mario Kart,” and “Kirby.” Currently, many of his students are between 9 and 14 years old.
She earns about $4,000 a month from her classes. Her gig helps support her husband, who is currently in dental school, and their four daughters, ages 2 to 9.
“So it’s not like we can live on student loans and be in a one-bedroom apartment,” Ricks told FOX TV stations. “We had to find something that worked, and that’s what I stumbled upon.”
“I love video games. Really,” she added.
Ricks said his experience involved virtually teaching various academic and foreign language courses to students from other countries. She then began a creative writing course around the video game “Zelda”. This led her to create a social club with other video gamers, which resulted in a teaching course in February 2021.
Ricks said many parents support her classes because she provides a safe space for children to learn the video games they play.
“These kids, they don’t know how to do a lot of these puzzles and stuff, and it’s dangerous for them to browse the internet alone,” she said.
Ricks thinks she also teaches children other useful skills. Before showing students how to do it in a game, she sometimes checks if other students know first.
“One of the biggest skills I like to teach them is a bit of leadership,” she continued. “A lot of these students want to share their knowledge.”
She believes her method builds trust, friendships and team effort.
The mother also believes she fosters a young video game community and breaks the stigma of video gamers as introverted homebodies.
“It opens up this community to the kids and to myself,” she added. “I think I’m breaking that stigma a bit.”
Ricks would like to expand his classes, maybe even hire other instructors to teach some of his classes.
However, there is one game that Ricks cannot teach. Ricks said she couldn’t tutor kids in “Minecraft” just because she didn’t like it. She also avoids teaching violent video games, opting more for family games.
As for being called a “cool mom,” Ricks jokes that she doesn’t know if her daughters would give her that title.
“I think I’m a pretty fun mom,” she added. “But not so funny when I tell them to clean their rooms.”
This story was reported from Los Angeles.