A sixteen year old has dropped out of school to play music games like Guitar Hero professionally.
Plenty of gamers have played Guitar Hero, some perhaps quite well. However, few are as dedicated as Blake Peebles, a 16-year old from North Raleigh, NC whose parents let him drop out of high school to play music games.
Mike and Hunter Peebles pay for a home tutor to allow Blake to live his strumming and drumming dreams. It wasn't an easy decision, yet they eventually caved to his constant nagging about the rules at his Christian academy.
"We couldn't take the complaining anymore," said Hunter. "He always told me that he thought school was a waste of time."
At the contests he has entered thus far in his career, he has won the typical takeaway prizes for local game contests: $1000 in prizes, gift certificates, gaming equipment and chicken sandwiches. He focuses on Guitar Hero III, which he has only lost at once.
He doesn't plan on playing in the little leagues for long. This August he and his father plan to travel to California for the regional Cyber Games competition for which he qualified online. Based on his rankings, Blake expects that he's one of the top ten or twenty players in the world.
"I wasn't really good at anything else that I liked," explained Blake.
As the games evolve, Blake will do his best to keep the pace. He stated, "The next big game that comes out, I'm just going to focus on that one."
Professional F.E.A.R. and Halo 2 player Terry Lindle has made a solid $25,000 salary but still doesn't recommend the lifestyle for anyone. Lindle concluded, "When you want to go somewhere with this gaming stuff, you've got to be in the top 1 percent."