The two-story brick home looks no different than any other in the quiet Gwinnett County subdivision. The grass is manicured, pruned shrubs line the walkway to the front door, and luxury SUVs are parked in the driveway. Inside the nearly 5,000-square-foot residence, 22-year-old Michael Maknojia and his six roommates are in their respective bedrooms.
Each one wears a surround-sound headset while sitting in an ergonomic executive chair. There’s cursing and yelling and a soft clicking sound as they tap away at mechanical keyboards connected to custom PCs.
Downstairs, white walls are devoid of artwork or family photos, and a large pool table fills the living room, the most analog space in the house. Propped on the mantle over the fireplace is a framed plaque with a silver YouTube “Play Button”—the tech company’s prestigious award for channels that surpass 100,000 subscribers.