I too am surprised people needed this to be explained.
Once something becomes a job, it's very difficult to find the fun in it anymore.
I would hate to be a game tester or reviewer. I want to play the games I want to play, my way, when I want. And I certainly wouldn't want to play all those shit games (or good games that just aren't my thing) all the way through constantly, and then have to write about it.
Many "self-employed" people do have to buy their own supplies. Cooks buy their knives, hair stylists buy their tools. These can be written off at tax time. They also get discounts straight from the vendors and other deals their restaurants/salons/what have you have worked out with the suppliers. Or they get given things for free, and are told to recommend the supplying company to their customers by displaying the products everywhere.
I don't think video game reviewers can write off games and consoles (or if they can, it's got to be different), nor can they stroll into GameStop and say "I'm a game reviewer, give me the games and consoles at cost." And game companies risk a lot by giving reviewers stuff for free. Because reviewers are not obligated to say good things about the product. If it's shit, the majority will say it's shit. And not only did the game company lose money giving free product to the reviewer, but the bad review will lose them many more customers. It's sometimes a no-win situation.
Jim's right, it would be insane to expect them to buy their own tools for their job.
And is it wrong to be a straight woman with a crush on Jim? Cause I do. And I don't care.