Everyone in my family plays computer/video games except me. For the most part, it’s a generational thing, and I’ve posted before about how I feel about it.
My 15 year old grandson plays with teens he’s met in real life and online, and their goal is to get a team together to play in a tournament. ESports. Yes,it’s a thing.
According to Marcus Clarke of computerplanet.co.uk, gaming is turning into a serious profession. eSports, video gaming competitions, are expected to become a billion-dollar industry by the year 2018, with millions of people visiting eSports events in person, and even more people streaming them online.
Recently, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has stated that professional gamers spend as much time practicing as professional athletes spend in training. They also said that “the Summit agreed that ‘eSports’ are showing strong growth, especially within the youth demographic across different countries, and can provide a platform for engagement with the Olympic Movement.” Although for true fans eSports do not need to be compared with other sports to be considered valuable, it is certainly positive to see the world finally acknowledging the effort we put into video gaming.
I know that there’s no turning back the clock on computer games, and making them a way to accumulate big bucks only solidifies their place in our culture.
As I notice the time that my grandson plays gaming, however, I’m concerned about the sedentary lifestyle that serious gaming ensures. So, in our family, folks, including my grandson, wear a “Fitbit” type bracelet set to remind them to get up and move every so often.
It’s a strange new world that necessitates being reminded that the body needs a life as well as the brain. I can’t help remember an old Star Trek episode with aliens that had big brains and frail bodies.
It’s going to be interesting to watch my grandson and his teammates try to enter the world of eSports. He’s well aware that they will probably wipe out during the very first round, but a least there will be no broken bones or concussions. As with kids playing any sport, parents need to be aware and involved to make sure that their kids are playing it safely.
As for adults — hell, who wouldn’t want a chance to win over 2 million dollars sitting at a computer playing a game. They just better invest some of that in a Fitbit.