Sunday, April 17, 2016

E-Sports: The Sequel Rant

I have talked about this topic before not too long ago, and my opinions on this topic haven't changed since then. Apparently the University of Calirfonia-Irvine is giving out scholarships to students who participate in E-Sports, the term used to describe the super competitive world of gaming as part of a team. No doubt that engaging in noteworthy gaming competitions can help fuel the fire for just about any gamer, which is good, but calling something that doesn't relate to literally going out to a physical field of play a sport is something that, to me, I will never wrap my mind around.

I know that "E-Sports" is used to describe these competitions as a way of saying that "Yeah, we play video games on a competitive level, and it's not really a sport, but in terms of going online and performing, it is a sport." It's a bit of a cop-out, in my opinion. At the age of 26 1/2, I'm actually Old School-minded. Maybe it's because I have grown up in a time when sports were actually sports and we looked at games like baseball, basketball, football, hockey, soccer, etc. and held them in high regard. Even today we still have our avid sports fans, and with changing times some people think it's okay to loosely describe something that at the end of the day is still a hobby an actual sport.

Don't get me wrong. I love playing video games. I am a gamer at heart. I have fun playing video games, but I can also discern what is one thing and what is another. I have never seen playing video games as any kind of sport whatsoever. That's just now how I view video games. Now gaming competitions are fun and if I get the chance to participate in one, I most likely will, but I can't confuse myself with guys like Michael Jordan, Joe Montana, Babe Ruth, Wayne Gretzky, etc. It's just something you can't really compare.

With this additional news of United States Universities handing out scholarships for E-Sports, it just doesn't surprise me anymore. I'm not saying that what you do in the gaming world doesn't matter, but to make it so significant that you need to be awarded a scholarship for it gives me great pause. It makes me question what kind of standards do colleges in America want for their students. If we send students the message that all you need to do is spend 50 hours per week playing a popular Co-Op Blow-Them-Up PC game and you'll get a scholarship, then I think we have missed the point on what getting an education should be all about.

If you want to attach your achievements in gaming competitions as part of your resume in applying for a job in a game development company, then I say you can give that a shot because that at least makes some sense. It would describe your passion for video games. However, don't assume that you become more intelligent just because you master a video game. Reality doesn't necessarily work that way.

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