Videogames as a professional “sport”?

How can this be? I mean “geeks” are supposed to be bad at sports and “jocks” are supposed to be bad at video games they can’t cross over. First of all that’s completely false so get that idea out of your head. Now my reaction to this is indifferent I play video games for my own personal enjoyment but I don’t mind those “professional” gamers in MLG, Major League Gaming, or those who go to all those national tournaments.  This idea seems to go further than that. IGN Pro League is taking a page from World Series Poker, trying to make video games into a full on professional sport, calling it eSports, and have even contacted ESPN.  IPL has been going on for quite a bit in Korea, with Starcraft II and League of Legends. They have also contacted Capcom to help get some fighting games into their competitions. Their ultimate goal is to get even more viewership and bring it to television and for bets to be made in Vegas over competitors. More information can be found at this site.

Now, there is already large support and viewership for video game tournaments over the internet. Plenty of gamers have sponsorships all over the world for games. I feel, at least for myself, that it would ruin gaming. It often becomes difficult to get new games that aren’t part of the franchise you’re being sponsored for. You end up dedicating so much time to stay “in-shape” for the game, much like real sports. I personally got into gaming for the art form and personal experience from video games. That aside, yes gaming could easily be similar to any sport out there. I’ve seen it in fighting games, and first person shooters first hand. It could easily branch out to other game-styles. To be honest I’ve seen it for Pokemon too with the whole EV, Effort Values, and the tiers in that game. A lot of strategy and keeping up with new styles of using Pokémon and all that fun-stuff. Also if Rock, Paper, Scissors is able to have bets placed upon it, I’m pretty damn sure that video games will have no problem becoming a professional “sport.”

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