When I was growing up, my parents always told me to stop playing video games and do things like “go outside” and “make friends” as if running around and collecting stars on Cool, Cool Mountain wasn’t basically the same thing.
Video games might have been viewed as a waste of time back in the day, and while plenty of people still share that opinion, the facts would beg to differ.
In recent years, the esports scene has absolutely exploded despite the best efforts of the people who think they’re in charge of defining what a “real” sport is.
A study published earlier this year predicts it’s only a matter of time until professional gamers make more than their athletic counterparts and there are already stadiums being built specifically for video game competitions.
Nowadays, people with a special appreciation for dexterity and hand-eye coordination routinely assemble around the world to watch the pros compete with an amount of money on the line that would have been unfathomable a couple of decades ago.
I’m willing to be that if you made a Venn diagram back in the day there wouldn’t be a huge crossover between “People Who Play Video Games” and “People Who Frequently Wear A Letterman Jacket”.
However, it looks like the paradigm is shifting.
According to AL.com, video games will officially become a varsity sport at schools in Alabama and beyond early next year after it was sanctioned by the National Federation of State High Schools, which is responsible for writing and regulating the rules of most high school sports.
Competitors will face off in games including Rocket League and League of Legends (titles involving shooting people are unsurprisingly off limits).
I guess this isn’t shocking considering earlier this year a report revealed parents were paying for Fornite tutors just months after a college announced it would be awarding a scholarship to one lucky player.
I guess I grew up a little too early.