Professional Video Gaming

AP Wire | 04/17/2006 | Professional video gaming set for television debut

The world of gaming has made the continual approach to the professional level over the past several years. A number of gamers have made gaming their full-time occupation, competing in various tournaments around the world for sizeable cash prizes. And what may be the most astonishing fact – some of these professional gamers are hardly old enough to drive a car!

Beginning this fall a handful of professional gamers will be making their cable television debuts, as the “USA Network”:http://www.usanetwork.com/ airs a new, 7-episode series featuring some of these pro circuit players. In preparation for this new series, professional gaming is being called an “extreme sport”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extreme_Sports, a label typically reserved for action sports involving high speeds, height, danger, and stunts. Somehow, though, I can’t see the MLG(Major League Gaming) holding down an event of their own at the “X-Games”:http://expn.go.com/expn/index. Tom Taylor, an 18-year-old gamer from Florida, says:

bq. “It is an extreme sport,” he said. “It’s about quick reflexes and also outsmarting people.”

Huh-uh, Tom. Video gaming is neither extreme nor a “sport”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sports.

It is pretty neat, though, that someone can take something that they do for fun and turn it into a way to make a living. It’s a dream that we all hope for at some point or another in our lives. And it’s even better when you can make it happen in such a way that it continues to _be_ fun, since it’s a well-known fact that hobbies-made-jobs often lose both their fun and their appeal. ((Whenever your ability to continue eating rides solely on what you do for fun, what you do for fun has a way of becoming very _not_ fun.))

For all you professional gamers out there, I hope you can continue to have fun and make money at the same time. I’m glad you can pursue your dreams like this. ((I think I’m pretty content to just sit at home and play my games whenever I can.)) Just one question: what are you going to do when the younger generation proves that they are both faster and better at the newer games than you are? Because I hope you realize that your time as a top-performing professional gamer is probably extremely limited. Somehow these little kids always seem to have faster reflexes and better performance rates than us older guys do. Hey, maybe you can earn your million(s) and retire young. But if you can’t, I do hope you have something to fall back on.

Have anything to add to the conversation?