Personal Essay

 

To be honest, I’m not much of a gamer and I don’t even play esports games. I used to be really into video games as a kid, but as I got older I spent less time in front of my playstation and more time binge watching anime shows, or attempting to draw my favorite characters. Nowadays I pretty much play Fifa or 2K just because my friends play it. I knew people would rent hotel lobbies and host gaming tournaments there, but I thought  it was for a very small gaming community. It was until I saw a video on Vice News on how popular esports are to some people. These tournaments weren’t just taking hotel lobbies, but they were taking up stadiums. My roommate first put me onto video game streams during our first year of college. I would always catch him watching them, and I thought it was weird at first. Why would I want to watch someone play a game, and not be able to play it? He told me it was just easy to kill time while watching it and it was fun rooting for a team in something that he was actually interested in.  His favorite game to watch and play was League of Legends which is a multiplayer online battle arena game. I tried to get into it, but even playing League of Legends was boring to me. However, League of Legends is very big in South Korea and globally as well. According to the Vice video I watched there are more League of Legends players than there are people in France, with over 67 million monthly users. There are stadiums dedicated to watching esports and PC bangs where people can leave their homes to play games in peace. I found that interesting because video games first started in arcades, but then it was brought to people’s homes for convenience now it seems that we are backtracking to arcade days.  Esports even have a huge cosplay culture behind which I found cool. I just got disturbed and intrigued by professional players. In a tournament game, teams can  walk into a match with 150,000 USD just for coming and have the potential to win 1,000,000 USD.I thought it was amazing you could get that much money just to play videogames. However, with such a large number of players in esports, I wondered how much of their lives did they have to dedicate to be considered professional. Some gamers have said they have used 84 to 88 hours of their week strictly to game which almost have of the week. They have no other life options if they don’t become games. With the video game craze in South Korea, the government is worried on it’s addictive nature on children and have placed it into the same category as drug and alcohol. They even ban children under the age of 18 from playing video games past midnight. For people who wants to become professionals, or already on a gaming team their lives are unreal. Teams usually rent a house or an apartment where they all live and are rigorously coached on their gaming day and night. I feel as this more dangerous than some other sports due to its lack of fatigue awareness and it’s addictive nature. When a soccer player practices or plays a match for a day, there is only so much that player can do until they have to rest. With videogames people can spend hours upon hours in front of a computer screen and not be physically strained to the point they want to rest. It is also because of its addictive nature, it has caused sleep deprivation in many people.