Monday, August 13, 2018

So what's next?

We hear of parents having their children trained in "travel ball" for sport and competition dance, along with music lessons to aim for the best and brightest in music, along with science fairs and other wonderful events, hoping to earn that prestigious scholarship for colleges. I remember hearing of piano lessons in second grade for students, though I only took my first piano lesson as part of a collegiate degree requirement, and my first voice lesson at 26.

Now we're hearing of the latest trend. Parents are now paying $20 per hour to video gamers to teach their child the latest competition video game that the publisher recently offered $100 million in prize money. The rash of video gaming as a trend caught my attention because the two pay-television channels that control collegiate sports -- Disney and American Telephone and Telegraph (AT&T, which airs men's college basketball) -- have have organised video game tournaments that air on those channels. The idea ESPN now airs video game tournaments, as does the AT&T channels, featuring the latest video game of the day, is something that I never would have imagined. But today, colleges are offering video game scholarships (no restrictions on gender), and the professional video gaming industry is a multi-billion dollar industry. It is just as bad as ESPN when they began airing hot dog eating. But today, hot dog eating is pushed on ESPN every Independence Day with a new broadcast crew this year leading the call as Adam Amin, best known for his call of Notre Dame's big wins in Columbus at the Final Four, taking the helm. When you're running a 10km road race that morning in Atlanta, how can 35 people eating hot dogs be more glorified than 60,000 runners on Peachtree Street?

With fans souring on legitimate sport, the younger generation has decided to enter the video gaming industry and prefer watching others play video games over playing sport. Forget the golf clubs, the cleats, ballet slippers, jazz boots, and the rest when your fingers do all the work in video gaming -- it is excessively lazy yet is now glorified thanks to the AT&T, ESPN, and a generation that prefers video games over activities requiring us to go outside. Has our digital addiction now been solidified and glorified?

Never have I imagined the popularity of these various video games and the "varsity gaming teams" now existing along with ESPN and AT&T coverage of these events.
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