The 21st century is well known for its developments in technology, ranging from medicine to video games. Although most of the developments in technology are positive, there are some negative effects. One negative effect would be eSports or electronic sports.
Electronic sports are a type of “sport” that deals with video game competitions between professionals. These eSports continue to draw out major sponsors, such as Coca Cola, and numerous fans.
This picture was taken at the 2006 World Cup of eSports held in Paris. There were over 30,000 fans!
The question of whether eSports are actual sports is up to much debate. For example, in Ben Mcgrath’s article, ESPN’s President John Skipper states that “It’s [eSports] not a sport…it’s a competition.” I would agree with him in this sense because a sport should constitute some sort of athleticism, but eSports do not. Electronic sports can range from one on one matches, such as NBA 2K15, to team matches, such as Halo.
However, as I have learned through my Communications 102 class, video games have a negative effect on society. Playing video games can actually become an addiction. For example, Jordan Vinnie, from Oregon, booked a cruise and locked himself in the room solely to play video games.
Gamers who play heavily have lower real world social support, and higher rates of depression, stress, and anxiety. According to the New York Times article, “For South Korea, E-Sports Is National Pastime – NYTimes.com,” eSports are a milestone in South Korea’s technological and national development. Jun Byung-hun, a South Korean National Assembly member and leader of South Korea’s eSports division, KeSPA, discusses video game addictions and how parents believe that video games are simply distracting their children from education. He states that “the best way to avoid addiction is for families to play games together.” In my opinion, his claim will be accurate in years to come. My parents did not grow up playing video games so they do not play with me. Nonetheless, because I play video games at 18 years old, I will most likely play with my children to monitor their play and develop my relationships with them, as playing video games is entertaining.
Video games are also very violent. The most well known video game series is Call of Duty and it is a violent video game. This violence can cause one to become more violent in real life. Because of the phenomenal graphics nowadays, players are primed in the short term by violent game play, which creates elevated levels of aggression. Repeated priming makes these mental pathways more easily accessible and eventually these aggressive thoughts become hardwired and create more aggressive personality. Although the U.S. has implemented a law that does not allow adolescents to play rated “M” (for mature) games, children continue to find ways to play the games.
The development of eSports is great for the video game industry, but bad for individuals. If video games become the new football and basketball, then humans will be less healthy and their mental states will differ for the worse. This is why I believe that eSports in the United States need to be controlled because video games are simply not as healthy as real sports and do not have the potential benefits, such as scholarships, physical activity, sport as a job, that real sports do. I do visualize more video game communities arising in the United States and I hope that this is controlled.