Are eSports Bad for Society?

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.

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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.

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(Jordan’s Addiction)

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.

Differences Between Girls and Guys High School Sports

Blog Post #6

Section 10

Spectator Power-Up

Over thanksgiving break, I returned to my alma mater, Pace Academy, in Atlanta to watch the boys and girls varsity basketball teams in their annual Thanksgiving tournaments. The girls were scheduled to play first at 4:30 and the boys followed at 6. I arrived at the gym about 10 minutes early and the scene reminded me of the one Mika Lavaque-Manty describes in his work, titled, “Being a Woman and other disabilities”. Lavaque-Manty discusses a photo of a 1910 Michigan women’s basketball game in which there are no spectators in the crowd. Similarly, at this game, the bleachers were empty aside from a few parents of some of the players. It was this moment that made me concentrate solely on the differences between the girls and boys games.

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But Can She Dunk?

In my Comparative Literature class, we are discussing the experience of watching sports. We recently read two articles that debate why the WNBA is not as popular as the NBA, both focused on the entertainment that comes with watching a women’s basketball game. The first, written by Stacey Pressman, explained how she believed that the lack of popularity of the league was due to the minimal entertainment value that the play provides. The other was Graham Hays’ response to Pressman, in which Hays said that the claim was ridiculous, and asserted that the lack of popularity comes down to the trivial fact that the women are not as athletic and can’t dunk.

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Michigan Women’s Basketball Attendance

I recently attended both the men’s and women’s basketball games against the University of Detroit. To get a good seat for the men’s game, you would need to show up at least an hour in advance, while for the women’s game, arriving at tipoff guaranteed you a seat in the lower bowl. Of course, the women’s team has not had the same success that the men’s team has had and this can contribute to the attendance discrepancy, but it is more about the lack of great athleticism in the women’s games.

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Obedience and the Social Contract

In Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan, in the chapter regarding his social contract theory, Hobbes discusses that a chaotic state of nature can only be avoided by “[erecting] a common power.” In order for this to happen, all men must “confer all their power and strength upon one man…that may reduce all their wills…unto one will.”

From Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan

In other words, everyone must obey one sole authority. They no longer really think for themselves- instead, the sovereign, or the Leviathan, thinks for them. Even if they would have disagreed with his actions before divesting themselves of all their power, once he has become their ruler they simply have to go along with it. I learned that the hard way when we simulated the various forms of social contracts in lecture- I was in the room with ‘Sovereign Peterson.’ Once we’d chosen him as our Leviathan, he starting going absolutely haywire and making decisions that contradicted with our incredibly vocal protests.

The reading and the lecture activity both had me thinking back to an experiment I learned about in AP Psychology my senior year of high school.

This experiment was the Milgram Experiment on obedience and authority. In it, Stanley Milgram, a psychologist at Yale University, created a situation in which he acted as an authority figure that was a lot like Hobbes’ sovereign.

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Huizinga – Let’s Agree to Disagree.

Blog #6

Section 10

Over Thanksgiving break I attended my thirteen-year-old brother’s travel basketball game. It was his opening game and he is always trying to impress me, so consequently he was pretty nervous. I was very excited to see him play because each time I watch one of his games, it is clear that he has improved. Once the game started, I couldn’t take my eyes off of the court. Soon enough, he’ll be able to beat me in a game of 1v1 which is a very scary thought. His team played hard and he lead them to victory.

Just last night I attended the Michigan vs. Syracuse basketball game. This was the second Michigan basketball game I have been to this year, but by far the most exciting of the two. The first half was relatively tight, but we went up by 10 points in the second. However, Syracuse came back and tied the game up 63-63 with approximately 1:30 left on the clock. Spike Albrecht hit a three pointer to send us up by 3, a deficit Syracuse would come close to overcoming but fall a bit short in the end. The atmosphere in the Chrysler Center was tangible. Everybody in the crowd was having fun, yet I can argue the players were not.

Spike Albrecht

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Andrea Joyce and Miracle: Two Underdog Stories

Blog Post #5

Section 10

Event Blogger Power Up

Thucydides’ “Melian Dialogue” depicts the conflict between the superior Athenians and inferior Melians. The Athenians essentially give the Melians two simple choices. The Melians could either give up and join the Athenian army or they can refuse and the Athenians will attempt to destroy them. To make a long story short, the Melians refused to join the Athenians and unsurprisingly, the Athenians ended them. On the contrary, Andrea Joyce and the 1980 US Hockey team provide examples of overcoming great odds to earn success, something the Melians were unable to accomplish.

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Hobbes and Dystopias

The Hunger Games Mockingjay (Part I).

#4

After seeing the midnight premiere of the new Hunger Games movie a couple of weeks back, my mind’s been fixated on the idea of a dystopian society as cinematically portrayed by this drama-infused motion picture. The concept of a futuristic dystopia actually seems to be quite popular in pop culture today as many movies and tv shows feature this type of action-packed drama (think Divergent, The Walking Dead, Maze Runner, and so on). A characteristic that all of these movies and tv shows have in common is the idea that society as we know it will one day digress into an uncivilized and oppressed state, where corruption runs rampant. Most movies picture it like this: the setting is a broken-down city that is either run by a politically strong, tyrannical, leviathan-like leader, or the state is in complete anarchy with no form of Hobbesian sovereignty to be found. Whether the plot concerns the former, like in Fahrenheit 451, or the latter, like in The Purge, the general consensus among Hollywood writers, producers, and directors is that civil society as we know it is tumultuously going downhill. *Cue Chicken Little’s “The sky is falling!”*

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All Work and No Play

A person wakes up every morning, spends 1 to 2 hours per day getting dressed and ready for work, then spends 3 to 4 hours per day doing their job, and then finally must spend 3 to 4 hours preparing for01football_span-articleLarge-v2 the next day’s job. In life, normal working people go through this drill in order to earn a living, support their families, and build a career. Day after day college athletes provide the same effort, but for conditioning, game preparation, studying, and attending classes. In the working world, individuals have their skill set and a job that compensates them according to their performance. In college athletics, the students have a skill, however the only compensation they receive for their efforts is a college education while the institutions that they attend make millions of dollars annually from game attendance, merchandise sales, and television contracts that are the result of the participant’s efforts. College athletes are not compensated fairly for the work they provide, the risk of injury and loss of future earnings, and the huge profits that they help to generate. Continue reading

Dr. King on Ferguson

Ferguson has become the epicenter of protests on racial stigma of police officers that have spread across the nation. Much like Birmingham, Alabama was 50 years ago for civil rights of blacks at large. But in both cases there were many who believed that the protests and the ensuing violence were not justified. In his “Letter from Birmingham Jail” Martin Luther King Jr., the leader of the Civil Rights Movement gave his formula of where “direct action” was vindicated. Let’s compare to see if Birmingham and the protests against police racial violence fall in that category.

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Applying Menand’s Theories to Modern Sports

Blog Post #4

Section 10

In Louis Menand’s “Live and Learn”, he proposes three theories for the purpose of college. Theories two and three fit perfectly in studying changes in all levels of sports in recent years. Theory two values the well-rounded experience college provides. It claims that what you learn from academic, social, and individual experiences is the most important aspect of college. On the other hand, theory three claims college is all about specialization and giving one the necessary knowledge and skills for a specific place in the professional world. Just as theory three helps explain the increase in popularity of non-liberal education, it helps explain the increase of sport specialization.

Pictured is Jim Thorpe: arguable the greatest athletes ever

Pictured is Jim Thorpe: arguably the greatest athlete ever

In the early 20th Century, the best athletes played multiple sports. Jim Thorpe and Babe Didrickson Zaharias are widely considered the greatest male and female athletes of their time periods. What attracted people to Thorpe and Zaharias was their uncanny abilities to succeed at the highest levels in multiple sports. Thorpe played professional football, basketball, and baseball, while also earning gold medals in the decathlon and pentathlon in the Olympics. Similarly, Zaharias thrived in golf in which she won 10 major championships, basketball, and Olympic track in which she won two gold medals. Later on in the century, incredible athletes like Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders succeeded in two professional sports, but not nearly to the same degree as Thorpe and Zaharias. Nowadays, the greatest athletes specialize in one specific sport.

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