3 Things You May Not Know About the Gaming Way of Life
Gaming is more than just kids wasting their lives away in their bedroom or in their parent’s basement. It’s understandable that it may look that way from the outside looking in; those who don’t understand the culture. But it’s not a waste of time. It’s a way of life; a lifestyle choice.
And now it’s become something that video game enthusiasts, at least those who are fully dedicated to gaming, can make a living at. It’s become such a massive industry that top betting sites cover the tournaments just like they do with ‘real’ sporting events.
Which brings us to our first point about the gamer lifestyle: There isn’t much of a difference between eSports players and sports athletes.
Difference Between eSports and Athletics
Whether you’re a pro eSports athlete or a professional basketball player, there is a fundamental similarity: dedication. The main difference is public perception. When an athlete trains on the football field day and night or is on the basketball court and in the gym 60 hours a week, it is seen as drive and dedication to their sport. But when an aspiring pro gamer is spending 60 hours a week, it is looked at as an unhealthy obsession.
Perception is the main difference. But as more and more careers become possible due to the popularity of eSports – not just as a gamer, but all of the supporting infrastructure that every industry needs: marketing, sales, publicity, PR, events coordination, etc. – perception is slowly changing. Suddenly, when an 18-year-old ‘kid’ is making $50,000.00 a year streaming on YouTube and Twitch, it doesn’t seem like such a useless time-suck.
Culture … or Subculture
The gaming culture is a thing of its own, but gaming has exponentially affected pop culter in recent years. Think about all of the movies that have been adapted from popular video game titles. Going all the way back to the 1993 release of Super Mario Bros. the Movie, which started it all … but that was still fringe, and small potatoes. In 1994, Street Fighter came out and made just under 100 million dollars. Then, in 1995, Mortal Kombat dropped and grossed 122 million and change. The 2001 release of Tomb Raider took things to new levels grossing nearly 275 million.
Gamers were thought of as geeks. But, now it’s cool to be a geek. In fact most movies, even non-game-related flicks have their token lovable, dorky tech-guy, who most certainly isn’t only a gamer, but also an RPGer … perhaps even a LARPer. The point is, the video gamer subculture is massively affecting pop culture.
In a lot of ways, this goes back to the first point we made about people wasting their days playing games. It’s often thought of by non-gamers as anti-social. Almost like a hermit locking themselves away in a dark room for days on end. But the days of LAN parties speak directly opposite of that. Fighting games where all of your friends come over to take turns doing battle against one another. PES and FIFA, where groups of people rally at one person’s house to go through World-Cup-like brackets.
There are gaming cafes all around the world where people go to play and socialize. This isn’t even getting into the long-distance, virtual friendships that sometimes turn into meeting IRL.
So, if you are a non-gamer reading this, hopefully, you’ll take a second look at the gaming lifestyle and realize that though it may be different to yours, it is no less valid. It’s not anti-social. And it’s not a waste of time.