Speed. Agility. Hand-eye coordination. These are all attributes commonly associated with traditional athletes, and now eSport Players. There are more similarities now than ever before between the two groups, but there is no reason these competitors should ever want to be called “jocks.”
What sort of expectations come from being an eSport participant? In the infancy stage of video games there were negative stereotyping words such as “nerd,” “dork,” and “loser.” As the products and markets have grown and developed, so too have the perceptions of those who choose to live that lifestyle. Gone are the days where people who enjoy video games as a hobby are seen as socially-inept. Now there are different levels, from the casual hobbyist all the way up to the hardcore enthusiasts.
So who are these eSport players? Truthfully, it could be anyone. It doesn’t take a certain race, age, or gender. It is very hard to stereotype gamers based on appearances because the lifestyle and the industry are about mentality more than ever. Video games have become more intricate and complex throughout the years and so have the people playing them.
The true identity of video game enthusiasts is being a person who enjoys the creation and exploration of a virtual story. Most modern day players aren’t known for jumping in line for the next edition of Call of Duty; though, I’m sure plenty do. Instead they’re more likely the ones who are chomping at the bit to pick up a game such as Bloodborne, one known for individual enjoyment and challenges. They don’t usually get over-hyped for the next edition of Fifa or Call of Duty. Most would find more joy in finding a PlayStation 2 and running through the original Kingdom Hearts again.
While the gaming world and its people have evolved, the world of athletics has generally stayed the same. What sets gaming enthusiasts apart is their desire to create within the world they play. People who love video games are no longer players, but thinkers, developers, testers, and artists. They no longer just enjoy games as a hobby, but as jobs.These people can study and learn how to turn their interests into six or seven figure careers.
eSport players are athletes, but they are not jocks. There is no doubt that true skill and natural talent is involved in virtual competition. If there wasn’t then average Joes could pick up the sticks, enter a Super Smash Bros tournament, and live to tell the tale.
eSport players typically have the brains to make them more than a gamer. They not only play the games they love at the highest level, but they can create their own just as well. Games like Risk of Rain, Shovel Knight and even Broforce are generated by people of all types, including eSport players.
While eSport players are athletes, they should be regarded with more respect than average athletes, due to the intellectual level required to compete, as well as create.