Robert Morris University will pay kids to play video games. The scholarship comes out to about $19,000 a year, which is about half its tuition and room and board. So, it’s not a cheap school but if you want to study MOBA, it’s the place to go. We already know a top school in Korea offers gaming as a major. And more schools will follow as long as there’s money to be made.
A scholarship is of course an investment. Pay the kid and one day the kid will return with money. That means there’s confidence that gaming can be a profession. And why not? Top gamers have made $200K+
That’s nothing compared to professional athletes, but the question is will e-athletes someday eclipse professional athletes? Will e-sports be bigger than real sports?
YES! Three reasons:
1) Technology will continue to improve.
Better graphics and better gameplay leads to a more entertaining experience for the spectator. Instead of watching a war movie, you can watch a huge battle of your choosing (Rome, WW2, sci-fi, modern, etc) between several players where the outcome is unknown. Same thing with fights and other matches.
As technology improves, more people will have access to video games and will be more affordable for everyone to play and watch games. The price of a baseball glove or hockey stick won’t change all the much and many people still won’t have the means to learn hockey or other team sports. The end result is the popularity of video games will continue to increase over all generations, social and economic classes.
2) It’s simply easier to play video games.
If you want to play baseball, you have to call up all your friends and gather all the equipment. Even basketball often takes some effort. If you want to play a video game, you just turn on your computer, console or device.
Increased participation will increase popularity.
3) More universal.
Not everyone has a console. But everyone has mobile devices and computers. Not everyone will invest in a baseball glove or hockey stick that will only be used a few times a year. If you live in Southern California, chances are you’ll rarely play hockey. If you’re in Canada, how easy is it to play baseball year round? Anyone can play video games at any time.
Also, as we see in Korea, kids who study a whole lot cannot get away for several hours to play ball. But they can sneak in an hour of gaming between cram schools. Reason why Korean gamers are so darn good.
Also, it’s a lot easier for jocks to play games than for the average geek to play sports.
Overall, gaming will become more popular. And as the money keeps flowing, so will the industry, and there will be stars and athletes and sponsors and most of all, new generations of spectators who will keep the cycle going. It may not happen in the next decade or the next generation, but it will happen.
Now, is it good for society?
The human species were meant to run around and breathe fresh air, and socialize with other people, not sit alone in front of a monitor all day.