Last night I watched the full five parts to Vice's short documentary about eSports. Not so long ago I was listening to a discussion and live debate on BBC Radio 5 live about whether computer gaming was really a sport. The world is, some might say finally, coming to grips with the gaming world as one of the biggest creative media forms in the world and with that millions of nerds and otherwise off-the-radar people are becoming very much on the radar. The radar of popular culture, of fashion, of sports, and so much more.
The debate of whether eSports is an actual sport or not, entirely depends on definition and if we define by the English language and the definition of sport; then no, it is not a sport. It is a tournament, competition, and those who take part are competitors and most definitely have incredible mental ability to be able to win.
Vice's eSports doc at the very least does a fair display on reporting the intensity and popularity of the industry in places like South Korea where eSports competitors are essentially the celebrities of popular culture which to most of the Western world would seem entirely unusual and a result of differences in cultures. Though this is not the case as there is a worldwide appeal to gaming, and in turn to competitive gaming through its easy accessibility in this highly connected planet.
The growth is exponential considering that competitive gaming only began to take hold during the early 2000s, and as soon as game consoles had integrated internet connectivity allowing the reach of multiplayer connecting people all around the world to compete together this pushed a step forward in mainstream attraction for gaming.
This integration of gaming with popular culture is growing and faster than we can even keep up with. The rise of the YouTube star, the easy access to multiplayer gaming with technology advances, and the huge cash prizes on offer for those who are the very best; the combination of all these things can only mean that we are set for a future where eSports is as integrated in our lives as, for example, football is in a country like the UK. It's only a matter of time, and short at that.