Video games have been a part of our daily lives for quite some time. The first ever video game was created in 1958 by William Higinbotham and then was popularized by Pong in the 70s. Since then we have seen the evolution from Atari, Nintendo, Sega, Playstation, and computer games to mega online games such as fortnight and League of Legends.
Video games are no longer a pastime for children; there are billions of dollars in revenue being tapped into via professional eSports tournaments and events. It’s become so popular that there are massive betting markets on tournaments and individual matchups —if you’re a pro eSports fan, don’t jump into betting blindly.
Just like Ultimate, or any other physical sport, people tune in to watch the events (usually via live streaming on twitch) and show up at large venues that are turned into eSports arenas watch the games unfold live and in person.
That said, the likelihood that you are going to be able to support yourself playing video games is slim. The average professional gamer makes around $1000 per month. Middle tier players playing on major professional teams can make up to $5000 per month, and top earners can rake in as much as $15,000 per month. But just like major sports, these high earners are one in a few million. It is more likely to be on the lower end of the earning spectrum, but in places like SE Asia where eSports are the most popular, $1000 per month is a livable wage. Here in the United States and Canada, that kind of salary is tough to live on.
Although video games are fun, and there are career opportunities, pro gaming has created a new lottery-like pipe dream for children and young adults. Despite the fact, that the AUDL has shown consistent growth over the last 6 years and that Ultimate is on the verge of becoming a major summer Olympics event, people are spending more sedentary time than ever, and much of this is due to the fact that they think they can become a professional gamer or at least a paid streamer. A 2009 study done by the United States Center for Disease, Emory University and Andrews University that was revealed in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine found strong connections between video games and health risks such as obesity, sleep deprivation, and depression.
Of the females the reported playing video games, they showed higher levels of depression and lower health statuses than their non-gaming counterparts. Males didn’t show as much depression as females, but their BMI (body mass index) was significantly higher than their other males who forego video games.
Video games can stimulate the mind, enhance cognitive skills, and improve hand-eye coordination. But they can also cause serious physical and mental health concerns, so moderation is key. If you have been spending a lot of time planted in front of your computer or game console, offset that sedentary time by getting outside and tossing the frisbee or shooting some hoops, etc. Beyond being good for your body, physical activity can have positive effects on mental health as well.
Even though many popular video games require teamwork and strategy, you shouldn’t depend on the internet for your social life, and there is a marked difference between socializing and teamwork over a headset with someone you may have never met and that of team sports where you physically work together. So even if you are the best Starcraft, DOTA, or Fortnite player ever to grace multiplayer battlefield, moderation is key, get out and throw the frisbee around on a nice sunny day, be sure to stay active; your health depends on it.