When I read an article from the Omaha World Herald about Midland University adding eSports as a collegiate varsity sport I wasn’t sure how to react. My first thought was, “really, we now have video games as a way to get a scholarship?” I don’t think I am against it by any means, but it’s different to me. You hire a coach for video games? Perhaps it’s strange for me because I liked to be outside as a kid. I played video games when it was raining or snowing or the street lights came on and it was time to go home due to darkness. And I definitely didn’t do it competitively, but I was competitive when I played…..if that makes any sense.
I am not, in any way, trying to take anything away from anyone who competes in college clubs/levels or professional gaming. I have been trying to understand it more. We see some colleges cutting sports for budget concerns, is this the future for us?
To help me understand the whole thing more I brought my friend Jordan Bass on my radio show. Jordan is an assistant professor for sport management at the University of Kansas and recently he had students who completed a study called, “Are gamers athletes? Study examines perceptions of students on ‘esports’ scholarships.” I encourage you to read the study, it’s definitely interesting.
There will be mixed feelings on whether or not this should be a direction college or universities head, but before we jump to conclusions perhaps we should try to learn more and understand it more.
Here is my interview with Jordan Bass on the topic of eSports: