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posted by janrinok on Wednesday December 10 2014, @04:33PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the education-is-never-wasted dept.

Nick Wingfield reports at the New York Times that Loc Tran, a top player on the school’s competitive video game team, became a big man on campus at San Jose State University in Northern California after helping San Jose State claw its way to victory in June over California State University, Fullerton, in a tournament watched online by nearly 90,000 people. When the new school year started this fall, classmates’ heads swiveled toward him when professors said his name during roll call. “I thought that was pretty cool,” says Tran. Winning big video game competitions, also known as e-sports, can sometimes earn players several years’ worth of tuition money and, in a possible sign of the future, the athletic department of Robert Morris University Illinois in Chicago created an official video game team this fall, offering the same sort of scholarships given to athletes playing soccer, football, and ice hockey.

The rise in e-sports has been so abrupt, many schools have not determined what to make of it. Carter Henderson, a spokesman for the University of Washington’s athletics program, said no one from the department was familiar enough with e-sports to discuss the topic. Game companies say it is too early to predict how university administrations will become involved in e-sports. “This is just how basketball was in the 1940s,” says Christopher Wyatt. “A lot of the structure and organization you see in more formal athletics, that groundwork is still being laid down here.” In the meantime, game companies and collegiate league organizers predict that college e-sports could become a pipeline for the growing professional circuit. “We really want e-sports to become as ingrained in the academic environment as anything else," says Tyler Rosen like "speech competitions, football competitions."

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 10 2014, @04:42PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 10 2014, @04:42PM (#124752)

    How about competitions to keep jobs in this fucking country?

    Bread and circuses.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 10 2014, @04:49PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 10 2014, @04:49PM (#124757)

      I was shopping in Lowe's yesterday and probably 80% of the staff working in the aisles (as opposed to the registers or customer service desk) were in their 40s or 50s.

      Reminded me of the King of the Hill where Strickland Propane goes out of business and Hank has to go work in the propane section at the Mega-lo Mart answering to some flunkie high schooler.

      • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Ethanol-fueled on Wednesday December 10 2014, @04:58PM

        by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Wednesday December 10 2014, @04:58PM (#124765) Homepage

        I don't know about Lowe's but Home Depot in particular is proud of its employment of older workers(as well as vets and the disabled), when I worked there they we had this senile old man nicknamed "Banzai Joe" who was a smiley old white guy who wore a Japanese "rising sun" bandanna at all times and did nothing but round up stray shopping carts all day.

        Also keep in mind that a lot of military retirees are already getting a paycheck and enjoy a job that involves helping and talking to people, or one that they don't need to give that much of a shit about because they can easily get another one.

    • (Score: 0, Troll) by Ethanol-fueled on Wednesday December 10 2014, @04:53PM

      by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Wednesday December 10 2014, @04:53PM (#124762) Homepage

      I'm waiting for all those nerds who dismiss real physical sports as an activity for lower life-forms defend and rationalize this.

      *snicker* *snort* "Heeheehee! We're superstar athletes now" *snort* *picks nose*

      Being a talented athlete playing real sports requires much more training, dedication, health, and a lot more risk than drinking Mountain Dew and hammering on semen-crusted keys or pizza-stained buttons all day.

      • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Wednesday December 10 2014, @06:01PM

        by bob_super (1357) on Wednesday December 10 2014, @06:01PM (#124797)

        Professional football teams play about 11 minutes per week. Divide between offense, defense and special teams, and you have less than 5 minutes of actual play.
        You're gonna answer "sure, but they train 6 hours a day"...

        E-sports guys work or train at least 16 hours a day. Can you stay on top of your game that long?

        • (Score: 1) by Darth Turbogeek on Thursday December 11 2014, @02:20AM

          by Darth Turbogeek (1073) on Thursday December 11 2014, @02:20AM (#124936)

          No, because I like going outside and not being a candidate for obesity.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 11 2014, @03:48AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 11 2014, @03:48AM (#124949)

            Then exercise a bit and eat a decent diet.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 11 2014, @10:07AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 11 2014, @10:07AM (#124997)

            I've been casually follownig the StarCraft II pro gaming scene, and I can safely say that the vast majority of players are not obese in the slightest.

            Reference [teamliquid.net]

      • (Score: 2) by Tork on Wednesday December 10 2014, @06:25PM

        by Tork (3914) on Wednesday December 10 2014, @06:25PM (#124804)

        I'm waiting for all those nerds who dismiss real physical sports as an activity for lower life-forms defend and rationalize this.

        *snicker* *snort* "Heeheehee! We're superstar athletes now" *snort* *picks nose*

        Never happened.

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      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 10 2014, @07:48PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 10 2014, @07:48PM (#124832)

        The universities may want to be smart and replace their concussion-inducing sports now. A lot of sports should be okay, but both varieties of football probably don't have long to live. Mental games are probably a better realm for universities to be in, anyway.

        • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 10 2014, @11:02PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 10 2014, @11:02PM (#124893)

          I hope you're not suggesting that video games are "mental" games, or at least not intending it to suggest that they operate on some sort of cerebral level that one normally associates with high intelligence or profound thought.

          • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Thursday December 11 2014, @05:35PM

            by tangomargarine (667) on Thursday December 11 2014, @05:35PM (#125146)

            Well I dare say playing something like Starcraft involves more brainpower than getting handed a ball and told "run that way and avoid guys who want to hit you."

            --
            "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
  • (Score: 2) by CoolHand on Wednesday December 10 2014, @06:32PM

    by CoolHand (438) on Wednesday December 10 2014, @06:32PM (#124808) Journal

    you know...
    "You'll never get anywhere in life playing video games..."

    --
    Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job-Douglas Adams
  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by bradley13 on Thursday December 11 2014, @11:50AM

    by bradley13 (3053) Subscriber Badge on Thursday December 11 2014, @11:50AM (#125014) Homepage Journal

    I don't care if it's football or DOTA - offering scholarships for non-academic skills is just dumb. The vast majority of colleges lose money on their athletic programs [acenet.edu]. Athletics is a money sink that has nothing to do with their primary mission of teaching.

    I paid my own way through college in a work study program. I still vividly remember standing in line at the cashier, holding my check for a semester's tuition. For the guy in front of me, it went a little differently: the cashier handed him a check, for pretty much the amount I was about to pay. Why? Because he was a basketball player. The school also put these idiots into special classes in the business department, so that they wouldn't fail out. Since engineers were required to fit the the odd business class into our schedules, occasionally one of us wound up in one of these classes. Where the professor would spend two weeks explaining how to calculate interest on a bank account, and then pass the athletes anyway, after they failed the test. It was irritating as hell, to see my hard-earned money subsidizing this crap.

    Scrap it all. Let the professional leagues set up junior leagues, if that's what they want. If the college ties is so important, pay the colleges money for the right to use their logo. If the players want to go to college, they can do it the same way any other working stiff does: by managing their time and money carefully. Colleges have no business providing athletic scholarships.

    --
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  • (Score: 2) by darkfeline on Friday December 12 2014, @01:06AM

    by darkfeline (1030) on Friday December 12 2014, @01:06AM (#125331) Homepage

    I'm one of the dwindling number of people who consider video games the same as literature or film. It is a medium for telling a story, and it is unique in including interactivity in the experience. In the current age of DotA and LoL, I hate it when people automatically conflate video games with eSports. "Oh, you like video games? Do you play DotA? What do you think of the metagame?" etc. eSports are literally sports, competitive activities. I'm not degrading eSports, but I think it's an important distinction to make, just like theater or dance are not sports, don't lump e-sports and video games, please. (And yes, I know "video games" isn't the best terminology as it ambiguously includes eSports, but it's the best we have.)

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