So here's a fun story for you.
Per a Bloomberg.com report, The University of Utah will become the first Power 5 institution to offer scholarships for competitive video gaming.
In fairness to Utah, they do have one of the top video game design programs in the country, so there's some semblance of fit.
But we need to pause and make one thing clear: playing video games is NOT, and will NEVER be a "sport."
I understand that colleges and universities offer scholarships for all sorts of things - music, academics, art, and the list goes on. To be clear, I'm also never in favor of taking away opportunities for young men and women to attend college. That's not what this is intended to point out.
However, I don't like comparing playing video games to these sorts of endeavors. Creating a beautiful painting, performing a concerto, or pursing a vigorous academic career to help benefit the world are not the same thing as sitting on a couch playing video games.
The end goal of sports, art, and music seems to be the same thing - learning teamwork, the value to devoting hours to your craft, and in the end, potentially adding some type of benefit to the world.
There are many questions. Does competitive gaming accomplish that ultimate goal? What benefit does it add to the world? Does it do anything besides lead to more video gamers in the world? Do we REALLY want or need that in society?
In addition, is Utah using these scholarships for the sole purpose of attracting students to their game design program? Perhaps, but then why add the competition aspect, and not simply offer departmental scholarships?
Call me old school if you'd like, I just can't see the benefit.
I'm not quite done hating on video games.
Perhaps I'm just exceptionally bitter because The Big Ten Network aired a "game" between Illinois and Maryland last week.
If the BTN wants to air non-sporting events, I have zero issue with that. The network exists to promote Big Ten schools, and quite frankly, there are times of year when there's just not much to air.
But why in the world would you choose to air a video game competition?
Why not air an orchestra performance at Ohio State? Why not check in on the symphony at Iowa?
How about a concert by the Rutgers University Choir? Or a 60-minute feature on an art exhibition at Michigan State?
In all honesty, I'd have a much easier time watching any of those options as opposed to FOUR HOURS of video gaming.
Alright, enough video games for one day.
The Masters is this weekend, and if you've never read the story behind the TV coverage, you need to.
Augusta and the Masters are one of kind when it comes to television coverage, and I love their approach. Check out all the details HERE.
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