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30 August 2012

The context of being a professional (gamer)

I wrote recently about gaming and learning, referring to a post on the BigFish Games blog.  There's an interesting disussion about gaming and athletes - should professional gamers be considered on a par with athletes?  This CNN page makes an interesting comparison:

I found the video in a  post on BigFish, a site which is very concerned with gaming!  The Fish makes reference to

"Gamers often start playing from very early ages and play on a regular basis. You might not think of it as “training” because it’s a fun activity, but imagine putting that kind of time into anything else – it’s going to produce significant results."

"Some critics claim that video games don’t require the same level of skill as a typical sport does, but just because an activity isn’t physically straining doesn’t mean it doesn’t require talent. Plus, there’s already a precedent for competing in Puzzle games. Just ask any professional chess player!"

What's the difference between addiction, love, dedication, and practice?
"No one usually thinks of professional swimmers and other sports players as addicts, do they? As with most things, the difference between a problem and a healthy activity is the context. Before assuming someone has an addiction because they do a lot of something, it’s important to look at the rest of their lifestyle choices. Are they happy? Do they still participate in other activities? Are they able to support their lifestyle?"

If you're considering a career in professional gaming, know that  "The University of California, Berkeley started offering a course in 2009 that teaches the fundamentals of Starcraft gameplay, requiring students to record and study their own playing sessions. The class is now available in online format, but it’s not going to be an easy A. The course description recommends knowledge of Calculus and differential equations, and requires students to thoroughly analyze replay videos to enhance fast-thinking and decision-making skills."