We’re going to the Call Of Duty® Gaming Empire Mega All-Pro Heavyweight Internationals that now takes up a 17,000 seat arena for three days. It doesn’t really matter what it’s called, that’s how I feel. These people competing are not contestants anymore, these are athletes. There are now universities that not only sponsor but field teams of gamers requiring all the qualifications and specifications that you would for a contact football player or a professional tennis player or any other sports team. So the question is, is a gamer an athlete?
Let’s back up… Chess teams have been around for as long as I have and a couple of lifetimes before. We never think twice about the UCLA chess team. They’re sweating. I saw a commercial about an off road 4-wheel vehicle that said, “2 mph has never been so exciting.” It looked like the Jeep was going to fall over backwards and the chick at the wheel was squealing with ecstatic glee. I knew I had to have both, the Jeep and the dame. Perhaps if I bought the Jeep first, it would facilitate the later (you have to think like a guy). 2 mph was fine by me on both accounts. Besides, I’m at the age now where if I go any faster they can’t see who’s driving. Priorities do shift.
I think they’re athletes. Did your heart rate go up to 280 BPM? I think I’ve heard some great material at the Rehab Beach Club in Las Vegas that got my heart rate up to 280 BPM. For me, that’s standard when I’m walking out in front of Madison Square Garden. At Van Halen’s all-time great we had 350,000 people in attendance one night. I’m trying to remember… was that backstage or in front of the stage? Regardless, they were just close friends. All 350,000 of them. About 1 ½ hours east of Los Angeles you can get your heart rate up to 300 and survive it. Especially if there are girls watching and you’re wearing assless pants which I did in front of every single one of those audience members. (I don’t think of the audience as one cluster. I think of you each as an individual. This bun’s for you….) I think gamers are athletes in that they benefit from all of the cross training ideas that apply to Venus and Serena or the LA Rams, the Patriots and gymnasts. Virtually everything that they do is similar starting with kitchen skills (coaching, physical training and time management). If you’re competing for money or sponsorship (and that’s the same thing), if you want to make your living at it (and every surfer does) you must train. Uh, oh… did I just dovetail three ideas? You can handle it…
Gaming started the way surfing did. Surfing was something simply considered a game, a toy like a saxophone. When Adolphe Sax invented the saxophone, it was considered a noise-making toy that was more appropriate for political rallies and children’s birthday parties. I’m going to go artisanal on yo ass– now the saxophone is about as drenched in BBQ sauce as you could possibly imagine. The saxophone impacted irrevocably and inestimably the face of modern international culture and music forever until the last syllable of time. I think the first surfboard idea came about when a tree actually fell into the river and one of my first cousins clung to it, calling it a sport. Much later in my family tree, we bought a Jeep and I’m up to 2 mph. Is a jeep moving 2 mph almost dead vertically a sport? Watch out we’re going Buddhist here way before happy hour. There are no answers, just a lot of questions. Is it the salt or the french fry? Is it the blue cheese or the salad? We don’t know. The answer persists. I think the computer is vastly more complex than the surfboard in it’s simple construct. You can dedicate your entire life to elements of Call of Duty® because it’s going to change just like the surfboard has. Have you seen Laird Hamilton’s hydrofoil board? It sits above the water the way the sailboats in San Francisco do. It’s going to change from that as soon as they figure out how to make surfboards out of a little tissue paper and some spit to reduce the weight even more. You’ll be able to wear it around your neck when you go home. They will be doing 90 and have to wear helmets with heli-tethers. Initially there will be some back injuries but there are plenty of surfers.
Many friends would equate sports with extreme physical activity. I don’t know that that’s absolutely implied in its definition. Playing ping pong involves many tiny kung fu style movements. It’s more like dicing carrots… in a very small boat… in heavy weather. Compared to the discus throw which takes up the whole dance floor. In golf you have the big swing but where do you usually lose the game? The putt. In a world that is increasingly crowded and condensed, the smaller movement sports and art forms are going to take precedence because there is less room to practice the hammer throw.