Sports have long been a popular form of entertainment around the world with games like basketball and soccer. However, due to quarantine, many leagues have either been postponed or canceled, leaving many fans disappointed. On the flipside, this has caused electronic sports, or esports in short, to gain more popularity, mainly because many people turn to the Internet or online games for entertainment during this time.
Esports, as the name suggests, uses online games as its medium, leaving it with infinite possibilities. Despite its spiking popularity, many people, especially the media and many experts, still question its legitimacy as a sport. A sport is defined as “a form of physical activity or game which aims to use, maintain or improve physical ability.”
While certainly not contributing much physical improvement, esports makes up for it by greatly improving mental capacity. Various games allow the player to prepare different strategies, which could definitely be applied in real life scenarios. Strategy games such as Starcraft require you to use different strategies and tactics which makes your brain more flexible and more used to unexpected situations. These games can also improve social life as in-game chatting and tournaments allow the players to interact with each other and form meaningful relationships even though they are divided by screens.
Technology has played a big role in keeping us, mostly young ones, entertained during this quarantine, especially online games. Some current ones include Mobile Legends, Fall Guys, and Among Us. They can provide a fun and enjoyable way to spend your time as most of them are meant to be played with friends. The aforementioned tournaments also form around these games where the winner receives an astoundingly large reward. One example was when Call of Duty team Atlanta FaZe brought home 1.5 million USD after winning the 2020 championship.
Although they can provide us with a means of entertainment, online games can also have a negative effect on mental health. In order to avoid this, breaks should be taken after finishing a game. Games can provide a distraction from what is happening around the world but one should never forget about those around them—taking some time to talk to family, especially grandparents, or friends—whether it be online or in person.
Due to the often toxic comments found on social media, a lot of people’s perception of gamers can easily be warped. However, everyone should not forget that in the end, people are all just doing things that they are passionate about. Everyone has that one thing that makes them try harder and strive higher, and for many of the younger generation or millennials, those things are games. Hopefully during this pandemic, one of the many lessons people will learn is that sometimes the things that you think are menial can mean many more for others.