eSports On ESPN: Why Video Games Are Not Sports

eSports On ESPN: Why Video Games Are Not Sports

If all you do is sit down with a controller, it's probably not a sport.
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A couple nights ago, I was channel surfing at an ungodly hour of the night, looking for some background noise to fall asleep to. I had a great selection of blender infomercials and televangelists before getting to the sports channels. Or what I used to refer to as the sports channels. Because when my TV landed on ESPN2, it was not sports coverage I saw.

It was people live-playing video games.

Yes, on the Entertainment and Sports Programming Network, video games were being covered. Video games.

I don't mean to sound rude or talk down to gamers. Believe me, I like playing Xbox as much as the next 20-year-old college student and could probably sink a week straight into the N64, but I do that as a hobby, fully realizing that it takes no physical fitness or activity to be good at gaming or even play them.

Granted, ESPN airs other programming that isn't sports related (World Series of Poker is common and the occasional hot dog eating contest is quite puzzling), but this is uncharted territory for the sports network. 'eSports' as it is being called is one of the quickest growing markets in not only the sporting world, but the betting as well, meaning that this big money industry is probably just now reaching its potential with its full impact not being felt for a few years at least.This means ESPN is probably heavily invested in the industry, with more time slots across its multiple channels dedicating some time to the eSports world. eSports, unlike poker or eating competitions (which are usually only shown at a certain time of year or are shown as a one-off program), is becoming regular network content.

The biggest problem I have with that is its classification as a 'sport' at all. A sport is defined as 'an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.' Video games do not require any physical involvement. Other than being good at pressing buttons on a controller, what physical ability do you need to play games? Yes, it takes a lot of skill, which is indicative of mental ability in some cases, to be a great gamer, but that's not physical and is certainly not a sport. If there is still an argument to define cheerleading as a sport, then how are we classifying this at all?

Gaming is not the same as playing a sport. Gamers are not athletes much the same way cashiers are not investment bankers. Sure both have a lot of money exchanged through their hands, but there is a very evident split where one ends and the other begins. So it is with gaming and sports. Play video games all you want, please, it is fun and can be very exciting. But to define it as any form of sport or athletic competition is a disservice to any athlete in any sport at any level.

Cover Image Credit: esports.net

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Does Technology Make Us More Alone?

Technology -- we all love it and we all use it, but how is it affecting us?
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In this day and age, it is near impossible to do anything without the use of technology. You can pay your bills, manage your bank accounts and even chat with a customer service representative all with the use of your smartphone.

Is the use of technology starting to take away from our person-to-person interaction? Think about how often you grab your smartphone or tablet and text your friends instead of picking up the phone to call them or, better yet, making plans to hang out in person.

Technology is supposed to make us feel more connected by allowing us to stay in touch with our friends by using social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter and of course, texting. But are our smartphones getting in the way of socializing? Does technology make us feel more alone?

There is a term that is commonly used, "FOMO" –– short for "fear of missing out." Yes, this is a real thing. If for some crazy reason you don't check your Twitter or Facebook news feed every 10 minutes are you really missing out?

The fact that we have become so dependent on knowing exactly what is going on in other people's lives is sad. We should be focusing on our own lives and our own interactions and relationships with people.

Technology is making us more alone because instead of interacting with our friends in person, we are dependent on using our phones or tablets. We start to compare ourselves and our lives to others because of how many likes we get on our Instagram photos.

We are forgetting how to use our basic communication skills because we aren't interacting with each other, anymore. We are too busy with our noses in our phones. Young kids are dependent on a tablet to keep them entertained rather than playing with toys. That is not how I want my children to grow up.

As a society, we will start to become very lonely people if we don't start making changes. We are ruining personal relationships because of the addiction to our smartphones and checking our social media sites every five minutes.

It's time for us to own our mistakes and start to change. Next time you reach for your phone, stop yourself. When you are with your friends, ignore your phone and enjoy the company of your loved ones around you.

Technology is a great thing, but it is also going to be the thing that tears us apart as a society if we don't make changes on how dependent we are on it.

Cover Image Credit: NewsOK

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5 Apps To Help You Keep Your New Year's Resolutions

To help you focus on making the most of the year.

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It's getting to that point in the year where people are starting to lose steam when it comes to their New Year's Resolutions. If you're like me, you make some pretty big goals, but then fall short on how to achieve them. We are all so connected to our phones, that sometimes the best way to keep track of our goals, is to use our phones. Here's a list of 5 apps that will help keep you on track for your New Year's resolutions.

1. Goodreads.

If one of your resolutions was to read more, then this is the app for you. Goodreads lets you set a reading goal for the year and track your progress. You can make reading lists and track your progress page by page. It also allows you to review books and read other people's reviews.

2. TV Time.

If one of your resolutions was to catch up on all of those shows that people talk about that you've never seen, then try TV Time. Much like Goodreads, it allows you to select what shows you want to watch, log shows you have watched, and track your progress episode by episode. It also lets you look at reviews and interact with other users.

3. Letterboxd.

Letterboxd (@letterboxd) | Twitter

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If TV shows aren't your thing, but you vowed to watch more movies, then Letterboxd is more your speed. Browse movies by genre, popularity, release date, and many more. Select the movies you have watched and pick which ones are on your watchlist. You can make lists of movies and browse others altogether and you can also rate and review every movie.

4. Flora.

Flora - Stay Focused Together

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If you have made either a resolution to use your phone less or to focus more, try downloading Flora. Flora lets you set a timer 25 minutes up to almost 2 hours. Once you set a timer, a seed is planted on your phone and if you click any buttons, the plant will die. However, if you succeed and don't use your phone within the time you set, a tree will grow and will be added to your digital garden. If you need a little more incentive, you can bet real money that you won't lose. If you do lose, you pay the money and a real tree is planted in a rural community. When signing up with Facebook, you can also see how many trees your friends have planted.

5. One List.

App Of The Day: One List

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One of the New Year's resolutions people have is to be more productive. If you're like me, you're most productive when you have a list of the things you have to do. One List is the most simple to do list app I have found. You simply pull down on the screen to add something to the list. You can set a priority for each task and then they are automatically sorted from highest to lowest priority. Then you simply swipe to check a task off the list.

So, unless one of your resolutions was to reduce how much you use your phone or stop using your phone altogether, some of these apps are bound to help you achieve one of your resolutions.

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