Photo Provided by Pixabay
A video gaming competition where competitive esport teams vie for the win.

Esports and video games grow in popularity

Humble beginnings for games blossomed into a lucrative industry that tethers students to their seats.  Esports have begun to seep into schooling, with many colleges offering scholarships and opportunities for students to play video games competitively for them.

UCC has even shown interest in implementing esports in to their program. The UCC Athletics Department is busy with the introduction of a new baseball team this year, but still plan to grow their sports program in the years to come. “The UCC esports team has been approved and they will compete in 2021,” Assistant Athletics Director Whitney Pitalo said.

Esports and the video game industry have only been around for a few decades. In the 1950s and into the early 1960s the first video games were made for scientific research and for fun. In the late 60s Ralph Baer introduced the first ever home console and licensed it to Magnovox who sold the system known as Odyssey in 1972. This led to arcade games being created like, Pong, which later was brought to homes through the Atari.

Next came an eruption of video games through the 70s and 80s. In 1985 Nintendo put their boat in the race by releasing the Nintendo Entertainment System called the Famicom.

Then, like a snowball, companies like Sega invested in the industry and started console wars in the mid-90s. The console wars were a competitive marketing campaign between Nintendo and Sega that pit the two companies against each other. Sony started a new console war in 1995 with the release of the PlayStation.

Microsoft also joined the console wars in the early 2000s by releasing the Xbox around the time that Sega dropped out of the console wars. From that point on the main competitors in the console space have been Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo.

Sony dominated the market up until the early 2000s when it released the bestselling console of the time, the PlayStation 2. The PlayStation 2 was the first console to ever support the use of DVD’s, thus allowing consumers to watch movies on a console as well as play games. This DVD player was actually the first affordable DVD player on the market and many consumers bought the PlayStation 2 only for its DVD functionality.

In 2006, Nintendo released the Wii and that quickly became the second best console of all time, only to be later passed by the PlayStation 4 in 2019, after its release in 2013.

During the time of the Wii, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, there was a rise in gaming on social media platforms like Facebook and Android and Apple devices. Handheld gaming had been done before, but now anyone could download a game on their phone.

In 2017, Nintendo released their latest system The Nintendo Switch, a home console and handheld hybrid. Now in 2020, PlayStation and Xbox plan to release their new consoles the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox series X.

Video games are now one of the most popular entertainment mediums. According to The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) “Over 164 million adults in the United States play video games and three-quarters of all Americans have at least one gamer in their household.”

Avengers: Endgame was the highest grossing film of all time in 2019 grossing $2,797,800,564, According to box office reports. While Grand Theft Auto 5, a game that came out in 2013, has sold 90 million units and has collected over six billion dollars in revenue, according to a report by Market Watch.

An article by Investopedia says, “Although, due to its private status, it is impossible to know exactly how much the NFL makes; Bloomberg estimates it earned around $15 billion during the 2018 season.”

An article from Business Insider says, “Esports will bring in more than $1 billion in revenue worldwide during 2019”

While gaming can be a recreational and competitive pastime in the lives of many college students, The World Health Organization (WHO) and The American Psychiatric Association (APA) both are trying to recognize the potential dangers of addictive behaviors in extended periods of gaming.

The International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, published by Springer in 2018 defines video game addiction as, “a pattern of excessive and pathological video game playing—is characterized by signs and symptoms similar to those of substance use and gambling disorders.” In the journal they research ways to treat video game addiction in similar ways to how they treat gambling addicts, drug addicts and sex addicts.

Most colleges offer some sort of help to students struggling with addiction. Video game addiction help is not always offered at schools. Life coaches are available at most colleges and they can be a way to start the process to recovery.

UCC offers help with drug addiction and alcohol addiction. These services can be found through the accessibility office in the student center. The offices are an immediate left upon entering the student center. The accessibility services can also be found on UCC’s website.

Contact Information For Help:
Student Services: Life Coach Hanna Culbertson
Office: (541)-440-7896

Contact me at: