Monday, January 19, 2009

Pro Gaming: an oxymoron?

At first glance most people would not consider video games to be a viable outlet as a career or at the very best a pro sport. The reality is that video games are becoming more mainstream everyday, even becoming considered a pro sport. Recently ESPN began airing a monthly television show dedicated solely to gaming, even going so far as to air a “Top Ten” of halo plays. As with all pro sports, going pro in gaming takes a lot of dedication, practice, and skill. Pro gaming events boast prizes in the upwards of $10,000, and even have been known to include endorsement deals with major companies looking to market themselves to gamers. Halo 2 was originally the best game to get into if a person wanted to go pro and make the most money, Halo 3 has become the new standard of that. The statistics today show that there have been 792,192 unique players logging within the last 24 hours playing a total of 1,699,448 total matches logged in that same time frame. As Bungie rolls out their new matchmaking play list setup in a free-for-all tournament style, there will also be a tournament sponsored by the United States Army which will allow U.S. residents to compete in a tournament bracket with the finalists being flown to New York to vie for the $50,000 prize. Halo 3 was released on Sept. 25th 2007, so it is still a relatively young game but already there are contests and promotions that give the average casual gamer a chance to compete with their peers and win prizes. The casual gamer can even try their hand at going semi-pro or even pro by going to several of the tournaments of the gaming season hosted by the MLG or Major League of Gaming. All pro and semi-pro spots are already reserved, but by paying the $240 entrance pass fee, an amateur can compete and gain much needed exposure to further their career in gaming. As the gaming industry consistently proves that it is not going anywhere soon, and begins to out perform even feature films, gaming moves to the forefront and what once began as a group of people getting together to play games in their basement on the old black and white television, has become a pillar of modern entertainment today.

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