Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines escapism as habitual diversion of the mind to a purely imaginative activity or entertainment as an escape from reality or routine. So, why do we game? Is it for the pure enjoyment of the activity, or do we dream of being the characters we control during our gaming sessions? Every person has something that they habitually do to escape the monotony of the everyday routine; it may be the weekly trip to the church, the weekend nights out to the bar, or your game of choice to get some sort of release from your daily life.
Anyone that plays video games has at least one friend that has been playing a certain FPS since its release, they have found a game, put a lot of time in said game, and now they just go online and destroy opponents on a daily basis. Rather than going out and getting a new game or trying the popular game of the week, they have stuck with this one game, why? Is it because they have found something that that is so enjoyable they have decided that no other game can live up to it?! That is very unlikely, the most plausible scenario I can come up with is that these people have found something that they are good at, they have put countless numbers of hours in to this game and they have, in their minds, risen above the crowd and while they are online, the spotlight is on them. Seeing the number 1 ranking next to their name during their online matches really gives them a feeling of accomplishment, and why shouldn’t it, who doesn’t want to be called number one? (Insert reference to Joe Esposito’s You’re The Best)
MLG (Major League Gaming) has recently taken the spotlight as far as popularity goes within competitive gaming, it even had a short lived Saturday morning spot on Spike TV. MLG went out and told everyone that they too could be a pro gamer, and all they needed was a rather hefty amount of money, and nothing holding them to one place, because if you want to be one of the top teams, you need to follow the circuit around the country. For us regular people that hold jobs down out of necessity, this is an impossible task, but there are quite a few people that take this plunge head first. One such team is the MLG’s Str8 Rippin one of the more popular teams on the MLG Halo 3 circuit, one of the team members (T Squared) has even landed a job on the G4 channel giving weekly tips on competitive first person shooters such as Halo and Call of Duty.
In a world that covets professional sports players that get paid millions of dollars to go out and catch a ball once a week why not dream of getting paid just as much to do something you love, playing video games. That is the trick of competitive gaming, these are kids sometimes still in their teens making thousands of dollars a year doing nothing else but playing other people in video games, and who wouldn’t want to do that?
-Scott R. “Escape Artist”
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