I remember, it must’ve been 17 years ago, when I was given my first Gameboy Color. Growing up with a brother, we’d butt heads sometimes, but we’d always find our way back when we’d play games together. My entire neighborhood would be sharing the same enthusiasm for the newest games, Pokémon especially. We’d challenge each other, compare progress, and hang out, enjoying the company of friends while engaging in something we loved. Fast forward, I still enjoy playing games, and I still find myself sharing times with friends while playing the newest release.

The “gamer” stigma that many of us are familiar with is negative; the stigma insinuates bad hygiene, limited sunlight, and poor social skills. Fortunately, with the advent of Esports, the community has grown in size, and gained a significant following. Annually, on games like Counter Strike, League of Legends, Call of Duty, and Fortnite, you’ll find millions of people tuning in, in person and online, to see their favorite games played by the masters. This a global phenomenon with games traversing the world, from the U.S. to South Korea. The congenial nature of video games is not that dissimilar from athletics, like Football or Soccer; the key differences being the ease of use when competing yourself in these games, and the activation of a different kind of athletics, mental.

Teamwork, coordination, patience, and concentration are all skills that I’ve honed from my experience playing video games. Teamwork assisted me during my studies in University, working in groups had its difficulties, though, appealing to individual strengths, and working together consistently benefited us greatly. Coordination, in large part hand-eye, has helped me in multiple facets of my life, from navigating difficult terrain on hikes, to driving in a winter storm, special awareness and coordination are essential. As I move forward in my career, patience and concentration are invaluable. The patience to, every day, work to the best of my ability, and the concentration to stay focused on my goals and remain unwavering.

Time spent with friends and the pleasure and skills that have come out of my gaming experience are what I expect the millions of other gamers to have found too. Life is about balance, and too much of a good thing can outweigh the positives, but there is far more to video games than the flickering of lights on a screen… speaking of which, let me find out again for myself!

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