Online Gamers & Weighty Matters

By John Salak


Everybody knows some guy named Motts from high school or college—or at least someone like Motts. He’s the kind of person who was obsessed with online gaming to a level that seemed unhealthy, even in our digitally obsessed world.

Where’s Motts today? Most of us would guess he’s probably sitting in his parents’ basement, surrounded by empty pizza boxes and Twinkie wrappers, while gaming away in the glow of an LED screen. You’re probably guessing he’s 100 to 200 overweight and a bit pungent.

It’s not a pretty picture. But maybe, just maybe, we’ve got the Mottses of the world all wrong. And if we’ve got Motts all wrong, maybe esports has gotten a bad rap too.

There’s now significant bucks (think tens of millions) now being ponied up as prize money at tournaments worldwide. Okay, admittedly, by itself that doesn’t necessarily conjure up an image of fit and lean competitors. But how about this? More than 150 colleges and universities now sponsor varsity esports teams, including some Power 5 schools and most of the Big East.

Esports athletes may not get the recognition and adoration of say, Ohio State’s running back J.K. Dobbins or Marquette’s scoring phenom Marcus Howard. These esports players, nonetheless, are recruited by coaches and can receive scholarships just like NCAA football, basketball and baseball athletes.

Okay, got it. No one is going to confuse any varsity esports squad with the University of Oklahoma’s offensive line.  But apparently top esports players are still pretty fit. Reports now claim that upper echelon players’ weight levels are 21 percent healthier on average than the general population. They usually don’t smoke, and they drink less on average too.

Apparently, top gamers spend more than an hour a day working out as a way of enhancing focus and reducing stress during tournaments.

So maybe not all gamers are buffed specimens. These findings still are mind boggling and maybe a little frightening just the same. Think about it. Maybe Motts and his friends haven’t morphed into bowls of cold oatmeal with two eyes and just enough appendages to keep playing Counter-Strike: Global Offensive through the night.

If so, this begs questions like what’s going on in basements across America? Should everyone join in? And what happens when Motts and his gaming counterparts decide to come out?

 

 

 

 

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