Today we want to touch on a different topic: video games (e-games). People have spent $9.09 billion on digital games worldwide, compared to $7.42 billion last year (see here). Moreover, it is estimated that one in three people on the planet (2,5billion) play free games in the PC and mobile (see here). In other words, it’s big and growing rapidly.
Yet despite the surge in interest, the traditional thinking around video games hasn’t much changed. Popular wisdom says that video games contribute to more cases of obesity and introduce kids to harmful, mindless violence.
Both views are outdated. For starters, there is a lack of any credible evidence to suggest games lead to more real-world violence and, in fact, the most popular games are not war-based or violent games, but sporting ones (see here). And, far from creating a generation of couch potatoes, sports-related games are increasingly spurring participation in real-life athletic activities (see here).
Nowadays, sport games are so realistic and complex that even professional athletes use them as part of their off-the-field training (see here). In addition, the number of institutions offering e-sports scholarships has grown 5 times last year (see here). eSports athletes are being recognised more and more as simply “athletes”.
Roland Garros, one of the biggest tennis tournaments in the world, is breaking new ground here, as the first Grand Slam to host an e-gaming competition during the French Open. This competition will be played via a new video game, “Tennis World Tour”, published by Bigben. A qualifying phase was held in eight countries (Belgium, Brazil, Britain, China, France, India, Italy and Spain) each with 32 competitors. The winners from each country met in the grand final at Roland Garros stadium last Friday (May 25) (see here). The first ever winner of the Grand Slam e-games tournament is Carlos Che from Spain, who defeated an Italian Lorenzo “Isniper” Cioffi with a score 6/1.
The French Tennis Federation (FFT) sees that such innovations simply widen the audience of tennis and give everyone a chance to participate in the part that engages them the most.
“The Roland-Garros eSeries by BNP Paribas is an answer to the global growth of e-gaming and to bring together the international gaming and tennis fans communities, which have both been waiting for a competition of that kind for a long time.” Stephane Morel, deputy CEO of the French Tennis Federation
Stay tuned for further innovations in this field and, in the meantime, keep playing online or offline 😉