Competitive video gaming at Beijing 2008?

Not your average console news:

"Global Gaming League talking with China to bring competitive gaming to the Beijing 2008 games"

A mouse, keyboard and/or Xbox controller don’t seem like the standard gear of an Olympic athlete, but Ted Owen wants to change that.

Owen, who runs the Global Gaming League (GGL), a media company focused on the lifestyle and culture of gaming, is currently talking with the Chinese government in hopes of bringing competitive video gaming to the 2008 Games as a demonstration sport.

(…) Owen, though, said he believes gaming’s worldwide appeal – especially to a younger audience – could be the biggest boost to the Games since snowboarding.

"People aren’t watching [the Olympics] as much anymore," he argued. "You need to bring younger viewers back if you want to keep making money. To do that, you need to embrace non-traditional sports. They did it with snowboarding – and look how the popularity of that has surged in the Games. Video games deserve to be seen as a non-traditional sport. … They would bring something to the Games that [that age group] engages in and everyone understands."

Though gaming doesn’t take much physical prowess (a quick glance at many of the most talented competitive gamers is confirmation enough), it does demand incredible hand-eye coordination – arguably as much as golf and tennis.

There’s big money in it, too. The best players can earn over $100,000 per year in tournaments – and several times that in endorsement deals. Companies from Microsoft (Research) to Intel (Research) currently sponsor teams of players and even venture capitalists are getting interested – Major League Gaming received $10 million in funding earlier this year from Ritchie Capital. Other big leagues include the World Cyber Games and Cyberathlete Professional League.

Television networks are getting interested, too. NBC’s USA Network will air a series of seven hour-long shows featuring Major League Gaming tournaments this fall.

Full article:
Video games push for Olympic recognition

{One of my posts at "香港 (Hong Kong) 地區 Xbox 討論區" dated "06-01-2006, 5:55PM"}

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