Sep 9, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe (5) against the Jacksonville Jaguars at the Metrodome. The Vikings defeated the Jaguars 26-23 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Chris Kluwe has done a lot to change people’s perceptions about football players. Not all NFL players are dumb jocks, Kluwe has taught us. Some of them read and write, and even have political opinions!
Now Kluwe wants to find out if he can do the same thing for video game nerds that he has done for football players.
By-and-large, gamers are viewed as overweight, socially-inept, sort of dirty people who live in their own little worlds. In other words, the opposite of everything Kluwe.
But Kluwe wants to change that perception. He wants us to see that video gamers are really just like athletes. That video games should be taken seriously as sports.
Video games, Kluwe argues, should even be included in the Olympics.
Kluwe was asked in an interview with Red Bull – didn’t know they were a media outlet now – if he believes video games – or eSports as they are euphemistically called – will ever be part of the celebrated Summer Games.
“Yeah, I think so. As we start getting more and more into the physical – as society changes as a whole,” Kluwe said.
“You look at kids that are growing up, and having a PC isn’t strange. Everyone has a PC or a tablet or whatever and have access to the internet and so they get used to this world, whereas 30 or 40 years ago, computers weren’t really a part of growing up unless, you were a scientist or a government researcher.
“As society changes as people get more and more comfortable with computers, you get more kids who grow up with these games and they enjoy it, they play it, it’s something familiar. And so that’s how things change.”
Imagine the Future Olympics. Cyborg decathlon. Rocket javelin. Robot discus. Contra tournament! Instead of getting thrown out for steroids, people will get disqualified for up,up,down,down,left,right,left,right,B,A, start.
And that is about my most current video game reference. I didn’t even know we were supposed to call them eSports now. I guess that’s the hardcore competitive gaming, not the me-sitting-around-in-my-underwear-playing-Tetris kind.
Well far be it from me to disagree with Kluwe on a matter of cultural evolution. This guy is ahead of the curve on everything. His crystal ball is for sure way bigger than mine. He sees eSports in the Olympics, sure, eSports will be in the Olympics.
I hope they at least take care of the whole sweaty-controller-hands issue by the time this comes to pass. So many late-night Donkey Kong Country sessions ruined.