SOMERSET, MA- In a society of sport driven culture where screens have taken over every aspect of our day-to-day living, the world of technology just got another pat on the back. It seems if your a foreigner and want to travel to the United States, and you happen to be an amazing video gamer, you are in the luck for securing a visa! Congratulations go out to the world of of esports. If you have been living under a rock the last twenty years and don’t know what esports are, let’s get you enlightened! There is this amazing world of grown adults who strap headphones to their noggins and talk to each other through microphones participating in competitive online video games, get this, at the “professional athlete level”. Officially, “pretty much any game with a winner and a loser can be played as an esport” (Dwan, 2017). A professional gamer leveling up to be considered a true athlete…it’s true! Apparently, experts involved with the scene “understand the unique talent, skill and determination of the players mirrors that of real athletes, even if their physical fitness is different” (Tassi, 2013). Wow, who knew?With this said, there have been large number of tournaments offered throughout the United States, and with many players overseas wanting to get into the action, there have been many setbacks with the government issuing visas to travel over and participate- up until today of course. What if I told you the U.S. Government has backed these button pressing cyber-jocks? Video games and politics, yep, that’s right! Just announced, “professional ‘League of Legends’ players are eligible for P-14 Visas, the same visas used in various American sports including the NFL, the NBA, MLB, and NHL in order to bring players over from foreign countries” (Williams, 2013). According to the government, “The P-1 classification applies to you if you are coming to the U.S. temporarily to perform at a specific athletic competition as an athlete, individually or as part of a group or team, at an internationally recognized level of performance” (U.S. Department of Homeland Security, 2015). If you are wondering what the motivation is for these professional gamers, and why they would want to flock to the U.S. for tournament play, it seems that the excitement revolves around gamers “competing for both cash prizes and glory with international competitions coming up with huge prizes, plus sponsorships deals for teams involved. Some players can on average make roughly $35,000 with game endorsements” (Clavio, 2017). I’m not being bitter or anything but that’s about what a Step 1 physical education teacher makes in my school district (Insert sigh). Forget what your parents told you about too much screen time, tell them you’re investing in your future-preparing for a future possible olympic showing…you never know! Nerds, I mean gamers everywhere…get those joysticks out (do they still use joysticks?) and start practicing! You never know, perhaps someday you could be in the olympics. (Insert laugh)
All Research Proposal
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