Forget football, the world’s fastest-growing sport is live video gaming. But increasingly its impact is proving harmful to those involved
If you had been away from the planet for the past quarter of a century, one of the few things you might find comfortingly familiar on your return is the world of sport. While the digital revolution has transformed the way we shop, chat, date, do politics and consume culture, sport looks largely unchanged. From football to cricket to golf, it’s still the same old staples, hitting a ball into a hole or goal or over a boundary. There hasn’t been a major new sport invented for more than a century. Or has there?
In the East End of London, Sam Mathews is holding court at Fnatic’s HQ, otherwise known as the Bunkr. A pop-up shop that opened last December, it is marketed as the “world’s first eSports concept store” and is as knowingly hip as its Shoreditch surroundings. Here at the Bunkr, you can buy eSports equipment, meet players, view streamed events and even watch matches live.
Related: Hashtag United, Wimbly Womblys and the virtual gamers striking it rich
Related: Sport 2.0: crumbling traditions create a whole new ballgame | Sean Ingle
Related: Sebastian Coe: ‘Athletics needs to be innovative, braver and more creative’
Related: Golf fights old perceptions and drop in players to attract new audience | Ewan Murray
I ask if he will give me the most powerful shock he gives patients. The impact is violent. I still feel it hours later
With such poor prospects in jobs, housing and savings, it’s little wonder young men turn to a heavily advertised, supposedly masculine form of escape
Men of my age often feel trapped between one group of people telling us to “man up” and another suggesting that our plight is less grave than that of others. Indeed, many will probably shrug when they learn that a new study suggests that a quarter of men between 18 and 24 have a gambling problem. Yet it does not take a genius to see a link between gambling and millennial males’ current place in society. We are a group lacking hope – and gambling is just one symptom.
My demographic is gambling for a number of reasons – some of them innocent – but economics and mental health are crucial. Of course, the cause of minority groups are generally more pressing than that of millennial men – we should not feel uneasy about asking not to be forgotten, while advocating other progressive issues. It is coherent to champion both.
16% of young men think that no matter how hard they try, their life will amount to nothing
Related: Revealed: the 30-year economic betrayal dragging down Generation Y’s income