From the invention of Pong, the first arcade game, to the present era where videogames are showcased on an international scale, electronic games or E-Games have become the turn of the tide towards the current digital arena. Decades ago, the idea of “playtime” for children meant going outside, playing sports, visiting places, and the like. Nowadays, it means staying at home and playing video games either on the console or on the computer. Many people from older generations say that this new trend is bad for the younger generations mostly because of the lack of exercise that comes with this kind of habit.
Yet, in spite of the downside that most parents and educators point out regarding E-Games, there are still a number of things that gamers can learn from playing them. One of these is hand-eye coordination. Because of the nature of video games and how they are played, gamers are able to develop this skill because of the different sequential situations that require quick reactions. Also, there are a number of cognitive thinking skills that are often tapped into while playing these games such as critical thinking, strategy, teamwork, decoding and retaining information.
Given the skills E-Games are able to develop in an individual and what it has become around the world, the UAAP board decided that starting UAAP season 78, with E-Game tournaments as a part of the official sporting events. The board recognizes how E-Games have become popular around the world as a newfound sport and they decided to create an avenue to host this, knowing very well that there is large market for E-Games in the country.
Similar to the format of the other sports in the league, all UAAP schools that wish to participate must first organize a team of eligible players. Needless to say, this new sport will also have corresponding points that can be added to the general championship tally of the participating schools. UAAP board member Emmanuel Calanog comments on this decision saying, “We’ve been asked this question for quite some time now and only now have we finally decided to act on it. Definitely, there were a lot of issues around this topic but in the end, we decided that there is more to E-gamers than what most people say and we want to showcase that next season.”
CS and DOTA 2
After much deliberation and research, the UAAP board has decided to feature only two computer games, Counter Strike (CS) and Defense of the Ancients 2 (DOTA 2). This decision was reached based on the games’ popularity, necessity for teamwork and strategy, and level of competition.
CS is a popular first-person shooting game (FPS) that has two teams: Terrorists and Counter-terrorists. Depending on what map or game mode is chosen, each team can have different goals: to complete a specific task before time expires, prevent the other team from achieving their goal, or eliminating the entire team. Each team has different weapons at their disposal and players have the liberty of choosing which weapon is most appropriate per round by buying items in their base at the start of each match. Players can earn money by either killing their opponents or winning the round.
On the other hand, DOTA 2 is a battle arena type game that also consists of two teams with a maximum of five players per team. Each player is given time to pick a hero from a wide selection, which is subdivided into three hero types: Intelligence, Strength, and Agility. The goal of the game is to destroy the enemy’s Ancient, which is located in the middle of their base and is guarded by towers and enemies. Players may level up their heroes by killing neutral or enemy creeps, or by killing enemy heroes. Destroying enemy structures can help earn you more gold. This gold can be used to purchase helpful items that can make your hero stronger or help your team in the long run.
A step towards E-Gaming
What makes DOTA 2 and CS great is how these games can perfectly display teamwork in tight situations. Some students say that it’s when you see teams come together and work out a plan against their opponents, who are also trying to do the same thing, is what makes these games so special and competitive. It is also very exciting and filled with drama, they say; you will never truly know who will win until the game finally ends.
At the moment, the different UAAP schools have been holding tryouts to form their varsity teams in different computer shops nearby. These schools will have to come up with a men and women’s team for both games making it a total of four teams. The UAAP board is very excited and expectant that the results of this tournament will turn out great. Calanog shares,” If E-Games are as good and exciting as advertised, then we shouldn’t have a problem giving the public a new sport to look forward to.”