Baseball has Barry Bonds and his Giant head (and ego) under the scrutiny of the senate. Cycling has a long list of riders banned for doping. The Olympics have stripped athletes of their medals for taking steroids.
Competitive gamers have bong rips before frag fests. But so far testing positive carries no negative.
Hit the jump (and the bong) for more on the smoky underbelly of competitive gaming.
Alex Walker, the Australian World Cyber Games Tournament Director, admitted in an interview with Gameplayer that some cyber athletes like to get fired up by firing one up before competition, but said he doesn’t think it’s a major problem.
“I’ve seen a number of players at national tournaments who came in ‘baked’ (that’s stoned for the uninformed) purely so they could play better. In most cases they did, although obviously they couldn’t just pull out another joint midway through.
In one World Cyber Games, a player I knew took amphetamines an hour before his match to boost his reflexes. His team ended up losing the match, although it certainly had an impact – his performance helped his team to win one map out of three – it kind of hits home that only the really talented will come out on top in the end.”
Many gamers enjoy combining pot and video games. The combination is popular enough that a movie has been made about stoner gamers, and I think just about every gamer with friends knows someone who likes to get lit while playing their favorite game.
But the question then becomes, does marijuana – or ADD medications like Ritalin, which can increase gamers’ focus and reflexes – constitute a “performance enhancing drug,” when used in competitive, tournament situations, and should such substances be banned, much like they are in other sports?
Walker said the fact that many tournaments take whole days or weekends to complete makes the marijuana issue irrelevant. After all, it’s a bit difficult to light up a doobie in the middle of a crowded convention room floor without garnering some attention from “the man,” and being high doesn’t last 12 hours, unlike many big-time tournaments.
What do you think?