DETROIT (WJBK) - The Michigan High School Athletic Association is exploring the possibility of making video gaming a varsity sport.
The skills involved in video games isn't debatable - you have to have good hand-eye coordination, have a good strategy, etc. - but is eSports an athletic competition?
"This is something that we want to be on the front end of at least a conversation, we don't know if we want to do this yet. But we need to at least have the conversation, and if this is where we need to go for our kids, we'll be ready to do so," said MHSAA Executive Director Mark Uyl.
Initially, Uyl dismissed the idea. Then he looked at gaming as a whole and saw the benefits it has for students.
"If we just sit back and kind of shrug our shoulders and say let's even talk about e-sports, we may be missing a great opportunity to connect with all those kids that are right now in the gaming world. This is a way that, hey, we're offering a gaming or an E-Sports opportunity and when you get finished with this, you know what? Here's some other things that you can also do with the MHSAA or with your high school and become active and to find that right balance in life," Uyl said.
Tech companies are already investing in gamers in colleges across the state, including Adrian College and Sienna Heights University. Additionally, Western Michigan is turning an auditorium into an e-sports arena and Lawrence Tech is recruiting gamers as future programmers.
With colleges looking this direction, is it time to letter in eSports in high school? We got mixed reactions from students.
"I say sports is all about being physical, it's all about getting out there. I say if you really have a passion for that, that's something you should be doing on your off time," said student Frank Bachulis.
"I mean it's becoming more and more popular so I can see why they do it. It's just, I wouldn't call it a hugely athletic type, but varsity-wise, that can make you big money," said Lucas Maceroni