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Major League Gaming, the first professional gaming league in the U.S., shown here at E For All in October '07, offers winners big money and the chance to win sponsorships. With all the money comes allegations that some players are turning to drugs to take their game to the next level.  (Source:
Looking for a competitive edge, some pro-gamers turn to marijuana, amphetamines, and more

Doping scandals in the world of sports are nothing new.  As far back as 1889, James Francis "Pud" Galvin, the first pro-baseball pitcher to win 300 games, was advertising an elixir of monkey testosterone which he regularly took.  Today, in sports as diverse as baseball, cycling, mixed martial arts, and track and field, athletes are regularly banned and suspended for drug use.

Now, there's a new professional sport that's drawing these timeless tough questions -- professional gaming.  While some don't consider pro gaming a "sport" per se, they cannot deny the facts -- top pro gamers are professionals who are making a good deal of money, and regularly use their prestige to create lucrative brands.

In the U.S. alone there are two major leagues: Major League Gaming, which offers up to $100,000 a tournament in prize money and the newly created Championship Gaming Series, which has offered as much as $500,000 in tournaments.  These leagues have big sponsors.  Internationally, pro gaming is even bigger than here in the U.S. with elite gamers in countries like South Korea gaining celebrity status.

And like any sport where there's money involved, some people look to illegal or unregulated, but dangerous means to enhance their performance.  GamePlayer, Australia's leading gaming site ran an interesting piece on the topic where it identified commonly abused substances.  It identified, marijuana, amphetamines (speed), Dexamphetamine and Methylphenidate (Ritalin), Caffeine, and FpsBrain, the German drug cocktail previously blogged about here on DailyTech, as common drugs used when players want to gain an underhanded edge.

All of these drugs have serious consequences, particularly speed, which is known for its high fatality rate (no pun intended).  But is this use really going on?   GamePlayer wrote a follow-up piece in which it interviews Alex Walker, the director of a major international gaming tournament, the Australian World Cyber Games Tournament.

When asked if he knows of players abusing drugs with the intention of enhancing performance, Mr. Walker acknowledged:

It's funny because it's true. I know a lot of people through games that take drugs, although that's not related to gaming. It's more a social thing. But get any large group of people together, add drugs, and someone's bound to push the limit.

I noticed that you made a mention about people claiming they were better after having a bong or two. That's true. 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 WCG, 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.

Worldwide, there seems to be a silent consensus that this is occurring, be it players using illegal drugs or abusing legal ones, such as caffeine pills.  While its certainly questionable whether these drugs overall truly give players an unfair advantage, or if a placebo effect from thinking they have an advantage comes into play, the fact remains that this is a surprisingly serious issue for this fun-centric sport to address.

It's going to be tough to find a solution, as experts point out.  Drug testing can be very expensive, and gaming leagues already struggle under lower profit margins and less sponsorships than most major league sports.  Furthermore, casual usage of substances such as marijuana has often been associated with the gaming culture and enacting strict drug testing could create a backlash among gamers.

Directors like Mr. Walker, have seen people in the past gaming in an obviously altered state.  In these occurrences, perhaps a kind reprimand and request to leave would be sufficient.  At least then pro-gaming would not have to suffer the negative PR from reports that it is turning a blind eye to drug abuse.

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Not surprising
By Staples on 8/29/2008 11:15:41 AM , Rating: 4
I consider myself a computer nerd but I hate it that I am an odd one because I do not fall in line when it comes to caffeine. Most computer nerds regard this stuff as if it was water. They worship this stuff and are the first to stock up on crap like caffeine gum and pills with it in them. If this does not sound like a drug addiction, then I do not know what is.

Anyway, the only caffeine I consume is the caffeine in the occational chocolate I eat. Other then that, on the rare occation that I do drink soda, I always get Sprite or Root Beer. Despite what many of them say, most people who drink half a gallon of soda a day are addicted to caffeine rather than "I like the taste". Apparently caffeine is highly addictive so I try to stay away from it.

RE: Not surprising
By MrBlastman on 8/29/2008 11:52:10 AM , Rating: 1
I haven't consumed alcohol or any other substance for 12 years now. I also have been caffein free for about as long.

It is amazing how your body adapts to a caffein free diet. All of a sudden your sleep schedule is normal, you wake up normally and your stress level decreases substantially. Like you, the only exposure of it I subject myself to is chocolate. I haven't been able to kick that urge yet. :)

RE: Not surprising
By FITCamaro on 8/29/2008 1:41:18 PM , Rating: 3
Uh...there's absolutely nothing unhealthy or wrong with drinking alcohol or coffee. Like anything else, if you don't abuse it, its fine. I drink from time to time, I just don't get shitfaced. And I'll have a soda some days. Some days not. In fact many doctors say having a drink a day is good for you. Wine is best but there's nothing wrong with a beer or a shot.

I sleep fine at night. Different people handle it differently as well.

RE: Not surprising
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 8/29/08, Rating: 0
RE: Not surprising
By pertsa on 8/29/2008 4:47:45 PM , Rating: 2
Can't see why this was rated down. Health statistics show that moderate alcohol consumers live slightly longer than complete abstainers. Yes, it could have something to do with ex-alcoholics being complete abstainers after liver or other malfunctions, but not to the extent we are seeing in the statistics. Caffeine has many positive effects (again in moderation) through neurochemical ways (try doing a search on e.g. PubMed).

RE: Not surprising
By aos007 on 8/29/2008 8:15:16 PM , Rating: 2
Likewise, cannot see which idiot modded him down. There's nothing immoral or unhealthy about moderate consumption of coffee, in fact apparently the opposite. The last place I'd expect downmodding of such comment would be an IT website...

RE: Not surprising
By Fnoob on 8/31/2008 10:30:59 PM , Rating: 2
That's because there are those among us who consistently downmod viewpoints that they disagree with. The rankings simply ask whether or not it was worth reading. If you disagree, a reply is more appropriate than a downmod.

RE: Not surprising
By StevoLincolnite on 8/30/2008 12:27:15 AM , Rating: 4
Problem with Caffeine (Like Redbull and Coffee) while gaming, is that one of the side effects is insane toilet desires, so it could probably damage your "Pro Gaming" match more than help them if you suddenly had to get up and rush.

RE: Not surprising
By Fnoob on 8/31/2008 10:20:29 PM , Rating: 3
That's why all the 'real' Pros use Huggies pull-ups.

RE: Not surprising
By General Disturbance on 8/30/2008 10:36:59 PM , Rating: 2
Actually Fit, you'd be surprised. Read a book called "Caffeine Blues" is written by a doctor who's done tons of research on the effects of coffee (i.e., caffeine, that's found in the quantities consumed in coffee) on the is poisonous stuff, and definitely inflicts many many types of disturbances on the body and its rhythms.
I hear many people use the excuse "I drink it, and I'm fine, so therefore "it" must be fine also and that study must be wrong". The assumption is that the person thinks they're fine, but perhaps they are actually not.
When I stopped coffee it was like a veil being lifted from my head. Whenever I try it now for old time's sake it actually knocks me out cold, right to to sleep, in the middle of the day or morning or whatever. A curious response given that most people think coffee "gives them energy". The caffeine actually stimulates an immune response in a temporary increased rate of metabolism, as the body actually tries to excrete and clean the caffeine from the system. This is why coffee can give you the sweats, make you need to use the washroom, etc. Once you've become acclimated and addicted to this response you may not notice it or feel it as much, but rather than thinking of that as an "adaptation", one must ACTUALLY appreciate the stress their body must by under in order to NOT be having this response anymore. It is not a healthy bodily state. There is no "getting energy" involved, and this immune response is ACTUALLY a VERY enervating (as in energy depleting) process.
Alcohol, of course, obviously has many similar effects on the body. So the question I have, is, if this is the effect caffeine and alcohol have on the body, how is it good to do this to your body at ANY frequency? The truth is, it isn't; THOUGH we can certainly DO IT and still live long lives, if one chooses to do those things.
In regards to wine, and the benefits of the anti-oxidants found in it for your heart: those same anti-oxidants can be found in many, many types of raw fruits and vegetables, obviously including raw grapes, which everyone loves to eat.

Anyway, just wanted to point out that there actually is quite a bit of UNhealth in coffee and alcohol etc.

RE: Not surprising
By Fnoob on 8/31/08, Rating: 0
RE: Not surprising
By jtemplin on 9/3/2008 10:36:40 AM , Rating: 2
Your explanation of the mechanism by which caffeine exerts its stimulant effects is completely wrong.
The caffeine actually stimulates an immune response in a temporary increased rate of metabolism, as the body actually tries to excrete and clean the caffeine from the system. This is why coffee can give you the sweats, make you need to use the washroom, etc. Once you've become acclimated and addicted to this response you may not notice it or feel it as much, but rather than thinking of that as an "adaptation", one must ACTUALLY appreciate the stress their body must by under in order to NOT be having this response anymore. It is not a healthy bodily state. There is no "getting energy" involved...

When taken in moderation caffine is considered to be ergogenic. You can check the wiki for more info but research consistently shows moderate doses of caffeine improve athletic performance, both aerobic and anaerobic.

Any substance that artificially increases your heart rate (tachycardia) is not good for your heart in the long run. But used in moderation (as FIT was saying) caffeine is pretty safe. There was a widely publicized study recently released suggesting coffee consumption is associated with increased longevity.

You can begin your reading on the pharmacological mechanism of action here:

Coffee study link:

RE: Not surprising
By General Disturbance on 9/3/2008 1:03:30 PM , Rating: 2
Yes I've already done that reading. And no, the explanation is not wrong, it actually fits perfectly with what you said. I know many athletes who consume coffee before working out or training, and it is specifically because of the increased rate of metabolism (i.e., increased heart rate, etc...) that is induced. There is a REASON that coffee stimulates that response, and the REASON is that the body is trying to metabolize and excrete the caffeine. It is not some magic drug that just gives you energy...there is a REASON why the body reacts to it, and it is because it is a poison taken in small quantities.

The best thing to increase longevity is to not drug your body at all and eat all raw natural foods, with small amounts of cooked meat, and light exercise. However, WE CERTAINLY CAN live a long, productive and happy life not doing this, smoking and drinking and eating at McD's, so I'm not preaching!!!! Please, eat and drink what you want!

There is a very common misconception, coined I think by various industry organizations, that "moderation" is the key to health. Well, no one knows what the hell moderation means, it only serves as a keyword for people to think "well my level of consumption is moderate and therefore I must be fine". How can everyone feel this way since everyone has different consumption habits? The truth is, moderation typically SHOULD mean hardly ever, not more than once a month. As others have pointed out, it can take several days for the body to correct itself after a caffeine ingestion, and so once a week would be too frequent in the case of a cup of coffee.

But whatever, as I said we can put all sorts of things in our body and still stay alive and feel happy and be productive and live until we have great-grand children, so really we needn't worry.

But for some, living in a physically and mentally highly optimized state can have certain rewards, and that is certainly worth exploring too.

RE: Not surprising
By jtemplin on 9/4/2008 8:09:43 PM , Rating: 2
I think me and you see eye to eye. I live the life you describe...

I do however find your wording a bit strong. Caffeine is not a poison, not by any reasonable standard.

From Wiki... LD 50 of: Caffeine Animal:rat Administration Route:oral LD50 192 mg/kg

It is definitely not a poison. The healthy lifestyle is whats up, but it needs to be guided by reason, not fear.

What originally stood out to me was you saying immune system. Its through the autonomic nervous system by which the effects are achieved, not the immune system. The nervous system (which controls the endocrine system) is in control of the immune system. So technically wrong. But like I said. I agree with your message. Healthy living is the key to happiness!


RE: Not surprising
By RabidDog on 8/29/08, Rating: -1
RE: Not surprising
By FITCamaro on 8/29/2008 1:46:00 PM , Rating: 5
Could you be more of a jackass?

RE: Not surprising
By FITCamaro on 8/29/2008 1:44:53 PM , Rating: 2
I would hardly call caffeine highly addictive. I used to drink 2-3 sodas a day before and into college. Then one of my roommates accused me of being addicted to caffeine (jokingly). To prove him wrong, I didn't drink anything caffeinated for a month. No problems.

I'm certainly not encouraging anyone to drink 2-3 sodas a day as they are unhealthy for other reasons. Is caffeine addictive? It can be. It all depends on the person and the amount consumed regularly.

Some people are prone to addictive behavior more than others. Those are the people who get "addicted" to WoW and other MMOs.

RE: Not surprising
By Aikouka on 8/29/2008 2:26:48 PM , Rating: 3
Caffeine can be kinda nasty when it comes to withdrawals though. Been there myself... not a fun time.

RE: Not surprising
By FITCamaro on 8/29/2008 5:40:48 PM , Rating: 2
If you're suffering from withdrawals of caffeine you have no one to blame but yourself. You have to drink a lot of it. I know. I've gotten a headache from drinking to much and then drinking none. Wasn't cause I was addicted though. I just like Coca Cola. Since sophmore year of college I've stopped drinking it so much. And since getting out of college I've made water my primary beverage.

RE: Not surprising
By aos007 on 8/29/2008 8:10:59 PM , Rating: 1
That's not true. Even stopping down from 2 or 3 coffees a day (and nothing else caffeinated) will trigger caffeine withdrawal migraines within say 6 hours of not getting your "dose" in the morning. That's not exactly "too much" caffeine.

And likewise the withdrawal lasts for two days max no matter how many years you have been drinking coffee. And the migraines, while nasty, can be taken care of by a couple of Tylenols.

RE: Not surprising
By oab on 8/30/2008 8:36:21 PM , Rating: 2
2-3 coca-colas: 60-90mg of caffeine (each can of coke contains approx. 30mg of caffeine)
2-3 coffees(brewed): 180-360mg of caffeine (an average brewed coffee contains between 90 and 120mg of caffeine)

RE: Not surprising
By sgw2n5 on 8/29/2008 8:11:41 PM , Rating: 3
Umm... If the sudden absence of a substance (especially a known stimulant) imparts a physiological response such as a headache... yeah, I think that you had an addiction, a mild addiction.
No biggy though, it's not like you addicted to the point where you would give hand-jobs to strangers on Colfax avenue to get your hands on a 20 oz Dr. Pepper. :D

RE: Not surprising
By HeelyJoe on 8/29/2008 10:32:06 PM , Rating: 2
It's a physical dependence, not an addiction.

RE: Not surprising
By FITCamaro on 8/29/2008 11:38:32 PM , Rating: 3
Ummm....what do you think an addiction is? Your body being dependent on a certain substance being there.

RE: Not surprising
By Fnoob on 8/31/2008 2:01:18 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, dependence and addiction are on opposite sides of a fine line. Addiction implies abuse, whereas dependence implies need. Do you believe that diabetics are addicted to insulin? With regards to pain meds that are often abused, "in cases where real physical pain is present, almost invariably the body prevents the development of true addiction to [medication] for a combination of psychological, neurological, and endocrinological reasons."

RE: Not surprising
By jtemplin on 9/3/2008 10:48:26 AM , Rating: 2
Excellent points. A lot of people in this comments section definitely aren't up on their pharmacology or psychology of addiction.

RE: Not surprising
By Reclaimer77 on 8/30/2008 9:15:52 AM , Rating: 1
Are you 12 ??

I think caffeine stops being a drug and keeping you awake by the time you hit puberty. I honestly can't even imagine suffering " withdrawls " from caffeine 'addiction'. Do you go into the DT's or something ? Please share with us your heroic tale about beating this life destroying addiction.

Our society is getting so wussified.

RE: Not surprising
By BB33 on 8/30/2008 10:23:22 AM , Rating: 2
just as nicotine is a drug and adictive so is caffine. I drink about a pot of coffee a day and if I dont get any coffee I will get a headache that is the caffine DeTox (DT). and just a note some ppl that I have known can drink a full pot of exspresso and go to sleep but that does not mean that caffine is not a drug.

RE: Not surprising
By jtemplin on 9/3/2008 10:58:57 AM , Rating: 2
Not that I agree with anything reclaimer has said, but he meant delirium tremens by DT which is a fatal withdrawal syndrome caused by alcohol.

RE: Not surprising
By xxsk8er101xx on 8/30/08, Rating: 0
By zaxxon on 8/29/2008 10:09:45 AM , Rating: 1
Since when is grass performance ENHANCING?????????

and why should speed have an exorbitantly higher mortality (this time, REALLY no pun intended) rate that any other amphetamine?

did the author or any of the other moral apostles here ever try any of these delicacies?

and.. why should these gamers be any different than their same-age counterparts? at least they only beat up virtual people while being high!

RE: grass?
By Spivonious on 8/29/2008 10:32:40 AM , Rating: 2
My thoughts exactly. Pot and Ritalin are not "performance-enhancing". Ritalin is essentially a tranquilizer.

"whooooaaa did you just see that guy get pwned???? Let's go get some burritos."

RE: grass?
By Bender 123 on 8/29/2008 10:47:10 AM , Rating: 3
Ritalin is actually a schedule 2 drug and a stimulant.

RE: grass?
By Polynikes on 8/29/2008 11:01:05 AM , Rating: 2
Which is why it's the perfect treatment for hyperactive kids.

RE: grass?
By Bender 123 on 8/29/2008 11:10:15 AM , Rating: 2

Nothing says good medicine, like chemical parent.

RE: grass?
By borismkv on 8/29/2008 11:34:51 AM , Rating: 1
Actually, the current theory of ADD is that it is caused primarily by the brain not resting properly. The minds if people who suffer from ADD are constantly racing and are unable to grasp on to a single stimulus for long periods of time because they are operating as though they've been awake for 48 hours straight or more. The stimulant nature of Ritalin increases the chemicals in the brain that induce alertness, which in turn allows the brain to focus better.

RE: grass?
By Bender 123 on 8/29/2008 1:00:28 PM , Rating: 2
Your first line...
Actually, the current theory of ADD is that it is caused primarily by the brain not resting properly.

is the bulk of the problem. There is no documented physical reason that even proves ADD/ADHD even exists...and even the companies that manufacture Ritalin will readily admit they dont know why/how it works. It sounds bad from a research standpoint and adds credence to the point that Docs/parents are looking for the easy way out, with little thought or knowledge of exactly what they are doing.

To keep with the South Park theme..."SHUT UP AND STUDY!!!" works and Ritalin causes Christina Aguilera monsters to appear around you.

RE: grass?
By PCXLFan on 8/29/2008 1:33:16 PM , Rating: 1
They know how it works. In the most basic science its essentially the same effect you get from other stimulants since it falls under the stimulant drug category.

RE: grass?
By Reclaimer77 on 8/30/2008 6:49:14 PM , Rating: 2
There is no documented physical reason that even proves ADD/ADHD even exists.

Thats easy for you to say. You don't have it.

It exists. Trust me.

RE: grass?
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 8/29/2008 3:36:57 PM , Rating: 2
If you don't mind stunting their growth. I know several kids who are smaller then their younger boy (both boys). The smaller boy was on that drug, in both cases.

RE: grass?
By PCXLFan on 8/29/2008 1:30:27 PM , Rating: 3
Wrong wrong wrong.

You know NOTHING about the drug Ritalin. Stop talking about crap you know nothing about.

RITALIN STIMULATES the central nervous system not tranquilizes.

I took it for a decade. It can act as a performance enhancing substance. It improved my reaction timing as well as my muscle motor coordination slightly.

Consider depressants such as alcohol on the opposite end of the spectrum. They decrease reaction timing, alertness and muscle motor coordination.

I used to play soccer all the time and the prescription definitely improved my performance.

Why do you think now that amphetamines were banned in Baselball. There has been a 500% incrase in the number of baseball players claiming to have add. Its so they can take the medicine and reap the benefits.

Add meds are essentially a cocktail of amphetamines, but a low dose of it.

RE: grass?
By PCXLFan on 8/29/2008 1:38:59 PM , Rating: 3
They go to a doctor and lie about having the symptoms then can get a prescription of the meds.

That way they can get around the ban of amphetamines that was introduced not to long ago.

read this Newsweek article. NewYork Times has stuff too if for some frickin strange reason you don't trust the validity of the Newsweek article.

RE: grass?
By hemming on 8/29/2008 3:11:02 PM , Rating: 2
I'd call grass performance MODIFYING drug. It'll make you calm in the case of stress, or give you a really twitchy trigger finger ....

In similar news - Nick Diaz vs Takanori Gomi

As the second round opened, Gomi gamely tried to regain lost ground, but after a double leg takedown into Diaz's guard, suddenly found himself in a gogoplata submission. The lightweight champion tapped out at 1:46 of the second round. However, the Nevada State Athletic Commission has declared the fight a "no contest" after Diaz tested positive for marijuana.

Gross, Josh (2007-04-10). "NSAC Changes Diaz Win to No-Decision".

GRASS FTW!~!~!~!

RE: grass?
By judasmachine on 8/30/2008 9:32:14 PM , Rating: 2
Back in my day, it was easy to burn a leaf and zone out on Mechwarrior 2 or Descent. I could go for a good long while and not hear anything but the whirl of my plasma projection cannon. It just seemed to diminish the real world and help me focus. But who knows, I probably have undiagnosed attention problems.

RE: grass?
By judasmachine on 8/30/2008 9:34:54 PM , Rating: 2
But now I play FPS and RPGs, and then not that often, and never touch the green goddess.

By Bender 123 on 8/29/2008 9:28:39 AM , Rating: 2
1. Rockstar
2. Bawls
3. Water Joe
4. Coffee
5. Hot Pockets
6. God Mode
7. Scotch (For real Dance Dance Revolution challenges...Trust me on this one...)

By Fnoob on 8/29/2008 9:31:44 AM , Rating: 2
I agree completely; if you see me dancing, I will not remember doing it thanks to Glenmorangie.

By PCXLFan on 8/29/2008 11:24:47 AM , Rating: 2
Don't forget Ritalin and other A.D.D stimulant drugs.

I used to be on the stuff for over a decade. (Faster reaction timing + sharper concentration + better at sports)

Why do you think it is the study drug of choice in college campuses.

Don't forget in the MLB Adhd drug prescription epidemic have increased to the point where 7.6% of baseball players now have perscriptions, now that non prescription amphetamines have been banned.

I have used ritalin, dexedrine & adderall throughout my life and when I played soccer as a kid they definitely gave me a great great boost. I had faster reaction timing, could 'deek' out player easily, and became more confident and more aggressive at playing soccer. (no not aggressive as in roid rage aggressive, but perhaps more aggressive as a result of more confidence and improved capablilty)

They have long term side effects though. I know I've talked to dozens of long time ritalin (long as in on it for a decade)(and other add drug )users and they all suffer pretty bad long term side effects from it (just like long term use of ANY other stimulant be it caffeine or diet pills will have perminent negetive side effects)

By FITCamaro on 8/29/2008 1:35:01 PM , Rating: 1
Toilet pocket.....

By Smilin on 8/29/2008 10:06:51 AM , Rating: 2
So they're using some drug prescribed by doctors for a condition (ritalin) and some fvcking coffee?

OMG the scandal!!!??!!

Gamers might be pot smokers but they certainly aren't doing it during game day. That drug may make games more enjoyable but it certainly won't enhance performance.

Slow news day or something.

RE: crap
By MrBlastman on 8/29/2008 10:13:57 AM , Rating: 2
Not all of them are users. There are quite a few that are straight-edge.

RE: crap
By i3arracuda on 8/29/2008 11:19:45 AM , Rating: 3
Not me, I smoke rocks!

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to defecate in a trash can.

Can't breathe
By FITCamaro on 8/29/2008 9:08:28 AM , Rating: 1
Laughing to hard.

RE: Can't breathe
By Proxes on 8/29/2008 9:27:08 AM , Rating: 2
It's funny and sad. Sad because it's true. If all the drug dealers ever realized how many WoW players are pot heads they'd start advertising in the trade channel.

/2 Get a dime bag half off with your next purchase of 1000g or more!

RE: Can't breathe
By Fnoob on 8/29/2008 9:32:53 AM , Rating: 3
Weed will do that to you.... too many bong rips? WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN PLAYING YOUNG MAN?!?

Not a sport
By zinfamous on 8/29/2008 2:59:40 PM , Rating: 2
like Nascar and golf, Professional gaming is not a sport. It's an activity, a game.

that is all.

RE: Not a sport
By DigitalFreak on 8/29/2008 7:34:21 PM , Rating: 2
True. Sport implies that there is some kind of physical activity required. Sitting on a couch playing with a gamepad certainly doesn't qualify.

Beta Blockers seem like the way to go.
By Spacecomber on 8/29/2008 6:39:40 PM , Rating: 2
From Wikipedia:

Anxiety and performance enhancement
Some people, particularly musicians, use beta blockers to avoid stage fright and tremor during public performance and auditions. The physiological symptoms of the fight/flight response associated with performance anxiety and panic (pounding heart, cold/clammy hands, increased respiration, sweating, etc.) are significantly reduced, thus enabling anxious individuals to concentrate on the task at hand. Officially, beta blockers are not approved for anxiolytic use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Since they lower heart rate and reduce tremor, beta blockers have been used by some Olympic marksmen to enhance performance, though beta blockers are banned by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Although they have no recognisable benefit to most sports, it is acknowledged that they are beneficial to sports such as archery and shooting. A recent, high-profile transgression taking place in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, where 50m Pistol silver medallist, and 10m Air-pistol bronze medallist Kim Jong-su tested positive for the Beta-blocker, Propranolol.

By Weiser on 8/30/2008 12:44:17 PM , Rating: 2
I have a prescription for Propanolol for Essential Tremor.

I generally only take it when I know I am going to be in a high anxiety situation since that is when it will be unbearable. At its worst I can't drink out of a open cup or it will be all over the place. Or can't type because as I move my finger to press a key I lose control and hit duplicate or wrong keys.

As for gaming I have never really used it for that purpose. That being said I would stand no chance gaming in a tournament in front of a crowd without having taken Propanolol.

Just in case...
By Oralen on 8/29/2008 9:39:15 AM , Rating: 2
some of you did'nt know that cartoon...

How is this new news
By PAPutzback on 8/29/2008 10:05:51 AM , Rating: 2
Anyone who has been in TS or Vent at 2 in the morning knows 3/4s of the people are on something. You hear the beer cans being popped, the bongs bubbling, chip bag crinkling, laughs over your mom jokes. Then you start having the knife only rounds and then the slow change to the channel die out as people get side tracked or make munchie runs. God I miss BF 1942 and Critical.

caffeine in gaming?
By anotherdude on 8/29/2008 10:50:11 AM , Rating: 2
Im shocked, SHOCKED

By eetnoyer on 8/30/2008 8:47:35 AM , Rating: 2
Did you just refer to professional gaming as a sport? Real sports involve exposing yourself to the sun once in a while.

The Last Word
By Fnoob on 8/31/2008 10:18:41 PM , Rating: 2
Drugs are bad, mmmkay?
If you do them, you are bad.
So don't be bad by doing drugs.
Cuz drugs are bad, mmmkay?

By MAIA on 9/1/2008 8:42:58 PM , Rating: 2
Obviously the author and the other guy know little about the use of drugs.

Marijuana it's a damn hard drug to dose. In small doses it can relax your muscles, but it usually get you too dumb after a while. I play for fun - not a hardcore player - and smoke marijuana as well. It just gets too funny, and frustrating, to play in no time.

Legal drugs is all you need to achieve a good level of concentration. Caffeine and tobacco enhance your reflexes pretty well. Amphetamines and cocaine are better but they're illegal and - well, let's say - dangerous.

Hey, it's damn hilarious with shrooms ;)

Gee, whodda thunk?
By Beenthere on 8/29/08, Rating: -1
RE: Gee, whodda thunk?
By JasonMick on 8/29/2008 9:09:45 AM , Rating: 5
Yea... that seemed a little harsh... O_o

Even aside from any intelligent debate about the merits of pro gaming.

Did a pro gamer do something to scar you as a child?

RE: Gee, whodda thunk?
By Maximilian on 8/29/2008 9:27:52 AM , Rating: 3
A pro gamer probably backstabbed him in starcraft.

RE: Gee, whodda thunk?
By MrBlastman on 8/29/2008 9:51:43 AM , Rating: 2
Nah, he got reaver dropped in his peon line and accidentally hit the stim button 3 times many leading to the utter destruction of his all foot soldier army in a split second. :(

RE: Gee, whodda thunk?
By Bender 123 on 8/29/2008 9:31:47 AM , Rating: 5
You really need to get a South Park pic from the Heroin Hero game in the "Guitar Queero" episode...Just the image of the dragon running away from an arm being injected with a syringe makes it wholly appropriate...

RE: Gee, whodda thunk?
By therealnickdanger on 8/29/2008 9:52:56 AM , Rating: 2
RE: Gee, whodda thunk?
By Bender 123 on 8/29/2008 1:03:39 PM , Rating: 2
Fantastic! Come on and catch me! I am right here! Come get me!

RE: Gee, whodda thunk?
By FITCamaro on 8/29/2008 1:36:40 PM , Rating: 2

Awesome episode.

RE: Gee, whodda thunk?
By Reclaimer77 on 8/30/2008 9:19:53 AM , Rating: 2
You don't think he has a point ?

People who do nothing but play games all day, ignore their real life as much as possible, and probably live with their parents past 30 use drugs ! This is just SHOCKING right !?

I mean, have you taken a look at these " pro gamers " ?

RE: Gee, whodda thunk?
By Digimonkey on 8/29/2008 9:30:54 AM , Rating: 2
Really, you think a person who figured out how to make a career out of doing drugs and playing games is an idiot? Hmm.

RE: Gee, whodda thunk?
By MrBlastman on 8/29/2008 9:39:45 AM , Rating: 5

Did someone pwn you with the Railgun mid-air in Rocket Arena 3 really badly when you tried to rocket jump the last time? That is what you come across as - someone smitten with anger that perhaps someone out there might have more talent than yourself (which from your tirade seems like not much).

The drugs part - I agree with, there is no place for them in professional sports or any high-level competition. If you are truely an expert in your craft, drugs will only hinder your performance, not enhance them. You need your mind as sharp and quick as possible to maintain high level cognitive abilities. If one were to resort to drug use - it would only hasten their downfall from the top of their class.

However, your comments about pro-gamers not being the sharpest knife in the drawer, I think that is:

1. Drawing quite an assumption
2. Echoes of lack of experience (and achievement)
3. Reeks of jealousy

In fact, with your twisted logic, I could then construe that any pro-athlete isn't the sharpest knife in the drawer either. I mean, to swing at balls all day and run in circles around bases surely is not intellectually stimulating and they must be bumbling idiots to be shafted like that. How about running across a court all day tossing a ball in a hoop, mindless and pure repetitive foolishness. What about those dimwits that hit a little yellow ball back and forth on a court with silly rackets strung with cat-gut? FOOLS YOU SAY!

Oh, and don't dare think Gary Kasparov or any other top chess player has an IQ over 90. They're all fools who move silly ivory pieces around a grid all day! Darned tool shovers!

To be at the top of your game in anything competitive - be it baseball, basketball, football, race car driving, tennis, golf, chess or ... gaming ... requires intense mental acuity and focus. Without it, the top players would be like everyone else - no clear direction or cause and inability to push through the last boundary that prevents them from greatness - the mental boundary.

Furthermore, how does "play(ing) games for a living" make "you ain't exactly the sharpest knife in the drawer?" Because they are doing something that they enjoy and take great pleasure in, while making money (some of them very successful) such as:

Thresh (firingsquad)
Gamespy Networks founders
Gary Kasparov!

All of the above are very successful and have all made quite a bit of money. Are they idiots for pursuing a source of income through something they are skilled in? No. In fact, I would argue someone that does not pursue a career in something they are skilled or gifted in as a fool themselves.

Why not use your gifts, talents etc. to get ahead in the world? To ignore them is to perform a crime on your own existence.

RE: Gee, whodda thunk?
By Icelight on 8/29/08, Rating: -1
RE: Gee, whodda thunk?
By MrBlastman on 8/29/2008 11:27:33 AM , Rating: 2
If that were so than any joe schmoe could play all day and become very talented at gaming. From what I have witnessed, this is not so.

There are plenty of people that came constantly and have never been able to achieve a high level of skill or ability. To be good, real good, you have to be smart, think quickly on your feet and have very refined dexterity, be able to make decisions quickly and those decisions have to be good ones the majority of the time.

Coincidentally those above abilities are the same ones that pro-athletes share.

You can take any dumb lug and pump them up physically and turn them into a genetically gifted monster in the muscular arena - but none of that will make up for a weak mind. Your best Navy SEALs, Army Rangers, Snipers and Fighter Pilots are all genetic wonders. They possess tremendous physical potential - but it is that grey matter and their IQ that allows them to be the best of the best.

RE: Gee, whodda thunk?
By Icelight on 8/29/08, Rating: -1
RE: Gee, whodda thunk?
By MrBlastman on 8/29/2008 12:01:14 PM , Rating: 2
I think you are the one that is dreaming. :)

I disproved your point btw

RE: Gee, whodda thunk?
By DigitalFreak on 8/29/08, Rating: 0
RE: Gee, whodda thunk?
By Fnoob on 8/29/2008 9:58:55 PM , Rating: 2
"the majority of the readers of this site are slacker retards"

Uh...dude, I am a slacker retard.... so I can speak with authority on the subject. The majority of the readers and the staff here are far smarter than I am, and would be offended at being categorized along with me.

RE: Gee, whodda thunk?
By Reclaimer77 on 8/30/2008 9:39:05 AM , Rating: 2
To be good, real good, you have to be smart, think quickly on your feet and have very refined dexterity, be able to make decisions quickly and those decisions have to be good ones the majority of the time.

All gamers have those traits. What makes gamers " pro " is the knowledge of exploiting game mechanics and internet/network latency to their advantage and you know it.

Good grief stop trying to glorify things so much.

RE: Gee, whodda thunk?
By KernD on 8/29/2008 11:35:25 AM , Rating: 3
Being a pro player at anything requires the same thing, whatever the sport or activity, training every day.
Do you think a pro tennis player doesn't play every day?
It's like pro musician, they practice every day, you must always stay sharp.

Take FPS for example, to play them pro you need good/trained reflex, hand eye coordination, strategy and tactic. It takes plenty of brain power to do all these well. With this sport the most used muscle is your brain, that's all.

And by the way genetics are involved in everything that requires your body and mind, not just physical activity.

RE: Gee, whodda thunk?
By Hare on 8/29/2008 12:40:02 PM , Rating: 2
The drugs part - I agree with, there is no place for them in professional sports or any high-level competition. If you are truely an expert in your craft, drugs will only hinder your performance, not enhance them. [...] If one were to resort to drug use - it would only hasten their downfall from the top of their class.

Let's not be naive. As long as there are professional sports, there will be drugs. Do you think people would take drugs and risk getting caught if they didn't benefit from them?

I'm all for clean sports but it's not going to happen for a while. There are so much designer drugs that do not show on tests that it's ridiculous to think that e.g. majority of olympic athletes are clean. There are also tons of masking agents that help athletes pass drug tests even if they have taken illegal substances. Sad but true.

As for the rest of your post, I completely agree. We are not that far from computer games becoming a "real popular sport" with people watching games from their own couch. This may not happen in a year or two but it will definately happen. I don't see how playing a computer game is any less of a sport than e.g. motor sports. It takes skill and talent just like so many other sports.

RE: Gee, whodda thunk?
By MrBlastman on 8/29/2008 12:51:24 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, I agree that there will always be athletes that try and use drugs to get ahead. What I was getting at was that those who do use them will shorten their careers dramatically. It has been proven time and time again that performance enhancing drugs are full of devastating side effects which adversely affect your health. There have been quite a few athletes that have died at an early age due to steroid abuse. While performance enhancing drugs do heighten your abilities, they also rapidly age your body. They come with a price and a very expensive one at that.

RE: Gee, whodda thunk?
By Hare on 8/29/2008 4:49:17 PM , Rating: 2
You said the keyword "abuse". There are plenty of athletes who know what they are doing and the adverse health effects are pretty much none existent. Of course there are bad examples, bodybuilder with growth hormone gut or damaged liver but there are also huge amounts of people that have a different mentality. The media spreads insane amounts of FUD and people tend to believe it since they don't know better.

The funny thing is that majority illegal steroids are used outside sports all the time. Deca-Durabolin (nandrolon), a strong steroide is used to speed up tissue healing like winstrol e.g. if a person has been in a severe accident. Testosterone is the same, it's one of the most potent steroids and your body produces it all the time. As you get older your doctor may actually prescribe testosterone if your natural production is down as it enhances your quality of life.

Performance enhancing drugs don't necessarily age your body any faster, in fact it may actually be the opposite. It depends on if you abuse the drug irresponsibly or use it smartly.

I'll add one more time that I'm definately all for clean sports and have never done steroids etc but I think one needs to know quite a lot about them before making judgements. Basing opinions purely on what can be seen on the media is not a good way to approach the problem.

RE: Gee, whodda thunk?
By DigitalFreak on 8/29/08, Rating: 0
RE: Gee, whodda thunk?
By Reclaimer77 on 8/30/2008 9:33:32 AM , Rating: 2
I love games as much as the next guy, but I think your stretching reality Blastman by claiming gaming is a solid career path or even a noble one.

For every " pro gamer " there are probably thousands of college dropouts who are throwing their lives away. I should know, I was one of them.

You cannot be a productive member of society when you spend 12+ hours a day immersing yourself in a fantasy world. Its also very unhealthy mentally and physically. Nobody likes hearing the truth, but there it is.

In fact, with your twisted logic, I could then construe that any pro-athlete isn't the sharpest knife in the drawer either.

Except the fact that a HUGE majority of pro athletes have college degrees and went to college on ACADEMIC scholarships. Now does that make them smarter IQ wise than a 'gamer ? Of course not. But its nice to have a degree to fall back on if the whole athlete thing doesn't work out. Glorifying those who throw their "rl" away to try and become a " pro gamer " isn't even close to being the same.

Now the tone of the OP was pretty harsh and certainly his possition isn't going to be a popular one on a tech website. But c'mon, we all know what hes saying and it does have some truth to it. Its really no shock that drug use is a problem for people who have lost touch with reality.

RE: Gee, whodda thunk?
By daar on 8/29/2008 10:29:45 AM , Rating: 2
So people accept college students being doped on drugs but not gamers? It's stupid if there is any implication that gaming is related to drugs when it's so readily abundant in society already. Look at the pro gamers from East Asia, none of them are baked but do quite well. Just be blunt about it, being drunk or stoned while gaming is more for fun than anything.

I'm curious about one thing though, how does weed make you a better pro gamer anyway? Yeah it can relax you, but it also slows your senses.

RE: Gee, whodda thunk?
By Fnoob on 8/29/2008 10:20:05 PM , Rating: 2
"how does weed make you a better pro gamer anyway?"

Well, I'm not sure if it's the Purple Kush or the Oxymorphone, but there's a specific level of inebriation that allows my eyes to wander independently - does wonders for my peripheral vision.

RE: Gee, whodda thunk?
By BB33 on 8/29/2008 10:34:14 AM , Rating: 2
Wow, as an avid gamer and an Air Traffic Controlle I say that you are way off base here.

RE: Gee, whodda thunk?
By MrBlastman on 8/29/2008 10:40:57 AM , Rating: 2
That must be a stressful job.

RE: Gee, whodda thunk?
By BB33 on 8/29/2008 11:42:59 AM , Rating: 2
It is but I get paid realy well and at the end of the day I can go blow some stuff up/frag some ppl in a game and fell all better inside lol. and my job makes me talk fast think fast and be aware of all thats going on around me, quite good for gaming.

RE: Gee, whodda thunk?
By MrBlastman on 8/29/2008 11:49:29 AM , Rating: 2
I have always thought it would be a fun career. I looked into it out of curiosity and was saddened to see there is an age cutoff at 31. Makes sense I guess.

RE: Gee, whodda thunk?
By Weiser on 8/30/2008 1:05:44 PM , Rating: 2
I second that.

Avid gamer, chemical engineering and material science degree, manager of a staff of approximately 30 other graduates at a Fortune 500 company, and recognize that I could not be a professional gamer.

As the sport/competition category, whatever you want to call it, matures it will be interesting to see exactly how elite one gamer can be. Will it be like golf where one person can be dominant among all the rest (across multiple games and genres)? Or will it be like some of the other sports where there is even competition at the top.

Is there any other sport/competition where the playing field changes so dramatically as in mutli-game video game tournaments?

RE: Gee, whodda thunk?
By FaceMaster on 8/29/2008 3:46:17 PM , Rating: 1
STFU im a pro gamer and im not stuped

RE: Gee, whodda thunk?
By DigitalFreak on 8/29/2008 7:48:44 PM , Rating: 2
I hope you're being sarcastic. Otherwise your lack of punctuation and capitalization proves that you are indeed stupid.

RE: Gee, whodda thunk?
By sgw2n5 on 8/29/2008 8:13:43 PM , Rating: 2
Obviously being sarcastic.

"If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion." -- Scientology founder L. Ron. Hubbard
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