Stand up comedian Joe Rogan has amassed quite a following with his YouTube podcast, having just under seven million subscribers. He's one of the main figures spearheading the revolution of turning YouTube into an informative, intellectual platform, with his open-minded engagement of a very wide range of guests.
In his December 20th interview with fellow comedian Bryan Callen, he talks about video game culture and how it's not respected as other competitive fields.
Rogan first compares it to those who isolate themselves to read books and Bryan countered that reading books expands your understanding of certain topics, which is valuable and improves your ability to contribute to society as a thought leader. So Rogan asks about snooker, golf, and chess. All of which can be equally competitive without adding value beyond being entertaining, but not bowling for some reason.
Joe Rogan explains that there are tactical and coordinated timely executions involved in gaming and e-sports which, along with the competitive factor, makes them interesting and enjoyable to watch. Not unlike the other examples of competitive sports he referenced – but that due to society's stigma around video game players and the general sense that what's virtual or digital isn't “real.”
He argues that the reason certain sports are taken seriously and not others is the amount of money involved in different sporting events, which is an indication of the market's demand for that particular type of entertainment. With gamers and e-sports players winning millions of dollars, this sentiment is likely to change over time as people become more aware of the interest surrounding it and begin to take gamers more seriously.
“I'm also in favor of you doing anything you want, there’s certain people that make the same argument about someone who’s addicted to reading.” Rogan said.
“When you go to an art gallery and stare at someone’s work, it’s some human creation that captivates your attention,” said Joe, pointing out the similarity between art and video games. “The world goes to the most engaging creation that human beings have that locks in other people’s attention. These guys are making real money playing that stupid game you told them to never play,” Joe Rogan remarked before Bryan added just how big esports has become. “And they are filling arenas!”
Rogan added, “You also need people who know how to play the f**k out of a video game, the thing is – those are the people who don’t get any credit.”