I was prompted to look into this because of an e-mail I received this week from a company offering news and tips for kids looking for college scholarships, who also spend a lot of time gaming.

I did some searching online, because I thought it was a spam email, but apparently in the last year or so, it's actually happening. The email had come as a press release from Optic Gaming, who are a group that is about all things video games, including helping skilled players find colleges offering such scholarships.

According to Time Magazine, last year Robert Morris University in Chicago became the first U.S. institution of higher learning to offer actual scholarships for video gamers!

One such student, a fellow named Jonathan Lindahl, is getting about half of his annual tuition, book and living costs paid because he's very skilled at a variety of games.  He said his parents were always telling him to get his face out of the X-Box, and now it's helping to pay for his schooling. He says it's kind of like rubbing his parents face in it....wow!

The NCAA doesn't regulate digital gaming like it does traditional sports, so there's no limits concerning amateur status. A group of Robert Morris students recently competed in a semi-pro gaming competition and league, and each won over $1,000.  There are professional gaming leagues for video players, and now the idea is being expanded collegiately.  Morris does have a 'varsity' video game team.

And much like other collegiate sports, there are now students becoming "one and done" in video games. One Robert Morris freshman, 18-year-old Adrian Mia, left school and joined a professional gaming league, where he will apparently make a healthy amount of money.  Another school in Kentucky, Robert Pike University, now plans to offer similar scholarships for students starting this year.  How the times have changed!

So, when it comes to these gamers, when people as "what's your 40 time?," they won't be referring to how fast they can get from the goal line down the field, it will refer to how many keystrokes or button strikes it takes to bring down a digital opponent.



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