x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Thumb war

Competitors will be arriving at the Dubai Mall today. Some will pit their martial arts skills against one another, while others will field some of the best sides in the world on the football pitch. Unfortunately, none of it will be real.

Competitors will be arriving at the Dubai Mall today. Some will pit their martial arts skills against one another, while others will field some of the best sides in the world on the football pitch. Unfortunately, none of it will be real. There will be no kicks thrown or goals made. In fact, the only physical activity you will see is the manic movement of a hundred thumbs on game controllers. Today is the last day of the World Game Championship. Children and men and women, perhaps some a little too old to still be playing video games, are competing to win Dh100,000.

The skill involved is obvious, but it is disturbing to see the creeping definition of what is worthy of public contest. Yet, enough people seem to not only enjoy playing these games, but also watching others play. Even a novice can see the hours these people had to devote to honing their skills. And with Dh100,000 up for grabs, maybe parents will think twice before telling their children to stop wasting their lives playing video games.