Professional video gamers to be tested for marijuana.

Posted on September 14 2015

When I think of performance enhancing drugs, I think of anabolic steroids, of growth hormones. I think of Lance Armstrong and Alex Rodriguez. I don’t think of people playing video games. And I certainly would never think of marijuana. 

Yet the Electronic Sports League (ESL) announced they would be testing professional video gamers for marijuana before competitions. Why? “I’ve seen a number of players at national tournaments who came in ‘baked’ purely so they could play better.”

So said Alex Walker, the tournament director of the Australian World Cyber Games. What I wanna know is, is this a thing?

I’ve never really played video games. I haven’t owned a console since my SNES (Street Fighter was my game of choice. Dhalsim my favourite player). So I’m not really qualified to answer the question. But I can’t imagine being stoned helps with things like reaction times? I can’t imagine that it somehow gives you the extra mental focus required for an arduous video game marathon or test of endurance, if indeed that is a thing in these competitions. My mind tends to wander (and wonder) to all sorts of places. So much so that I don’t think I would be able to remain focused upon the game.

I know there is a sort of cliched sketch of stoners, hanging around in someone’s basement. I guess That 70s Show kind of owns that stereotype, and once you modernise you’re gonna get television and video games. And whilst I completely get the idea of smoking weed and playing video games recreationally, is it really the case that marijuana helps fuel the performance? Or does this just seem unnecessary to anyone else? If you play and smoke and can let me know, please do. I’m genuinely curious… 




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