On an occasional Friday I plan on change the mood a little by posting something fun with a financial twist. These post will be lighthearted to focus on activities rather than investing or personal finance. This post I would like to focus on gaming and its ability to bring doctors together with a short mention of the financial implications.
Doctors That Game
Gaming has come along way since my first regular Nintendo console. Since then I consider myself a non competitive avid gamer and have owned the following consoles:
- Super Nintendo
- Nintendo 64
- Xbox One
Although I do not competitively game, I do have several friends outside of the medical profession that compete. It may sound strange to a person who does not game, but the market for competitive gaming has been gaining steam.
The term eSports was born when serious money started to become involve. One game in particular, Dota 2, has various tournaments where the game is played world-wide. At the end of 2016, 86 million dollars were rewarded to winners of these tournaments. Over 23 individuals at these tournaments walked away with over 1 million dollars in winnings. To put that in preservative, the winner of the Houston Open (Golf) won about the same amount of money in 2016 for 4 days of work. I think eSports will be one of the quickest growing segments in “sports.”
How Expensive Is This Hobby
The average console such as an Xbox one will cost about $300 with each game costing anywhere from $20-$60. The more popular the game, usually the higher the price. A year subscription isn’t free and ranges from $50-60. PC gaming is an option and has become more popular in the past years. The lack of an online subscription cost and potentially better graphics for lower cost is gaining appeal for many gamers. Depending on what you are looking for, there is something for everyone. However, some people such as myself stick to one system since most of my friends are on that one system.
The costs may seem high, but compared to other hobbies the costs are actually quite reasonable. If I buy a game and play it for a total of 40 hours, the cost per hour of entertainment may be averaged out to $2-3, all costs included. I find it hard to think of a hobby where costs can be this low per hour of entertainment.
With the advent of connecting games online came a new area of social gaming. The first gaming consoles would require someone to physically be in the same room as another person in order to play a multiplayer game. The next step up for social gaming were LAN parties, which stands for local area network. This is where physical wires are run to different monitors and gaming systems so that each person could have their own dedicated space to play their game.
After LAN parties became popular the next transition was for online gaming through the internet. Connecting online to play individuals all over the world allows anyone to connect to potentially millions of players at any time.
The next step in this progression of social gaming was streaming video of individuals who are playing games that have very above average skill levels. Twitch, a streaming service to watch video games. Anyone can set up an account and have the option to monetize it. My friend who plays competitively has his own channel where he makes money playing games with friends online. Not a bad gig for someone who was going to play games anyway.
Making Lifelong Friendships
I never thought it would happen but after playing online games for so many years, I’ve met some medical students, residents, fellows, and doctors just like me. There is a group that has formed for doctors who game on one of the most popular website in the world, Reddit.
Even before the group formed, for years I have been making friendships online. For example, I’ve been playing online with a person from Canada. We both were medical students when we met and still play online occasionally as attentings. At first we bonded over our love for gaming. As time went on we started to chat about life, our interest, or whatever was on my mind. This blossomed into a 5 year friendship and an eventual meeting in person.
Find me on Xbox. I started a new Gamer Tag to play with those who also game: InvestingDoc
Send me and invite and I’d be happy to play when I have free time.
Find other doctors, medical students, or residents on the Doctors That Game here: