Opinions vary when it comes to "eSports": Critics argue that sports require physical activity and endurance and have nothing in common with sitting in front of a computer or console for hours. But would that actually not make eSports a perfect activity for people with disabilities? It certainly does! In fact, eSports has found its place at the REHACARE 2018 Sports Center, where trade fair visitors can hit the keys and play a few competitive games.
eSports is nearly as diverse as physical sports. The most popular disciplines are soccer, racing, shooter and strategy games. Visitors can discover some highlights at this year's REHACARE.
For the most part, professional video game players are usually unable to keep up with the strength, endurance, and agility that are the hallmarks of competitive athletes. Having said that, eSports proponents can rightly point out that eSports competitors have to train for mental toughness if they want to be successful – those skills include concentration, spatial awareness or a general high level of focus and cognitive ability to solve problems quickly. After all, the players must be aware of all aspects of the game situation they are in at any time. Meanwhile, physical fitness actually also helps them to stay mentally strong for several hours each day.
Regardless of where you stand on the eSports issue, two things are clear: First, eSports athletes also have to train long and hard to be successful. Second, eSports has already thrilled millions of viewers of online platforms such as YouTube or Twitch.tv. What’s more, eSports has also made its way into the offline world: Big tournaments have been staged as spectacular events in large halls for quite some time in Asia and the U.S.
eSports is also perfectly suited for gamers with disabilities, who want gaming to be more than just a hobby. REHACARE 2018 visitors can experience eSports on an equal footing with other sports at the Sports Center in Hall 7a. Apart from watching the virtual matches on consoles, they can also personally play the FIFA and Pro Evolution Soccer football simulation video games.
The Disabled and Rehabilitation Sports Association of North Rhine-Westphalia (BRSNW), which organizes the Sports Center, is supported by the Schalke hilft! Foundation and the Schalke 04 eSports department. The motto of the stand of the blue and white supporters from Gelsenkirchen is: "eSports for people with and without disabilities." The Schalke hilft! stand does not just pay lip service to inclusion in eSports, it also lives and is very much committed to it. eSports pro athletes like Tim Latka, a professional FIFA player at FC Schalke 04, are ready to face trade fair visitors for a duel at the console.
Needless to say, gamers with disabilities need the right tool, i.e., a controller or alternative input device for the console or PC that is customized to fit their needs. That’s also why "MyStick" by HomeBrace is another highlight at the REHACARE 2018 trade fair. It is a mouth-controlled joystick for PC and console that is compatible with Windows, PlayStation, and xBox. A product presentation of the mouth controller will be featured at the rehaKIND Forum, which offers information on auxiliary aids, therapy, care, everyday life, and sports on all four days of the trade fair. Managing Director Thomas Rosner will also give an interview on this subject. Incidentally, the HomeBrace Company has even more things in store for gamers with disabilities. In addition to "MyStick", the company also offers "MyControl", a joystick designed for quadriplegics.
Alright then – no matter which game or how much you like to play video games: If you visit REHACARE 2018, want to compete in a digital competition or need a special tool for your favorite hobby, you now know about the must-sees at the trade fair. On your keys, get set, go!
eSports at REHACARE 2018
Wednesday - Friday, September 26 - 28, 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM, and Saturday, September 29, 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM: Stiftung Schalke Hilft! Stand at the Sports Center, Hall 7a