PLAYA VISTA (CBSLA.com) — Young gamers across the country have been packing movie theaters as part of a tournament with some big bucks at stake.
“It’s just amazing that I can finally … there’s a league for doing something that I like cause I don’t like sports. There’s a league for that,” said Max Cummins, 11, who isn’t interested in traditional sports.
Known as Max5267, the fifth grader is part of Super League Gaming, which is basically a video game little league.
For four weeks, kids ages 6 to 14, crowd a movie theater and play Minecraft on the big screen. They’re divided into teams and play against one another as well as leagues across the U.S. and Canada.
Their parents are in the audience cheering them on just as they would in the stands.
Max says it’s no different than playing soccer or football.
“They do it ’cause they enjoy it. It’s their passion and that’s exactly how I feel about Minecraft,” he said.
Minecraft is one of the world’s most popular video games. It’s basically a digital version of LEGOs.
The creators of Super League Gaming say this isn’t mindless entertainment. President and COO Brett Morris says Minecraft may not be physical, but it is educational.
“It helps out with STEM [science, technology, engineering, and math education] skills,” Morris said, adding that the game also helps with social skills, critical thinking, and creativity.
“If anything, maybe more here with our events with Minecraft than some traditional after school activities,” he said.
Bruce Brownstein, Max’s dad, says it also gets his son out of his bedroom and into a social setting.
“This is great that he gets out and he meets other people with similar interests because he’s never liked team sports for various reasons and this he likes,” Brownstein said.
Indigo Carey likes it too. She’s 9.
“Everybody says that video games are meant to be for boys but also girls can do it,” she said.
Tara Carey, her mom, says her three kids play sports as well but she wanted them to learn how to code, something many of these Minecraft gamers are already doing.
“Technology going forward, I mean, the kids, the younger the better,” she said.
In its second season, Super League Gaming is in 70 theaters across the U.S. and Canada. The cost to play is $60 per player. At the end of this season, the team in first place will split a $15,000 college scholarship.