Yesterday I had a meeting at lunchtime, so I had to take a late lunch. As I sat in the kitchen munching on my sardines, I switched on the TV. The “hard news” of the lunchtime bulletin gets replaced with softer stories early in the afternoon. So, while I was eating my snack, I was treated to a report from Lisbon about the world’s richest “Esports” player, Johan Sundstein or “N0tail” as he likes to be known.
He has been a professional “Esports” player for the last decade, and he is only 27 years old now. If you are not familiar with “Esports” where have you been? It all started in 1972 over in Stanford University with the first competitions for video games. Now, these gaming contests are so vast they are played in stadiums with tens of thousands in the audience watching the players together with hundreds of thousands of online viewers. N0tail has, so far, earned $7.4m just doing what he enjoys, playing the strategy game “Dota 2”.
Meanwhile, as he relaxes in his 17-bedroom mansion in Portugal, with each room equipped for games, there are nurses, doctors and other health workers exhausted by the growing surge in COVID-19 patients who need care. Here in the UK, the hospitals are at breaking point. At the moment, about 4,200 people are being admitted each day with COVID. That’s the equivalent of about seven extra hospitals every day. No wonder the medical staff are on their knees.
However, strange as it may seem these exhausted individuals who are paid a pittance in comparison with an Esports star share one common factor with the likes of N0tail. They so motivated by what they are doing they enjoy it. True, the work for the nurses, doctors, paramedics, porters, cleaners and so on is physically exhausting and mentally draining, but they go back each day because they love helping people. You don’t become a nurse for the money. And you could probably earn more money as an Amazon delivery driver than as a hospital porter. So why do they do it? Because they have a calling for it. Yes, it’s stressful. Yes, it’s tiring. Yes, it is frustrated by bureaucracy. But these people go back day after day because they enjoy helping other people. It doesn’t seem like “work” when you are so focused on caring for another human.
There is another connection between healthcare workers and gamers. They have entirely “full-on”…