Esports has seen a massive success in recent years. Thousands of professional players teams around the world compete in several blockbuster events, and its prosperity has inspired many amateur gamers to take it up as a career. Interestingly, a Philippines jail has just set a bizarre example, by using Esports as part of the rehab programme for the inmates!
Other than being a hugely popular medium of entertainment, hobby and pastime, video games can be a way to relieve mental stress. This notion was put to effect by a prison authority in Baguio City, Philippines, who believe that gaming can be a positive way for the inmates to cope up with their mental condition and emotional stability during their time behind the bars.
Esports as rehabilitation: Philippines jail hosts DotA Tournament for inmates
The news of the tournament was first reported by 95.7 Brigada News FM Koronadal on Facebook. The Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) in Baguio City, Philippines, decided to throw a LAN tournament of Defence of the Ancients (DotA), the famous Warcraft 3 mod, as part of the rehabilitation programme for the prisoners.
Unlike its successor and one of the most renowned Esports titles of all time DotA 2, DotA requires no internet connection, and it was the perfect selection for the tournament inside the prison facility.
As expected, the tournament saw a huge gathering of prisoners, and all participants were provided face masks to prevent any risk of COVID-19 contamination.
The news soon went viral among the DotA fanbase, and the post garnered over 10k reactions and 28k shares. Netizens appreciated the prison authority’s effort to include gaming within the inmates’ rehab programme.
Released in 2003 as a mod for Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, DotA is a MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) game. Players go against each other in teams, and the objective is to defend their own team’s ‘Ancient’, a building that must be destroyed to win a match.
Being a team based esports title, DotA requires a huge amount of focus and good teamwork to destroy the opponent team’s Ancient structure and win the match. As part of the rehab programme, it will be a huge plus point for inmates to cope up with their mental status while serving time, as well as a relaxing activity.
However, this is not the first time video gaming has been observed inside any prison facility. The Rikers Island prison in New York is the most famous example, where inmates are rewarded with video games and pizzas for maintaining civility.