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Trends with Benefits: Are esports competitors actually athletes, or not?

On this episode of Trends with Benefits, we discuss Elon Musk’s Hyperloop, Driverless Taxis & Google cars, esports, and SpaceX launches attempts to land another rocket.

We start today off, discussing Elon Musk’s Hyperloop One project. Rick Stella was one of the lucky journalists invited to see the first-ever demonstration of the mag-lev train. He journeyed to the middle of the desert, North of Las Vegas, to witness their presentation. It’s truly impressive how far they’ve come in such a short time and they claim they’ll be ready for cargo shipments within 3 years. It also shows the amazing effect that Elon Musk has on the world, merely by voicing his ideas!

In a slightly more tangible transportation topic, we move on to the rapid advancement of driver-less cars. A company called Nutonomy has announced plans to unleash driver-less taxis, upon Singapore. If it’s successful, it could revolutionize how we travel.

Google is now advertising for a $20 an hour job as a “vehicle safety specialist” in Phoenix, to help test their driverless vehicles. The contracts are reportedly going to be 12, or 24 months long at 6-8 hours a day. How long would you last at a job where you have to sit in a car for that long?

Esports has also been garnering a lot of publicity lately. TNT and the Pac-12 Network plan to broadcast gamer competitions. ESPN even has an entire division devoted to Esports. With all of this coverage on sports websites, should gamers now be called athletes?

SpaceX has had an incredible year as it attempts to develop a stable, reusable rocket. Its 25th flight was actually planned during the recording of this podcast. Once again, Elon Musk is proving he can the world in a number of ways. (Spoilers: the launch was scrubbed after we recorded this episode.)

Finally, we ask a question of everyone: If you entered in an esports competition, what game would you choose to play? Declarations are made regarding Mario Kart and we will let you know who wins!

Today’s episode features Marie Pardo-Garber, Rick Stella, Drew Prindle, and Greg Nibler.

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