October 22, 2017

Nothing but net profit — St. John’s hoop star scores big-league video game endorsement

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Sun Illustration / Wikimedia Commons / U.S. Navy Seaman Cyd. M. Vargas [public domain]

Could high school athletes soon start getting paid -- for being star characters in video games?

Wondering what the future could hold for gaming and paying student athletes? Find out with author BJ Hill in the Sun’s serial glimpse into the fantastic, fascinating (and mostly fictional) possibilities of a not-so distant tomorrow.

April 22, 2028 — Saint John’s High School junior Donnie Dwyer signed his intention papers to affiliate with Rideout Entertainment Ltd. at a Friday press conference in Shrewsbury. The agreement means that Rideout can use Donnie’s likeness in the upcoming release of “Class of 2029,” the newest installment of the popular video game series based on local high school basketball. In return, his parents received one of the largest-ever checks for a high school talent. Dwyer, who grew up on Woods Avenue before his family moved to Holden, is the latest student to be picked up by the Nashville-based video game company. Its flagship series, “Class of …,” allows subscribers to play as high school basketball teams hyper-local to their markets and divisions.

A subscriber in Auburn, for example, can play as a team in and against the Southern Worcester County League, while a subscriber in Henderson, Nebraska, could compete in that state’s Division 1, District 8. If more variety is desired, upgrading to the Platinum Version allows fans to play as any school’s team across the country.

Since Rideout’s first release, “Class of 2021,” about 3,400 student-athletes nationwide have been chosen for inclusion in their boys’ basketball series, and another 700 in their newer “Friday Night Lights” football series.

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