Zeus Tipado is founder of The Stoned Gamer, perhaps the world's first E-sports league open only to players high on cannabis. His tournaments, held around Los Angeles, have attracted hundreds of players to do one of their favorite things, what Tipado calls their "birthright": be stoned and play video games. A former writer for High Times, contributor to Merry Jane, and the man behind MiddleEasy, an MMA news site, Tipado is now setting his sights even higher. We wanted to hear the deets.
Tell me about your dream, Zeus.
"The Stoned Gamer arena. The Disneyland of stoned gaming. Opening in 2018. It's gonna be in downtown Los Angeles, around 15,000 square feet. It's gonna be fitted with a bunch of consoles, ColecoVision and Xbox and everything in between. And of course VR."
Will people be able to smoke there?
"We believe that it's going to be legal. Selling is kind of a gray area."
You've been doing roving stoned gaming tournaments.
"For the past two years, we've had 16 qualifiers that happened across California, and then it culminated in a big huge event, a big grand finale, that happens in December. Our second season just finished. Our third seasons is about to happen in April. The plan is to have the third season be in the facility that we're building right now."
You watch 'em inhale?
"Every single hit."
In stoned gaming, you win or lose based on what you do on screen, that's all that it comes down to?
"In 2018, we'll be incorporating bonus points for people that take bigger and bigger bong hits and dabs. But the points can only be applied if the team wins. We want to see who the best stoned gamer is. Not the best stoner or the best gamer but the best stoned gamer."
You recently did an interview in which you realized midway through that you had dosed LSD earlier in the day. Was that interview difficult?
"It kind of threw me off. I was trying to figure out why all these big grand concepts were coming at me when I was trying to focus."
Are you on LSD now?
"I wouldn't tell you."
You wouldn't tell me!? There are videos online where you do shrooms and drop into VR, and then you dose acid and you go to RuPaul's DragCon. You like drugs. And you're not shy about telling people.
"I just thought I shouldn't be under the influence of psychedelics while I'm doing this interview because I really like Rooster."
Which is your favorite drug overall?
"By far, I would say, shrooms."
Will you allow any type of fucked up gamer in your facility?
"In what manner? Like, a crackhead strolling into the Stoned Gamer arena hoping to play Call of Duty?"
"Well, I think everyone's a crackhead who plays Call of Duty. That's a bad game. But, no if you want to play Call of Duty (on crack), you can totally come in."
Will there be sub-leagues for different kinds of drugs? Will there be the cannabis league, the shroom league, the crack league?
"I don't know about leagues. Depending on what you're on, you should change your gameplay. If I were on acid, I wouldn't play fighting games, cause violence is just ridiculous under any type of psychedelic. I'd play something creative, like Minecraft, or a VR painting game."
Which drug makes you play video games the best overall?
"Quite frankly, Ritalin. Adderall. Those are the drugs that have been banned by a bunch of the E-Sports leagues out there."
What's the worst drug for video games?
"Alcohol. If you ever see anyone drunk playing any first person shooter, their accuracy is horrible, their reaction time is pitiful. You ever seen a drunk person play good basketball?"
Can you get too high on cannabis to game good?
"No. I think it's impossible. I think it would be the same as saying, is it bad to be too hydrated before a run? I've always said that cannabis elevates your mind. "
The Stoned Gamer is now accepting registrations for the 2018 season.
[Interview edited for length, flow and clarity.]