eSports? Esports? Osperts? Whatever we’re calling them these days it’s become pretty obvious the gaming community has come bursting into the mainstream along with the immovable zeitgeist stalwarts of skateboarding and pogs.
Seriously though, take a look over here for what I’m talking about. This December, everyone’s favourite channel (CBS) takes a swing at publicising the wide wacky world of sports, as defined by digital programmers and power sockets.
What a time to be alive! Hang the banners! Throw the parties! Sip the champagne and count all the eggs before they are hatched!
It appears eSports are quickly cementing themselves as the next big entertainment sensation- primed and ready to pop up into everyone’s news feeds. If we’re not careful, however, it appears the things we’re all so passionate about may fall to the wayside along with the likes of Myspace and Planking.
The danger lies within treating it much like a regular sport, and not respecting the diversity that gaming (both PC/Console/Mobile or otherwise) bring to the table. Yes, ‘Hardcore’ gaming enthusiasts will argue that the console and mobile platforms require less skill since, as frequently stated, the ‘Machine does much of the work for you’, a sentiment i’m sure shared between billiard grandmasters as they watch a symphony of clicks simulating the skills obtained via endless nights spent in pool halls.
Herein lies the strength, does it not? The games are the mostly identical, but platforms were fundamentally built to do different things- whether they were designed to be portable, maximum setting beast-machines or casual entertainment. It’s the diversity that needs celebration.
eSports aren’t like other sport leagues (although they may have a bit more in common than you might think) in that gaming doesn’t just do ONE thing. They aren’t just first person shooters. They aren’t just mobile tap-a-thons. It’s an eclectic mix of genres, styles and personalities to go with them. We’ve all seen fads come in and burn out; Unlike many of the trends in recent memory the best way to keep things fresh and innovative in the public eye is to be exactly those things: Fresh and Innovative, with one’s own personality at the forefront.
You know the cliche of what angry COD players looks like. Don’t be those people. If you’re on the road to taking your game (whatever it may be) to a competitive or semi-competitive level, understand that you carry with you an obligation to the gamers who came before you to represent what game you play, what platform you play it on, and your community as well. It’s not enough that you win, but with eSports beginning its ascent towards the glitz and glamour of the mainstream, it’s important that we, as a community, move in a manner befitting the cream of the crop as if someone were watching our every move. Because trust me, they are.
But that’s not a big deal, right Twitch Fam?
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