If 2010 and 2011 are to be remembered in a future full of professional gamers and wide-audience viewership of “e-sports,” they will certainly be recalled as years in which the phenomenon of watching other people play videogames skyrocketed from an obscure nerdy niche to a regular nerdy niche.
Sure, South Korea has lived and breathed this way of life for over a decade with Starcraft, but with the release of Starcraft 2, spectator fever has taken over PC gaming in a big way. Tournaments are regularly bankrolling the most well known players, and streaming commentary is so popular that now professional commentators are becoming commonplace.
And it’s spreading outside of Starcraft’s universe: with over 35,000 players tuning in to Justin.tv and similar sites to watch Super Street Fighter 4, Marvel vs Capcom 3 and Mortal Kombat tournaments take place, it appears fighting games are gaining crowd momentum, too. With all this excitement, money, and public interest pouring in, it seems like society is on the precipice of mainstream acceptance of e-sports as an acceptable voyeuristic past-time, much like regular sports.
But there’s one tiny problem.
Wait, why should I explain it to you? You’re not even a fucking blogger.
What the hell does that have to do with anything? Exactly. It doesn’t. But if you’ve spent any time trying to learn a competitive game, you’ve probably encountered comments like this all the time.
“Man, Ryu is really hard to beat.”
“What the fuck are you, 4800 BP rank C garbage? Step up your game before you complain”
“Geez, wouldn’t it be cool if Queens were massive units to counter Forcefields?”
“Wouldn’t it be cool if you shut the fuck up, Bronze League moron?”
No, I’m not rank C or in Bronze league, nor do I spend a lot of time complaining about balance or posting balance suggestions in forums. But spend a few days on GameFAQs, TeamLiquid, Steam Powered User Forums, or anywhere with a budding competitive gaming community, and you’ll quickly learn that players who aren’t in the top 2% of the skill curve aren’t welcome at the discussion table.
Look, I get it. I know that someone who doesn’t make SCVs past the 5 minute mark is terrible. I understand that a player who doesn’t even know MK9 has a block button probably isn’t too well educated about meter management. I understand why these players’ opinions aren’t strategically sound. But for fuck’s sake, maybe we could all be a little nicer about it?
When low-tier players jump into forums or onto streams and talk about the game, sure they’re misinformed. But if proponents of e-sports and competitive gaming want their hobby to become slightly more publicly acceptable than pissing in grandma’s garden in broad daylight, they’re going to have to play nice with the newbies. Think about the rest of the world for a minute. Ever go to a sports bar on Super Bowl Sunday, or sit around talking football with your cousins at a barbeque? Ten dollars says conversations like this don’t pop up very fucking often:
“Did you see that pass? Manning is amazing! I can’t believe that play isn’t more popular at the 40.”
“Dude, shut the fuck up. Have you ever played football competitively? Even in the minor leagues? I bet you didn’t even play on the high school team.”
“What does that have to do with anyth-”
“Yeah I didn’t think so, you fuckin scrub.”
There are a few reasons nobody talks like this. First of all, unlike e-sports, it’s not very easy to become a professional or even serious hobbyist football player without ridiculous luck. But more importantly, these conversations don’t happen because they are bat shit insane and would make you look like an asshole.
Yet drop by Team Liquid and post your thoughts on a recent Starcraft 2 match, and do a shot every time someone asks you how big your dick is…err I mean what league you’re in. Or do a shot whenever your opinion is treated with contempt before it’s treated with an earnest willingness to educate. I guarantee you’ll be dead of alcohol poisoning before a 7 Roach Rush could be knocking at your door.
Simply put, e-sports will never become mainstream unless the competitive gaming community can get over itself and open a dialog with lower level players, hobbyists, and unskilled spectators. The average baseball fan can’t throw a curveball. The average NASCAR fan would shit himself if he drove over 140 mph. Hell, half the world’s soccer fans can’t afford three meals a day, nevermind spare the energy to insult one another over what constitutes perfect goalkeeping. Yet despite the fanbases of these sports being almost universally non-competitive (or even non participating) audience members, sports are incredibly popular, if you haven’t realized. Maybe part of that is that they’ve been around longer, but I’d bet part of it is that the average viewer is allowed to share his or her opinion without getting publicly humiliated by everyone in hearing distance.
So before you flame, rage, or insult the next poster who asks why kill streaks aren’t in Battlefield, take a deep breath and think about the impact on the future of competitive gaming; because damnit I want to play Guild Wars 2 in a stadium as thousands of people cheer on my PvP team.
My fraps has been wonky lately BUT a fellow raider has recorded our kills for your viewing pleasure!
Look at my awesome tanking at the end! haha
I’m now on extended vacation, so expect much more posting as i have a lot of free time and boredom to deal with.
Yes yes I know I’m late to the party
I friend of mine convinced me to get Borderlands despite my innate hatred to most FPS games (the last one I played with any seriousness was Halo Custom Edition)
I started out with a hunter, mostly because in mass effect i play on infiltrator (by my friends suggestion)
That didn’t go so well so I made a Siren, and was constantly running out of ammo ughhhhhhhh
Then I made a Soldier, which lasted all of five minutes
Oh then the amazing happened
I made a Berserker
A “Bombardier” to be exact; which is now level 50
I LOVE BLOWING SHIT UP
In all seriousness, I’m now trying to convince more people to play
this shit is fun
Finally got fraps sort of working
Still trying to get some kinks out, but here’s a heroic magmaw video
Now on to hard modes!
So I was lucky enough to get a Beta key for Black Prophecy
Let me tell you
It’s one fun game at least
Flying around in space, shooting tings with lasers (I kept yelling PEW PEW LASERS GO on vent to the anguish of my friends)
I’ve never played a flight game before, let alone one in space
Oh and either everyone I fight in PvP really sucks, or I am amazing (i’ll keep thinking the latter for my own ego to swell)
I went Tyi, mostly because it’s a PvP game and Tyi is going to be the horde. I just want to be on the side with numbers for ONCE
Oh, and they look cooler
But I don’t base my decisions solely on looks…..never…….
If nothing else this will be a nice way to pass the time with buddies when not raiding on WoW or working on my HoM in Guild Wars.
Definitely a different experience at least
So I run with a few friends from multiple guilds (OMG NO GUILD CREDIT THEN WHY RAID? yeah whatever)
Due to IRL issues and burnout and other w/e’s we’ve been unable to progress past Nefarian simply due to lack of raiding time.
This somewhat infuriates me, as understanding as I may be.
It’s one thing if you kid get punched at school
It’s another because you didn’t feel like waking up when you said you would
Then to top it off the people who do show up are getting fed up and asking if they can bring alts and whatnot if we’re not going to be progressing, and while I don’t blame them, some people still need stuff on their mains from bosses other than Nefarian TYVM.
and here I am ranting…..