The quantity of video game use we see in society today is arguably inescapable. Mobile games such as; Candy Crush, Game of War, or Clash of Clans, record daily revenues in the millions, and a person is bound to recognize one or even all these game names. This exposure to gaming in everyday light seems to be bringing in a new and unseen age in gaming, where gaming could be seen as a sport.
Ever since the first two people booted up”Pong” on the Atari 2600, gambling has been aggressive. When you consider it, playing a game of soccer and playing a video game aren’t all that distinct. The object is always to win the game but the degree of competition and players in the game can vary. Growing up I played Call of Duty on a fairly competitive level but I had no idea how big the competitive gaming industry would grow to be. The growth in this industry can be traced to a number of factors. The financial growth in the gaming sector has been incredible. The recent stance that”nerd culture” has taken in the popular media through means such as The Big Bang Theory. The push by those who genuinely enjoy gaming culture and want to see it get a spot in the limelight has brought gaming into everyday life for the general public.
So what’s causing video games to turn into a source of entertainment that people would watch from house like they’d football or soccer? Teams of five would play against one another and eliminate the competition as they moved towards the grand finals and the greatest prize of first location. While this was the fourth tournament of the kind hosted by the games creators, it was the first time it was televised by ESPN 3. ESPN was pleased so much by the results of the policy they agreed to follow up the next year. It’s crazy to believe that over the next few years we might see coverage of video games on Sports Center. Unlike ESPN which is only showing you content on competitive gaming during big tournaments, streaming is available all the time. Twitch TV being the main website that comes to mind. Streaming sites allow content creators to reveal what is happening live in their computers to audiences who can join in the conversation with a chat group purpose as they watch their favourite steamers/players play live. The capacity for growth through an avenue like this is enormous. Just think, you could watch a TV show and talk with fellow fans of the show from all around the world with great ease, all while having the ability to communicate with content creators.
We know what is bringing gaming to the sports stadium, but what’s keeping it out? Well it is just not quite time for electronic sports (E-Sports) to become a household name, at least not in the United States. South Korea may be an example of what’s to come regarding E-Sports in america. Say the name”Star Craft” and nine times out of ten, a Korean will know what you are referring to. The game Star Craft is practically a national past time of South Korea. The game is featured on cable television and is even featured on a few apps provided by Microsoft’s Xbox, which is a direct competitor to the PC gaming market that Star Craft belongs to. Now if I were to tell this to the average American, more than likely the response would be along the lines of”Are you serious?” Yes, E-Sports in Korea and to a lesser degree, China and Japan are already booming industries. So why has not gaming already become a huge business in the United States where the majority of these games are made? Americans tend to like different games than the Asian players do. Americans tend to like fast paced shooters, such as Call of Duty or Counter Strike, while Asian gamers have a tendency to favor strategic games such as Star Craft or DOTA. The issue with shooters is that less strategy is involved. Consider both genres as a way to an American football match. While both genres have a well-defined goal such as in soccer the strategic games feature approaches to counter movements of other players or their choice of how to move toward their goal through tech choices or character options. In football, if the defense sends a blitz, you try to counter that blitz by getting the ball to a receiver who’s open, or run the ball in the opposite direction of the blitz. There is no correct way to approach the defense’s strategy, and the crime can still make choices on how best to approach the circumstance. The exact same cannot be said about shooters, there simply is not enough depth in gameplay to give watchers new ideas about how they could apply techniques used by professionals into their own gameplay.
Professional gaming is on its way to becoming a true sport in the United States. With air times on ESPN and throughout the popularization of gaming in everyday life within five or ten years we may see a great chunk of people walking around with E-sport’s team championships. As a result of trends of gambling in the U.S. it will likely take radical changes in gameplay to keep audiences watching and also to get more of the public interested, but it is feasible. It will take the work of dedicated fans of this sport to push gaming further into the public eye but from what we have seen in the past few years it’s apparent that gaming is going to be considered a sport in the not too distant future.