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You Had To Be There

January 22nd, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

Sometimes, I worry about the ability or lack thereof of eSports to have a kind of viral impact. I can’t expound on my enthusiasm of xPeke’s spectacular play from IEM Katowice to someone who just doesn’t give a good god damn. I had this very sensation last night, as I was having dinner with some dear friends of mine. The couple are as geeky as you like, reveling in the obscure and nerdy. They’re some of my greatest friends in the world, and if anyone can possibly appreciate my rants about how fantastic that Kassadin was (noreallygolook), it’s this duo. But the wife seemed disinterested. I don’t fault her for it in any sort of way (I love you Roo!) but this is emblematic of my concern about eSports’ ability to captivate strangers to the sport. It seems a far cry to be excited about a series of button clicks in rapid succession.

But I am excited, and so was the other half of my lovely company. When I was describing Kassadin’s swift dodges, managing to duck and weave between axes, using his slows as effectively as a prize fighter, my good friend Nathan was as happy as I was at the plays.

My only solution to the worry of eSports’ transmitability is to stay enthused. To stay interested. I want to make this a thing, and I want you to come with me.

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  1. Nick Pilon
    January 23rd, 2013 at 00:05 | #1

    I’m not sure this is really so different from normal sports, though. Surely you’ve noticed how some of your friends’ eyes glaze over when you start talking about the Giants? I think a large part of it comes down to personal tastes.

  2. Snagger
    January 23rd, 2013 at 00:17 | #2

    The thing about any sport is that you have to have a certain knowledge base in order to be able to appreciate it.

    To someone who doesn’t know anything at all about hockey, all it is is a bunch of guys skating around and beating each other up. Okay, bad example, because that’s still pretty awesome.

    My point is, without experience with the specific sport/game that you are showing me, I have no way to get involved or invested. The drama that you see is not evident to me. In order for it to be so, I’d have to play the game enough to get a feel for what’s happening, to understand the subtleties and skill involved in playing at the highest level.

    That takes time, and effort. E-sports are still, in the grand scheme of things, very new. And gaming still has a certain stigma attached to it.


    Maybe in a half a century or so, they’ll be just as popular and widely-known as current sports.

  3. James
    January 23rd, 2013 at 00:25 | #3

    I imagine there’s many with similar feelings surrounding tabletop wargaming and card game tournaments. The author of another blog I follow tells people he’s a snowboarder because there’s very little cultural capitol to be earned by playing with toy soldiers. Still, one team in the video you linked was genuinely thrilled whilst the other seemed genuinely pissed, so the emotions are real, regardless.

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