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On Televising Pro Gaming 44

Posted by Zonk
from the better-than-magic-the-gathering-tournaments dept.
GameDAILYBiz has a piece written by Sundance DiGiovanni, the founder of Major League Gaming, on why the time is right for televising Professional Gaming. From the article: "Back in the day I would usually begin by pointing out that until recently there had never been U.S.-based gaming leagues or competitive gaming events that were built from the ground up to be televised. I'd point out that video game tournaments had never really been what you would call "TV friendly" and that in order for the spectator value to translate to television you would have to treat competitive gaming like a sport. That would usually be the point where people would look at me like I had horns growing out of my forehead."
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On Televising Pro Gaming

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  • The major problem... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Firehawke (50498) on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @06:44PM (#14396239) Journal
    ...is that watching people play games isn't all that interesting to a non-gamer in general. There are only a few types of games that are fun to spectate: Prince of Persia-style games, for instance, can captivate an audience with slick stunts by skill.. but.. there are few games like that.

    FPS type games aren't going to be interesting to an outsider, no matter how you dress it up.. unless, maybe it's something like Battlefield 2-- THAT could possibly work, being somewhat 'relevant' to even the common man.
  • by ClamIAm (926466) on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @07:02PM (#14396388)
    You mention FPS, and I started wondering: what would the TV rating be for something like Quake, where there's tons of blood and gibs flying around? Sure, they could bleep out the "FUCKING NOOB!" expletives, but would they have to mod the game to get the rating down to TV-PG or something?

    Also, I think that "spectator" tools would help a lot in making gaming more TV-friendly. It would allow commentators to show where players are on a level and such. Because usually, if you don't know the game yourself, you don't have any idea what's going on. I downloaded some high-profile CS match (some Euro clans), and since I don't play CS, quite a bit of it was lost on me.

    If you look at TV poker, I think it helped a lot that they show all the hole cards and explain the rules at the beginning of the show. This is a lot harder for videogames, as a lot of them have many more variables, like weapons/items, levels, and so forth, in addition to the strategy.

  • Starcraft in Korea (Score:3, Interesting)

    by AsiNisiMasa (910721) on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @07:05PM (#14396415) Homepage
    I've heard rumors that games of Starcraft used to be (maybe still are) televised in Korea. Can anyone confirm/deny this?
  • by ExampleUserAccount (763086) on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @07:41PM (#14396717)
    From an article on Korea and the popularity of Starcraft [hankooki.com] :
    On July 22 last year, 16,251 fans gathered at a baseball stadium in Pusan for the All-star game. At the same moment, around six times more people packed Kwanganni beach in the port to see another professional competition _ the online game ``Starcraft.''

    Of course online gaming will become a spectator sport. The question is when will it happen? How will producers make it compelling and fun to watch?

    The games themselves will need to be modded for spectators with extra cameras, slow motion replays, avatar close-ups with specially modelled expressions.

    And the players will need to be larger than life, their games will be perfomances, their interactions with teammates and other teams will become storylines on the "field" and fleshed out by what happens between games. Rivalry, comraderie, tradgedy will all be played out in this new world for the amusement of TV and online viewers.

    If baseball, golf and spelling bees can be spectator events then online gaming will eventually eclipse them all. The producers just need to figure out how to make it work.

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