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PC Games (Games) Media Television

Competitive Gaming Hits the Mainstream 78

thegamebiz writes "Amped eSports has a recap of the 60 minutes segment profiling gaming icon Jonathan "Fatal1ty" Wendel, while also providing commentary on the effect it could have on the business as a whole. From the article: 'As millions of Americans sat with eyes affixed to their televisions during the second week of the NFL playoffs, a different type of sport was being birthed into the public spotlight merely a channel away ... It's time to wake up, America. eSports has hit the spotlight and with it comes the realization of a dream that has existed in the mind of every child since Fred Savage took his brother to California for a Nintendo tournament in The Wizard. Professional Gamer is now a valid career path.'"
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Competitive Gaming Hits the Mainstream

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  • Hrmm? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by BHennessy ( 639799 ) on Monday January 23, 2006 @06:50PM (#14543940)
    'As millions of Americans sat with eyes affixed to their televisions during the second week of the NFL playoffs, a different type of sport was being birthed into the public spotlight merely a channel away...'

    How does millions of people watching another program on at the same time help the cause?
  • Spectator gaming... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by BigZaphod ( 12942 ) on Monday January 23, 2006 @06:53PM (#14543960) Homepage
    It just seems stupid to me. Gaming is very much about the gamer and his/her experience. Making it be about the audience seems like it'd turn gaming into nothing more than a puppet show. Machinima already does that.
  • by SmallFurryCreature ( 593017 ) on Monday January 23, 2006 @07:04PM (#14544049) Journal
    Surely it is the taking part that counts. Yet that doesn't stop hundreds of millions of people from following sports events.

    No I don't see the appeal either but then I don't watch "regular" sports anyway so perhaps I am just weird.

    Just as there is a "market" for chess matches or curdling or downhill skiing or soccer there will be a market for "gaming".

    If it will ever be big I have no idea. Why did soccer get big but not field hockey? Why do americans watch football and europeans soccer.

    F1 is a big sport. Perhaps it is only watched because you want to see lethal crashes but if that is not the case then why should people not also watch a F1 race with virtual cars?

    It would not be my cup of tea and it may not be yours but we hardly matter now do we? Computer "sports" would allow events that could never be held in real live, why hold a chess match when you can televise a battle between armies? The BBC already had a program like this.

  • Re:Media hype (Score:5, Interesting)

    by The-Bus ( 138060 ) on Monday January 23, 2006 @07:28PM (#14544257)
    "Professional Gaming has Arrived!" has been a headline I've seen for a dozen years, if not more. It's not going to happen, because there's no audience for it. At best, it will be something like a movie critic. You can't go to movie critic school and have offers ready for you when you graduate. You make it on your own. I think pro gaming, if and when it ever arrives, will be very similar.

    I didn't see 60 Minutes, but did they mention Golden Tee Golf at all? I know there's people that play that in leagues and make $15,000+ per year. Not income-worthy, but that's a pretty good supplement for the average joe.
  • by Meest ( 714734 ) on Monday January 23, 2006 @07:51PM (#14544459)
    Why watch Cycling when you can hop on your bike yourself? Why watch skateboarding when you can go outside and hop on yours? Or What about NASCAR when you can drive around your block?

    Because it is fun to watch for the person interested in the game. The intensity of the game when a team is down by 3 rounds and its a 1v3 situation with a minute ten left on the clock is a very tense and amazing time to watch. Its also great to watch because you get to see all the players playing that you always hear about. much like watching your favorite player on TV for Football.

    You may enjoy watching "the Bus" make an amazing play. I enjoy watching tr1p make an amazing comeback in a hopeless round.
  • A couple things. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Sage Gaspar ( 688563 ) on Monday January 23, 2006 @08:55PM (#14544973)
    First, it can't be live. There's no way to intelligently comment on a live video game, and essentially commentary is why people are watching. In most sports you can see displays of athletic prowess. Other sports (just using it as a term, don't want to debate what's a sport), like poker, you need interesting commentary. Poker is slow enough and widespread enough that there are a lot of people that are well-versed in it that can keep up with the game compellingly on live TV. Not so with video games. People aren't going to sit there watching someone else playing video games unless they're very dedicated, and downloaded replays are much more interactive.

    So what do you do? Save the replay. Let both sides walk you through the game afterward and explain the problems they had at key steps, and how they lost the game. Explain their strategies for gamers that are interested in the specific game. This isn't going to be terribly compelling except in small chunks, but then again, it has almost no production cost.

    Secondly, get someone that has some authenticity. People that obviously don't know what they're talking about discussing games just makes me angry. And I know a lot of my friends that feel the same way. MTV-style gaming shows don't really appeal to anyone, because gamers who aren't hardcore don't really want to watch gaming television, and people who are hardcore just despise it.

    Third, fuck the cheat codes. No one, no one, no one watches TV to get cheat codes. I don't even buy strategy guides anymore unless they're very well made. Cheat Code TV is a shitty, shitty idea.

    Fourth, as for content, how about interviews with industry leaders? People showing clips from upcoming games. Even spotlights on independent games, or mods. Or documentaries on the game-making process. Hell, I'm nerdy enough that I'd watch gaming news: suchandsuch a clan opened up dungeon X in WoW, patch Z was released for MMO_flavor_of_the_week with suchandsuch changes, soandso art designer quit company Q.

    Finally, there could even be room for a debate-style show. Get industry "pundits" *shudder* together to discuss stuff that will at least inspire interesting flame wars. Are video games art? Is storyline important? Which console is shaping up to be the best? Do graphics matter? What's the best fighting game? Did Blizzard ruin balance in WoW with the latest patch? Is Jack Thompson a lunatic? Hell, bring Jack Thompson on to defend himself! Shit like that.
  • by GroeFaZ ( 850443 ) on Monday January 23, 2006 @09:12PM (#14545105)
    So you are saying every commercially successful sport out there is NOT about the sportsman/woman and his/her experience? I'm a hardcore gamer myself (in terms of hours spent), and I very much enjoy watching pros duke it out in a game I enjoy playing myself. And even recorded speedruns etc. of a single-player game can be very entertaining. By every definition, PC/console gaming can be a sport like any other.
  • by superpulpsicle ( 533373 ) on Monday January 23, 2006 @11:33PM (#14545815)
    I used to play an unhealthy dose of Unreal Tournament and Wolfenstein games online, and I would get my hands on any clan scrimmages clip/replays whenever I can. It was insane seeing how creative some teams are in their attack plan.

    Then someone would give me a clip of some other game I have never played. Immediately I would loose interest. I think there is a market for video game TV, it just has to be a popular game in a 3rd person view. Otherwise it must be some serious eyecandy.

  • Re:The main problem (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Deliveranc3 ( 629997 ) <deliverance AT level4 DOT org> on Tuesday January 24, 2006 @12:35AM (#14546118) Journal
    Counter-Strike has been around for about 8-9 years with few changes.

  • Re:A couple things. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by CommiePuddin ( 891854 ) on Tuesday January 24, 2006 @01:14AM (#14546279) Homepage
    Furthermore, maps in most FPS are much more complicated than a football field. How easy is it to always get a great angle to give people the live perspective?

    Much like existing spectator sports, you position cameras at strategic locations in the map, controlled by "cameramen," who will move within the space to get the most advantageous shot.

    Not to mention that the "helmet cam" is built into the system.

    Well placed shots are not any more difficult in this realm than it is in existing spectator sport. It's all about having a good director who can frame up the right shot at the right time.

Have you ever noticed that the people who are always trying to tell you `there's a time for work and a time for play' never find the time for play?