Uncle AndrewUncle Andrew
Filed under: @ 12:30 pm

I caught the tail end of the news on Channel 7 while running my backups yesterday evening. The anchors were introducing a little puff piece and talking amongst themselves about the the 2007 World Cyber Games, which are taking place here in Seattle. As they ended their twenty-second segment on the tournament, one of the male anchors chimed in with, “Can you believe they have referees for these things?” They all shared a quick, derisive little laugh at the folly of wasting precious manpower on such an undeserving endeavor. They then launched into a detailed account of the far more important and relevant news of the day: which high school football teams won the online poll to play against each other in the big online-poll high school football deely.

Say, you know something, mister big shot brush-headed ex-frat-boy local news anchor person? You’re right! It is ridiculous that they have referees for video game competitions. After all, it’s well-nigh impossible to imagine that there are any to spare from the vast pool of enforcers needed at the “real” games like high school football….to keep drunken parents from screaming at officiators, beating each other senseless and taking out their failed childhood aspirations on their children.

And while we’re at it, the kids who populate the video game championships are the kind who tend to get beaten, ostracized and generally persecuted by the jocks and jock-wannabes that join or slavishly follow high-school athletics. These young people know from psychotic teenage aggression, and don’t typically strive to emulate it. So they certainly pose less of a threat to themselves and each other than the jocks as well.

I mean, really, who could possibly take this kind of competition seriously, right? Just because the video game industry generates annual revenues of about 5 billion dollars for the Puget Sound area hardly qualifies it as a serious thing, right? Surely nothing like the importance, the cultural significance, of no-necked teenage mastodons smashing into each other on the manliest-of-manly-man field of gladiatorial honor. It’s not just our birthright as a nation, it’s good clean fun! With steroids. And the occasional gang rape.

So by all means, help yourself to all the referees, off-duty cops, crowd control barriers and drunk tanks you think you may need to manage your prized athletic events. The folks at WCG will manage to get by with alert sysadmins, Punkbuster and lots and lots of Code Red.

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