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.

4 Responses to “*Pffft*”

  1. Scot Says:

    Sorry dude, but playing a video game is NOT a sport. And the comercials I saw for promoting it tried to pass it off as a sporting event. I agree that local anchors are idiots. Maybe the jocks at your school were asses, but I don’t recall any problems. The cross country team used to flip the football team all sorts of shit, besides beating them at flag football.

  2. Uncle Andrew Says:

    I didn’t say that video games were a “sport”, in the athletic sense. On the other hand, video game championships do consist of objectives that need to be achieved singly or in teams, and may include ways that people can get around said objectives by cheating. Hence, they do require referees.

    I’m glad you had a good experience in/around high school sports. I myself was on the track team doing shot and discus (I sucked at both). Those guys were generally all right. So was the fencing team, the Aikido club (I was on that as well), and the swim team (lots of them tended to be self-centered preeners, but not inherently asinine). The soccer guys were also okay, I didn’t know anyone who played baseball or basketball. The football team on the other hand was made up almost entirely of hyper-aggressive slabs of barely conscious protein aggregates. This impression was further reinforced by the football team at Wazzu (you never had to make sandwiches for those assholes; I did). I’m not sure if football breeds antisocial tendencies or if antisocial people tend to gravitate towards playing football, but the two seem to go hand in hand.

    Additionally, a lot of my observations in the post had less to do with the players, and more to do with the parents. Can you imagine some Counterstrike Dad beating a ref with a beer cooler for a bad call over a head shot? It will probably take another generation or two before the culture fully catches up, and parents degenerate to the point where they are screaming at each other over the fine points of scoring in online gaming championships. At that time, you can reasonably expect me to drop this kind of competition as well, and take up fly fishing.

  3. YakBoy Says:

    I ran across an interesting discussion sort of related to this on either Fark or Slahsdot a few weeks ago. I have no idea what the initiating article was about but the response thread turned into a discussion about the double standard society in general has regarding gamers (specifically MMORPGs) and sports. It was illustrated by two different situations –

    A child asks his parents if he can stay up past his curfew because he has organized 8 people to play 4 on 4 basketball and the only time he was able to reserve the courts and get everyone together was late enough that he would have to stay up late to finish the game.


    A child asks his parents to stay up past his curfew because has organized 40 people to raid a dungeon in a MMORPG and the only time he was able to get the right balance of players and classes to be successful was late enough that he would have to stay up late to finish the game.

    The assertion was that the majority of the population would view the first child as being a motivated leader worthy of praise and encouragement, while the second would be condemned as a no-life basement dweller who shouldn’t be wasting his time on a video game. While I think this is probably an oversimplification I think there is also some truth there.

  4. Uncle Andrew Says:

    Wow (or perhaps, “WoW”), that’s an interesting scenario. I think you’re probably right; there is a sense that video games, online or otherwise, are inherently less “valuable” according to some arbitrary scaling system. There are certainly things that sports provide that gaming does not—aerobic exercise, body kinesthetics that extend beyond the hand-eye realm, fresh air—and those are things that we are definitely needing more of in our society these days. On the other hand, the idea that a (basket, foot, base)ball game is somehow intrinsically better for one’s character/the community/this the greatest nation on God’s Green Earth is not demonstrable in any meaningful way, IMHO.

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