As I rocked up to class, inevitably late due to severe punctuality issues I was greeted with a Korean documentary named ‘State of Play’ that took the story line of a team of professional Starcraft competitors; that they called the 8th Team. At first I was a little discontent, but as I watched more and more it occurred to me that my perceptions of professional gaming had changed drastically. I grew up playing sport, lots of sport, if I were a packet of lollies I would’ve been an Allen’s Party Mix.
From the age of 5 i was playing Baseball, Football, Cricket all at a high level, and then I found Rugby League, AFL, Basketball, Golf and the list goes on. The point is I never gave gamers credit for their skill or immense amount of practice they put in due to my background as a hard working athlete. I used to say things like “being a professional gamer is just a poor excuse for being addicted to games, get a life”. Meanwhile I was spending days on end playing Neverwinter Nights, Age of Mythology and Dawn of War 40K (I ain’t mad about it). You’d log on to a game when it was morning and then get off when it was dark and Mum’s voice resonated throughout the house saying “dinner’s ready”, only to get to the table and see carrots and silverside: the excitement would quickly dissipate.
Professional gaming to me is still a minor triviality, not because the skill level in low or I believe they don’t work as hard but I’m obviously heavily influenced by my environment from when I was a kid. Yeah, I used to play an insane amount of games, and still do when I have the time; I clocked 100 hours on Kingdom Hearts like 6 months ago – but my excuse is that I still go to the gym and play sport while having gaming as a side hobby. However, like me and all other athletes, e-gamers dream to be playing for their country, winning championships and of course everything that comes with being a professional, like a fan following. Being an athlete doesn’t mean you’re fulfilling this inherent lust for power and the material (e.g. Bernard Tomic)
it means that every time you jump on the court, pick up a bat or set up your keyboard your one goal is to win, to improve and make your dreams a reality. E-gamers have all of these traits, so the 12 year old me should probably take a step back and just deal with it.