Monday, January 23, 2006

video game = a sport + $$$$$

How would you like to earn $300,000? Well, are you good at playing video games? I was quite amazed watching this 60 minutes segment on Cyber Athlete Fatal1ty, who's already earned that much in video game competitions. He's treated like a superstar athlete by many adoring fans.

Maybe we're in the wrong line of business?

9 Comments:

Blogger joemama said...

Somehow I think meeting your significant other's parents might be a little tough, when you explain what you do for a living. Ben Stiller's character as a male nurse could be no match for the professional gamer in that family.

1:03 PM  
Blogger Edward Lee said...

Joe B, you forget, these guys are the athletes of the future. The guy on 60 minutes was a star tennis player in high school. He trains now on video games.

2:39 PM  
Blogger limewash said...

I think society's views on this profession will change over time, much like it did for other "play" jobs in the past.

I remember when people I knew thought that web design, game design, xtreme sports, et al, were all "jokes."

2:43 PM  
Blogger ed said...

I just saw the 60 minutes piece and I just feel that this won't catch on as a sport, because its too hard to follow whats going on, but I will put myself in the old person camp, so I agree that it is possible that like xtreme sports and nascar, this will be the next thing.
However, I do think it is worth noting that this is a sport based on fake killing people, aliens, etc. as at least from the show it was only dealing with the shooting games. The champion player fatality or whatever his name is, pointed out we have no problem with hitting in football, and I agree to some extent with his point, but somehow I feel their is a fundamental difference, in football most, hopefully all, players don't want to hurt the other team, and the contact is viewed differently, whereas while fake, I think that in some manner such killing games, numbs our sense of violence and tolerance towards it (getting off topic to video games and violence, so i'll stop here.)

8:46 AM  
Blogger Dave said...

Having read the article, I think 60 Minutes has come a bit late to the story, here. Years before "Fatal1ty" was Dennis "Thresh" Fong, who actually did win a Ferrari from the creator of iD software in a tournament of Quake 2. And subsequent to that there has been an enormous market, primarily in Korea, for professional video gaming, specifically in the game Starcraft. There are probably 20-30 people as we speak who make salaries in excess of $50,000 playing Starcraft via sponsors in various Starcraft tournaments. To think that this culture and profession will not last or only exists on the very fringes of society, consider that Starcraft is 8 or 9 years old right now and these tournaments can be seen on tv in South Korea.

The other way people make money from computer games is with another type of game: the MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Onling Role Playing Game). In these games, there is a persistent online "universe" and many people make money by selling items and characteres within that universe on sites such as eBay.

I'm not trying to say that these professions will go mainstream any time in the near future, but they are already well established and not just some blip on the radar. And furthermore, in response to Ed's comment, money is to be made in almost every online game, not just first person shooters.

11:26 AM  
Blogger seongyoune said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11:30 AM  
Blogger seongyoune said...

Being from South Korea, I can attest to the rise of the 'professional gamer' profession. There are a dozen or so professional gamers who make a living from prizes in 'Starcraft' tournaments. But I think it's possible for one to make a living off of playing games only if there is a huge market for a certain game. 'Starcraft' has gained so much popularity since the late 90's in Korea and it became a game that virtually anyone interested in network games knew how to play. But I think such a phenomenon was also possible because Korea is a pretty small country and establishing broadband access (a critical feature for online games) for most computers in the country wasn't all that hard. I think the circumstances in the US might not allow for a similar effect currently although games like Grand Theft Auto are quite popular.

11:53 AM  
Blogger Ashik Jahan said...

MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Onling Role Playing Games) - not only can you sell items, but in some games you can actually buy virtual real estate for cash dollars, and then sell that virtual real estate piecemeal to other gamers, to make a profit.

Here's a great article on that:
http://www.space.com/entertainment/ap_051110_virtual_spacestation_ent.html

I could become a virtual landlord.

12:31 PM  
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