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Bring on the Unreal Champion's League
August 5th 2002, 15:23 CEST by m0nty

With the imminent arrival of several new versions of Unreal, a significant problem faces its makers: lack of support amongst professional gamers. With the two multiplayer Unreal updates including the words Championship and Tournament in their titles, it is clear that getting respect from the pro gamer circuit is an important goal to wrest back the initiative, if only for public relations purposes. How will they go about claiming their rightful place alongside the Quake and Counter-Strike hegemony?

The prizes list for the US$15,000 PG Challenge in Prague held in July shows the discrepancy between the perception of Unreal games versus the CS and Quake juggernauts. Even Starcraft winners were paid more than UT victors.

Part of the problem is that the Cyberathlete Professional League, the highest-profile attempt so far to develop a viable pro gamer circuit in the US, has concentrated recently on Valve and id games. There have even been hints that the League was working with Valve on a new official CPL game. Perhaps the fact that the CPL board is chaired by Romero, with CliffyB the sole representative of the Unreal faction, has some influence. While the next summer and winter events will include UT2k3, the prizemoney for UT winners will be half that of CS according to this forum post. As this thread shows, some CPL gamers are even wondering if UT2K3 will be all that suitable for team-based tourney play.

This is not to say the relationship between Epic and the CPL is frosty - they have been working with Epic on UT2k3, according to this interview with CPL president Angel Munoz on pro gamer site Esports:

Epic has always been a supporter of the CPL, Cliff Bleszinski has been on our advisory board for years and has a full understanding of the vision and methodologies of the CPL, Jay Wilbur was the recipient of our Substance Award last year and Mark Rein and I think so much a like that we find it funny that we are not related. So when we find a group of people that will work hard to make sure that their game has all of the elements we need to take the sport to the next level, we are encouraged and find it easier to support their efforts.

The World Cyber Games is the most visible pro gamer circuit on a global scale. It included both UT, Quake and CS in its 2002 games schedule, after what it described as a "heated and overwhelming atmosphere" for its inaugural competition in December last year, in which UT was allegedly the least popular game. As part of the consultation process for deciding which games would be included in WCG2002, the WCG conducted a poll of gamers in which UT wasn't even among the list of selections, causing an uproar on the WCG forums. An apologetic statement by the WCG followed, along with the inclusion of UT - but not UT2k3.

Will Unreal Tournament 2003 really be the next big thing in tournament play, or is it a case of misleading advertising? Will UT2k3 succeed in becoming a robust platform for team-based gaming, and is the CPL selling it short by only including 1v1 play? Are decisions on which games to play in the CPL and WCG determined by the demands of players, or industry deals? When will UT2k3 gain parity in prizemoney with CS and Quake, if at all? Will the guys at Shoot Club like it?
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#1 by LPMiller
2002-08-05 15:25:15
lpmiller@gotapex.com http://www.gotapex.com
Tourny play. Sigh.

I believe I can fly......urk.
#2 by jjohnsen
2002-08-05 15:33:48
http://www.johnsenclan.com
Do the developers really care if cyber "athletes" get money for playing their game?  Or do they care about how many copies are sold?

No longer must I sweep for you, for I am not your broom.
#3 by Warren Marshall
2002-08-05 15:37:14
http://www.wantonhubris.com/
The relationship is far from frosty .. in fact, the CPL is pretty pumped about UT2K3.  I can't really comment further though since I don't have the inside scoop at this point.  But from what I know, they are talking to us and things are looking good.

As far as competing with CS ... well, that game is so far entrenched, you're just not going to unseat it.  Not right away anyway.  People have been playing that game for years now.  Professional gamers know every map, every sound, every lightmap texel on every wall.  That familiarity is part of what makes them so competitive.  UT2K3 will need time to come into it's own in that regard.

"It's pretty common for pussies, dumbasses, and their families to blame their problems on vague influences like the media and society. The truth is, fuck you."
#4 by Warren Marshall
2002-08-05 15:39:36
http://www.wantonhubris.com/
Do the developers really care if cyber "athletes" get money for playing their game?  Or do they care about how many copies are sold?

Having your game used in high profile tournaments is great.  Lots of exposure, people are more accepting of the title and it pushes the possibility of gaming becoming a televised "sport" further down the road.  This is positive for people who love games ... the more acceptance they get, the more money will be thrown behind them (for development, advertising, QA, etc).

Cliff had a great line from that last LAN party he demoed the game at ... he says he was flipping channels and came across ESPN where they were showing a lumberjack competition.  Teams of guys, chopping wood.  If people are willing to watch THAT, games might just have a chance.

"It's pretty common for pussies, dumbasses, and their families to blame their problems on vague influences like the media and society. The truth is, fuck you."
#5 by Stepto
2002-08-05 16:02:35
stepto@gamersangst.com http://www.gamersangst.com
Passing on the obvious lumberjack joke, Unreal's mode of deathmatch just never struck a cord with me.  The people who play it love it and prefer it passionately.  But they do in all honesty seem to be in the minority.

Isn't Unreal Championship basically UT2 for the xbox?  Is it going to be an Xbox Live game?

S.

http://www.gamersangst.com
#6 by Ashiran
2002-08-05 17:44:26
I don't think pro gaming will ever take off. Atleast not with current existing game. Know why? Cause it's BORING as hell to look at. Just as boring as watching tennis or something.

I saw some matches at the CPL holland.

Quake3 final: Strafe jumping all over the level collecting armor and stuff. Every couple of minutes some "action" occurs in the form of a player shooting at the three pixels in the far distance that is the enemy. Rinse repeat. Variations are possible but the ammount of action never exceeds a couple of seconds per moment.

Result: Zzzzzzz

Counterstrike Final: de_dust, every game revolved around getting to that center narrow hallway as quick as possible, chuck some grenades in it and line up snipers. Then over and back sniping began until either side managed to shoot enough of the other team. Note that from all the rounds they played only once or two times a team tried something else. Which failed horribly so they stuck with the proven play.

Result: Zzzzzzz

Seriously, a game like Tribes 2 would be much more interesting to look at. Or even an RTS! Cause that's my biggest gripe with the use of FPS shooters. No overview of what is happening. And the crowd wants to see all.

"This is also gay."
#7 by HoseWater
2002-08-05 17:49:53
barneyque@hotmail.com
With the imminent arrival of several new versions of Unreal, a significant problem faces its makers: lack of support amongst professional gamers.



OH NO!   What will we do!.


Significant problem?  Hehehe, I don't think so.
#8 by "Evi|ivE"
2002-08-05 18:00:38
"Cliff had a great line from that last LAN party he demoed the game at ... he says he was flipping channels and came across ESPN where they were showing a lumberjack competition.  Teams of guys, chopping wood.  If people are willing to watch THAT, games might just have a chance."

You know that is a damn good point.  I've seen that lumberjack stuff on and it amazes me the amount of support it gets.  I guess there truely is hope for getting TV coverage of game tournaments. :)

As someone else mentioned though.  The problem with first person shooters is that you can only see what the gamer sees.   If game developers want their games used as a spectator sport, they need to give the viewer a way to see everything that's happening in-game.  Valve has taken a great step with their HLTV client.  It's one feature that I actually hope more developers "borrow".  

A lot of people just love to bash valve for "not doing anything since HL", but HLTV is definately a great first step in making games a spectator sport.
#9 by Ashiran
2002-08-05 18:04:22
The relationship is far from frosty .. in fact, the CPL is pretty pumped about UT2K3.  I can't really comment further though since I don't have the inside scoop at this point.  But from what I know, they are talking to us and things are looking good.

You just opened the floodgates. Hordes of UT fanbois will descend upon our lands! ph34r!

"This is also gay."
#10 by Greg
2002-08-05 18:04:32
I would discount Unreal Championship as being a CPL-level game. For one, it is on the Xbox, and while there are tournaments and events that focus on console games, the CPL isn't one of them. Also, isn't UC more focused on arcadey/consoley action, which isn't the norm for CPL events?

However, its console nature could be a plus. With all the action, I'm sure it would be fun to watch.

Oh wait, these CPL players are the most hardcore group out there. They'll hate it.

Who is driving car?! Oh my god, bear is driving car! How can that be?
#11 by Leslie Nassar
2002-08-05 18:06:10
http://departmentofinternets.com
There are professional gamers still?

i like monkeys.  are you a monkey?
#12 by Matthew Gallant
2002-08-05 18:21:59
http://www.truemeaningoflife.com
I want to make a filmvideo of the winners receiving their prizemoney!

Current market value of the Max Payne IP according to a comparison of the market capitalization of Take Two pre- and post- sale: approx. -$213,000,000.
#13 by "Anonymous"
2002-08-05 18:25:33
it's an xbox live game, but the voice quality was very speak'n'spell.... while PSO using xbox live was clear for the most part.
#14 by Your Friend
2002-08-05 18:29:35
While there might someday be "professional" spectator games, current-style FPSes won't be among them, IMO.

Who, other than those who play the games all the time themselves, wants to watch a bunch of people camping the bomb, or camping the good weapons (in the case of UT2k3, etc)?  As stupid as lumberjacking is, its something that forces constant, dynamic action.  Without constant, dynamic action nobody is going to watch except the hardcore gamers themselves.  

There's also too much minute complexity involved in current FPS-type games (I know it sounds odd when I say it like that, but in this context its true).  When you watch some guy climbing up a pole or lugging a giant tree trunk, you pretty much know what is involved even if you're never done it before.  The non-hardcore-gamer, however, isn't going to know which weapons are which, why one would be chosen over another, etc.  It just doesn't map to your real-life experience as easily unless you real-life experience has included a lot of online FPS playing.

I wouldn't completely discount 'professional' gaming, but its a long way off (if ever) from being something that the general public will care about.
#15 by Morn
2002-08-05 18:39:35
morn@planetcrap.com http://hmans.net
Mark Rein and I think so much a like that we find it funny that we are not related.

That is SCARY. There are two?! ;)

Hendrik "Morn" Mans • morn@planetcrap.com • admin/coder/lover/kraut
I hope nobody will sue me: C R A P R A D I O | last 10 songs
#16 by Duality
2002-08-05 18:51:22
Dualipuff@yahoo.com http://stratoscape.ath.cx/
I'd agree with Tribes 2.  There were player-made scripts that allowed spectating to become almost sport-like.  For example, tt would actually switch to to players who grabbed flags and make that the focus, instead of a player sitting, camping the flag.

I think the problem with deathmatch type games is that there is no single focus.  Most televised sports involve focusing on where the ball/puck/etc is.  I'd even go so far to say that there is currently too much that goes on in teamplay games to really be able to televise effectively.  If a flag runner is heading back to base, and support comes to fend of the chasers, what gets the focus, the imminent battle between defense and offense, or the guy running back to score?  What's the audience going to want to watch?

Warren: If you can answer -- are there features being put into UT2k3 to be audience-friendly?  I wasn't familiar with how UT dealt with spectator mode, but with Epic and CPL working together, does this mean that UT2k3 will have features specifically designed to get audiences watching -- things like auto focusing on certain actions (flag grabbing, for example), or will it still be up to the spectator to control who he/she follows and what action he/she sees?

#17 by Xero
2002-08-05 18:56:01
http://novakometa.blogspot.com/
For a geek with something of an actual life, i'm way too good at this damned game. I get way too much enjoyment out of reducing l33t kiddies to a fine red mist with my rocket launcher.

I'll have to make adjustments for the new weapons and the changes in the old ones, but with the new scoring system i'll finally be rewarded for being a purely defensive player!

"Every legend, moreover, contains its residuum of truth, and the root function of language is to control the universe by describing it."
-James Baldwin
#18 by Warren Marshall
2002-08-05 18:59:36
http://www.wantonhubris.com/
Duality
Warren: If you can answer -- are there features being put into UT2k3 to be audience-friendly?  I wasn't familiar with how UT dealt with spectator mode, but with Epic and CPL working together, does this mean that UT2k3 will have features specifically designed to get audiences watching -- things like auto focusing on certain actions (flag grabbing, for example), or will it still be up to the spectator to control who he/she follows and what action he/she sees?

I really don't know, sorry.

"It's pretty common for pussies, dumbasses, and their families to blame their problems on vague influences like the media and society. The truth is, fuck you."
#19 by Bailey
2002-08-05 19:02:12
That lumberjack thing sorta fits into the NASCAR crowd of the population. As long as it only involves driving downtown to the arena where they usually show Truckzilla on Sundays, it's easy to support.

Take gamers, who generally are apathetic and would rather not leave the comfort of their cave, and try to round them all up in one part of the world to watch other people play? Ugh. If I was into the scene, I'd tell you to just give me a highlight video, but then, I'm the kind of guy who's never done so much as download a demo of gameplay. As Ash said, an awful lot of the gameplay is just awfully boring. Even soccer has more action, for crissakes. SOCCER.

Hey, I made a cool game! It's called: "I poisoned half the food in the house, so if you eat you might die"! On an unrelated note, have a taco.
#20 by Talion
2002-08-05 19:03:24
talion@evilemail.com
Two problems with so-called professional FPS gaming as a spectator sport:

1. There's no way to see all the action at once.  Even in a really complicated sport like American football with a lot going on or soccer where there's lots of people on a big field, the camera keeps track of the center of attention (the ball).  Likewise baseball and basketball.  Hockey will never be as popular as football or futbol because it's too hard to see the puck and follow the action.  Lacrosse (which is trying to get a pro league organized) will never succeed for the same reason.

2. There's no way to see both the human player and what's going on with the game at the same time.  Either you are looking at some emotionless overmuscled avatar with a comically enormous gun or you are looking at a 15 year old with glasses moving a mouse and tapping some keys.  It's extremely difficult for someone who hasn't played a lot of FPS to really associate what they see with what the player is actually doing.

Bottom line IMO is that if you try to take computer games and compete for viewers on the home field (pun not intended, honestly) of traditional sports, you are bound to lose.  Practically everyone on hardcore gamer sites like this feels as an ideology that computer games should be right up there with sports, but how many people really watch or even keep up with the big competitions?  I won't speak for anyone else, but despite the fact I have played multiplayer FPS until my wrists were ready to explode, I'm not too interested in the competitive "scene."  Meanwhile I am a big American football fan.

I think the place games could succeed in the near future (i.e. before fancy motion capturing VR turns gaming into athletics) is competing against reality television, not televised sports.  I'm not too interested in watching Q3 or CS tourney demos, but I would love to watch the result if you got a professional TV crew on site and edited together a show or even a miniseries about a tournament mixing interviews with game footage (maybe just the highlights) and doing the usual stuff to build up tension and get me as the audience rooting for one person or another I like based on the interviews.
#21 by Warren Marshall
2002-08-05 19:11:06
http://www.wantonhubris.com/
A lot of people seem to be thinking that first person is the only way to view these games.  What about stationary cameras around the level?  Roaming cameras, controlled by actual camera men?  There are a lot of options here beyond just looking through one of the players eyes.

Can't see enough of the action?  What about a split screen option so you can see two areas of the level at once?  With a little imagination, you can come up with something that will work.

As far as average people enjoying it ... well, it's like any sport.  If you're not into it, you're not going to watch it.  I have no interest in lumberjacking, so I don't watch them chop wood on ESPN.  The same way that non-gamers aren't going to tune in to watch the CPL finals ...

"It's pretty common for pussies, dumbasses, and their families to blame their problems on vague influences like the media and society. The truth is, fuck you."
#22 by HoseWater
2002-08-05 19:24:55
barneyque@hotmail.com
I doubt 'professional' game playing will ever make it as a spectator 'sport'.  One of the main things missing for the mass appeal for this type of event, is sex appeal. Generic in game models are just not going to  cut it.

It will struggle to interest game players, let alone non-gamers.

All of this, being of course, just my opinion.
#23 by Warren Marshall
2002-08-05 19:43:06
http://www.wantonhubris.com/
Answer : booth babes.  Cut away to some booth babes dancing or whatever at random times and you have the equivalent of cheer leaders.

"It's pretty common for pussies, dumbasses, and their families to blame their problems on vague influences like the media and society. The truth is, fuck you."
#24 by Neo-Reaper
2002-08-05 19:43:19
neoreaper@excite.com http://octobermoon.homeip.net
Maybe I didn't watch enough of it, but the World Cup didn't seem to have much "sex appeal" either...

"Dream of me... and maybe, just maybe, this nightmare will end."
#25 by Creole Ned
2002-08-05 19:44:27
A lot of people seem to be thinking that first person is the only way to view these games.  What about stationary cameras around the level?  Roaming cameras, controlled by actual camera men?  There are a lot of options here beyond just looking through one of the players eyes.

This is something that was discussed at the Tribes Council in relation to future Tribes games, placing cameras at the points likely to see action, while also offering the spectator easy ways to move between key players (based on what they are doing). The biggest hurdle was that while all of this would be effective as a means of promoting the game (hence Sierra's interest in it beyond the geek factor), there doesn't seem to be a reasonable way yet of doing all this without the spectator already owning the game, hence you're not really expanding the audience, getting new people excited about play and picking up (buying) the game as a result.

The closest thing right now to a broadcast that doesn't actually require the game is shoutcasting and if you're not familiar with the game, it's like listening to a baseball game on the radio with no idea of how the game is actually played. Not all that compelling.

"I don't bemoan the great paste" - LPMiller
#26 by Caryn
2002-08-05 19:53:37
carynlaw@pacbell.net http://www.hellchick.net
Hosewater:

One of the main things missing for the mass appeal for this type of event, is sex appeal.


So football relies heavily on sex appeal for its popularity? I don't know about that. Sure, you've got the Dallas cheerleaders, but they're a small part, IMO, in the whole football equation. You've got (mostly) guys watching bigger, stronger guys play a game. Baseball's popularity today isn't what it used to be, but I'd say that there's little sex appeal to the sport (unless you're a woman, but it's mostly guys who watch).

I think what's missing is what Warren hit on earlier: the lack of a real spectator perspective. When you're at the ballpark watching the game, you're watching it live in person, which is exciting. When you're watching it home, you lose a bit of the in-person excitement but you gain the instant replays, the stats boards, the multi-perspective replays and commentator discussion.

I think that's really what pro gaming needs to be popular. chris and I wrote a join point-counterpoint article once on this a long time ago -- I'm of the opinion that pro-gaming can be popular with spectators, it's just that no one is doing anything to make it appealing in that regard, which surprises me. I'd love to see the CPL and other organizations get commentators, recap demos with instant replays in slow motion, and use something like GTV to allow spectators to watch live. Set up spectators as cameras to follow the good players or view battles in 3rd person.

I sat in on an IRC channel with TsN during the last game of the Wolf Battle on the Beachhead tournament. There were 500 people listening to their shoutcast show -- they had three people, one at each of the team's physical locations and one serving as the go-between, all acting as live commentators on the match. It was actually exciting. They did an awesome job.

"I can't drink POSSIBLE beers! I need ACTUAL beers! Damn you quantum physics!"
#27 by Caryn
2002-08-05 19:56:54
carynlaw@pacbell.net http://www.hellchick.net
I think it would also be cool to get leagues going that are set up like professional sports -- A team for Boston, a team for Chicago, etc. That's part of what makes a sport enjoyable: you have a team to get behind. Pro gaming teams are just players who happened to get together and form a team. Get a league together, something like American vs. National, and build up player stats, make trades, etc. -- establish a history for each team and give people a reason to root for them and want to watch them play.

"I can't drink POSSIBLE beers! I need ACTUAL beers! Damn you quantum physics!"
#28 by HoseWater
2002-08-05 20:01:33
barneyque@hotmail.com
Real sports don't need to reply on sex appeal as much.  In real sports, there are athletes to watch, performing.

But professional gaming to me seems more on the level of something like American Gladiators.

I just believe from the advertising angle, which will be required since you are not going to be filling stadiums, you need to appeal to something on some level... just thinking out loud here.
#29 by Bailey
2002-08-05 20:02:09
Maybe I didn't watch enough of it, but the World Cup didn't seem to have much "sex appeal" either...

You might have missed all the surgically-endowed brazilian girls flashing their funbags in the crowd, then.

Hey, I made a cool game! It's called: "I poisoned half the food in the house, so if you eat you might die"! On an unrelated note, have a taco.
#30 by Hugin
2002-08-05 20:04:29
lmccain@nber.org
Well, you can get people to watch lumberjack competitions, and curling, and golf and bowling.  Aside from, in the first instance, the possibility of seeing burly men, if that's what you're into, there's very little sex appeal there.

Meanwhile, I've saw televised PacMan champtionships in the eighties, and televised Rubik's Cube championships.  People watch nerd pilot little robots against each other.  And weird cooks cooking weird food in competition.

You can get a crowd of folks in an arcade spectating a good fighting game match or dance dance revolution or whatever.  And you can get a crowd in your livingroom or workplace spectating your console games.

What I'm saying is, if there's a barrier to getting folks to watch videogame competitions, it isn't that it's too boring or too nerdy or too..whatever.  

There's a marketing barrier, you have to get some good looking, comprehensible game footage out there, presented by someone competent, which is always though, they can hardly get good commentators for Monday Night Football.  And it isn't going to take over major league sports.  but there's no reason why it couldn't be a niche show in ESPN2 or Sci-Fi Channel or Comedy Central (paired up with Battlebots for instance)  Warren's right.  Some clever virtual camera system, controlled by folks who know what they're doing would work fine.  I mean, come on, look at how enjoyable it was to get killed in SoF2 and then go to "deadcam" and watch other folks sneaking around.  A skilled "control booth" could jump you around from hunter to hunted, from ambush point to attack group, etc etc..it would be fine.

And don't they already do this in Korea?
#31 by Matthew Gallant
2002-08-05 20:12:05
http://www.truemeaningoflife.com
how many people really watch or even keep up with the big competitions


The last two sporting events I watched were the Army/Navy game last December, and the U.S. playing Germany in the World Cup. Well, I watched about a half-hour of the X-Games too. But that's it. The Army/Navy game is the only sporting event I actually plan to watch.

I don't really care about people playing games competitively. There's not much to games, not much can happen except for a few displays of skill or perhaps a horrific injury. There are a really limited set of plays in any game. Players rarely use their talent and fame for anything other than to soothe their egos or line their pockets.

I like Army/Navy because the competition is the star player, and I know that the players are not pampered by their schools, that they're not thugs, that not a single one has a sense of entitlement. I feel like I'm actually watching a game and not a financial transaction. Yeah, and I get a little nostalgic too, so there.

Really, though, I'd much rather watch a competition like Iron Chef. It's different every time; you're guaranteed to see something you haven't seen before. The CPL needs to come up with something as interesting as that. A bunch of folks who are really good at Counterstrike are not terribly exciting.

Current market value of the Max Payne IP according to a comparison of the market capitalization of Take Two pre- and post- sale: approx. -$213,000,000.
#32 by Caryn
2002-08-05 20:13:56
carynlaw@pacbell.net http://www.hellchick.net
Hosewater:

But professional gaming to me seems more on the level of something like American Gladiators.


I think what you might be reaching for is the WWF angle. There's a group called XGN that's doing gaming tournaments and they tend to publicize them with a very WWF-like angle -- they've even got a huge belt you can win if you win a tournament. That's one angle that hasn't been tried yet (until XGN), it'll be interesting to see if it grabs the right crowds.

"I can't drink POSSIBLE beers! I need ACTUAL beers! Damn you quantum physics!"
#33 by Bill Powers
2002-08-05 20:27:45
wpowers01@charter.net
#23 by Warren Marshall


Answer : booth babes.  Cut away to some booth babes dancing or whatever at random times and you have the equivalent of cheer leaders.



Heh.  Maybe the CPL should talk to Vince McMahon.  Although he may be a little gun shy after the XFL fiasco.

I'm the smear on the wall.
#34 by Sgt Hulka
2002-08-05 20:29:00
Professional and gamers should never be used in the same sentence together.  Playing games for cash may still exist as some sort of niche sub-culture phenomenon, and it may be seen someday on TV on obscure gaming or third class sports channels, but it'll never become a mainstream sport watched by millions.

Most sports rely on the human element for victory, gaming leaves too much up to the computer and chance IMHO.

Everything I need to know about life I learned from Bon Jovi songs
#35 by Duality
2002-08-05 20:59:11
Dualipuff@yahoo.com http://stratoscape.ath.cx/
How many people here have G4?  I know they have a show called Arena that televises (not live, albeit) 4 on 4 competitions in various games.  Since I have yet to see an ep of it, does anyone know how well it works in regards to making gaming into a spectator sport?

From reading the forum, I know they've tried getting Tribes 2 (heavily requested game by viewers), but Sierra wouldn't let them use any of their games (Ned: Do you know if this might have anything to do with the Tribes Council you mentioned?).

Is Arena a step in the right direction, or completely off base?

#36 by Your Friend
2002-08-05 21:04:43
Another big issue is stability of the game(s) being played.

Baseball is pretty much baseball.  Yeah, there have been rule changes over the years, but nothing the like the constant change in the sea of videogames.  The puts a big dent in the whole 'superstars' of gaming issue.  Even in the short history of 'professional' games as they are now, you can see this as an issue.  When gaming leagues switched from Quake-style games to CS style games to get in on CS's massive player numbers, it completely altered the landscape of 'pro-level' players because even though both are FPS games, they are radically different in terms of strategy and tactics.  Gaming is just too fluid to be at the level of these hundred or 50 year old sports.  It changes too much.  Which is Yet Another Problem.

Also, Warren said:


As far as average people enjoying it ... well, it's like any sport.  If you're not into it, you're not going to watch it.  I have no interest in lumberjacking, so I don't watch them chop wood on ESPN.


Actually a lot of sports have huge numbers of spectators who don't actually take part in the sport, even on an amateur/pickup game level.  I don't see this ever happening for computer/video gaming.
#37 by HiredGoons
2002-08-05 21:06:07
Matthew Gallant

Have you read (and what did you think of it) John Feinstein's book about Army/Navy football?
#38 by Greg
2002-08-05 21:10:28
Your Friend:

Actually a lot of sports have huge numbers of spectators who don't actually take part in the sport, even on an amateur/pickup game level.

I don't think what you say is mutually exclusive to what Warren said. People can take an interest in something, and watch it without participating in it. They can also not take an interest in something, and completely avoid it.

Who is driving car?! Oh my god, bear is driving car! How can that be?
#39 by Foodbunny
2002-08-05 21:14:45
foodbunny@attbi.com http://www.foodbunny.com
Ok, so I've been watching too much Arcade Gamer Fubuki, but I'd rather watch a game tournament like that than a Best of Unreal showdown.  Where the players have no idea what they'll be playing until it's unvieled and they have to compete.  It'd just be more interesting to me to see generic good gamers competing against one another in a variety of games then watching the same game over and over and over and over.

Then, quite unexpectedly, we saw certain obstructions on the polished floor ahead - obstructions which were quite definitely not penguins - and turned on our second torch after making sure that the objects were quite stationary.
#40 by Foodbunny
2002-08-05 21:16:10
foodbunny@attbi.com http://www.foodbunny.com
Howver, I think I'd perfer it if they left out the fashion panty.

Then, quite unexpectedly, we saw certain obstructions on the polished floor ahead - obstructions which were quite definitely not penguins - and turned on our second torch after making sure that the objects were quite stationary.
#41 by Your Friend
2002-08-05 21:19:54
I agree with Foodbunny.

The last thing in the world I'd want to see is some tournament based on your typical FPS game where everyone knows exactly the right lines they should be running based on where they spawned (extreme knowledge of the map having played it 1,000,000 times in the past), and the game is pretty much predetermined within the first minute of play, which is what happens in 'pro' FPS games now, from what I've seen of them.

At the very least, I'd like to see levels/maps created specifically for tournaments, so players don't know what they are getting in to at the beginning and have to use some actual thought and creativitiy to win.
#42 by Bailey
2002-08-05 21:34:30
Hugin

And don't they already do this in Korea?

And now you know why it'll never happen anywhere else. No one games like Korea games. There are relatively few gang wars and random knifings at the CPL, in comparison to Korea's cybercafes.

Foodbunny

Where the players have no idea what they'll be playing until it's unvieled and they have to compete.

Like The Wizard, only thankfully lacking Fred Savage? I can endorse this endeavour.

Hey, I made a cool game! It's called: "I poisoned half the food in the house, so if you eat you might die"! On an unrelated note, have a taco.
#43 by Mank
2002-08-05 21:34:58
Hugin in #30
There's a marketing barrier, you have to get some good looking, comprehensible game footage out there, presented by someone competent, which is always though,


I think this is true also. I remember watching all of the Quake Done Quick demos, and the demos of the matches of Thresh and the other competitors in those matches from back in Quake/2 days. Even that Wolf movie put together by the Japanese group was a blast to watch.

Right now the camera systems used in most games leaves a lot to be desired where a viewing public would be concerned. But as Warren suggests, an expanded camera system would help out a great deal, especially if you could set up some kind of central production desk at the events in which to apply professional editing and production techniques. Even if it wasnt possible to televise the live event, there could still be a play by play analysis done with the winning team(s) commenting as some professionally produced footage is being displayed on the screen. There are many ways to make Gaming interesting enough to watch...but will anybody be willing to do it on a scale big enough to take it mainstream?..I sincerely hope so.

...on the outside looking in, banned by an epiphany at an EB store....
#44 by Hugin
2002-08-05 21:39:50
lmccain@nber.org
#42 by Bailey

And now you know why it'll never happen anywhere else. No one games like Korea games. There are relatively few gang wars and random knifings at the CPL, in comparison to Korea's cybercafes.


Yeah, but I'm petty optimistic about someone smart being able to take a product from another culture and make it a fringe/cult hit here in North America. See Battlebots, Iron Chef, etc.  No, I'm not talking prime time Superbowl-esque stuff here, but a weekly cable show?  Not a problem.
#45 by bago
2002-08-05 21:40:36
manga_Rando@hotmail.com
It's all about good editing for TV. When players are far away from each other or something, the editor drops in a slow mo replay of the last kill, makes a comment, tosses out a stat and a reference to something outside the game, switch back to the action by the time the next battle occurs, leaving an overview graphic on somewhere. Have different cameramen observers flying around getting good angles and shots for the editor to cue in.. Video Jockey.

iamelectro
#46 by UncleJeet
2002-08-05 21:40:56
The main problem with professional gaming is that it's a stupid idea.  The people playing are stupid.  The people watching are stupid.  The people organizing are stupid and annoying.

  It's a computer game.  It's not a sport.  It should never be a sport.  Why?  Because it's a computer game.  How is this a debate?

Put me in coach, I'm ready to play....today....

I'm fighting terrorism by playing violent video games!
#47 by Darkseid-D
2002-08-05 21:44:35
rogerboal@hotmail.com
MechWarrior would make a decent `spectator` game, big feed back levels visually, explosions, bits falling off, lasers, rockets, gunfire, nobody bunny hopping like a crackwhore..

Ds

Never argue with an idiot, theyll drag you down onto their level, then beat you with experience.
#48 by crash
2002-08-05 21:47:41
i'm thinking the prime mover in mainstream recognition won't be the gamers. it'll be the games. put that another way: if there were a way to have a Sims tourney, or Rollercoaster Tycoon, or, shit, even Deer Hunter? yeah, that'd draw ratings. but the "marginality" of the tournament game choices, coupled with the whole violence in games thing and the columbine thing and all that other crap, really puts a dent in it.

i guess. today's phrase is Vague Uncertainty™.

"Everyone knows the best way to live life is to troll messageboards." --Warren Marshall
#49 by Bailey
2002-08-05 21:48:19
Hugin

Eh... Battlebots is extremely niche, while Iron Chef seems to have a significantly broader appeal. I think a lot of that has to do with the hosts and presentation. To get the budget to hire some worthwhile hosts, editors, and cameramonkeys with an eye for appropriate perspective, competitive gaming would have to be backed, sponsored, and likely owned by the company who made the game.

Jeet

The people watching are stupid.

That loses most of any potential sting coming from a guy who jerks off to Mario Bros.

Hey, I made a cool game! It's called: "I poisoned half the food in the house, so if you eat you might die"! On an unrelated note, have a taco.
#50 by Martin
2002-08-05 22:15:45
http://www.mocol.nu
Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck!

*This post brought to you by the drunken and pathetic losers foundation*

Shame without life.
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