Monday, May 14, 2018

Introduction to a Brief History of Competitive Gaming

As every major sport event i.e. The Olympics, Nascar, Formula One, FIFA; just to name a few, there is a machinery of advertisement and marketing that functions as the core and soul of the business that main objective is to create a niche for video game enthusiasts and people who enjoy competitive gaming; you are probably thinking that this a new phenomenon but probably the most humble origins involve people around arcades watching other competes, but the earliest recorded competition was on 1972 at Stanford University where students competed in the game Spacewar (1).

It wasn't until the 1980's where the acceptance of gaming as a hobby started to take a more deep effect due the influence of mass media and organizations such as Twin Galaxies, that started to help keeping track of scores and promotion of video games. Not only independent players started to find ways to place themselves in pop culture but marketing strategies from Nintendo and Atari, started to track the attention of the public, i.e. The Wizard (2)

The Wizard, could seen right now as an outdated movie or a big product placement by Nintendo, essentially the movie is a long run of Super Mario Bros 3, which at that time wasn't even on the markets in North America, but helped to assist the idea of competitive gaming as part of a hobby, it helped to attract the niche of early software developers back in the 1980's as well other people who were drawn to the newly culture of gaming as a competition.

The idea of competitive gaming back in the early 70's to the early 90's was mostly relegated to North America (United States and Canada) and Japan; Latin America was mostly exclusive and it wasn't until the proliferation of broadband Internet in the early 2000's that the idea of competitive gaming started to gain momentum.

The exportation of technology outside the boundaries of countries with stable climates in socio-economics can be a problem, making technology rather expensive such as buying the latest piece of hardware, or trying to make business due the massive bureaucracy that is filled with loops and bribes that would only rise the price of the equipment. Probably by now due a free trade around the globe, is easier to purchase something outside and just ship it to the intended country, but we are not in the 90's anymore and with the rise of economical powers such as South Korea, technology has become available and making people around the globe easier to communicate.(3)

Broadband Internet was the responsible of this form of entertainment, South Korea being the first in the world into incorporating mass Internet to their population, when the rate of unemployment was extremely high in the early 2000 but also it gave people the opportunity to do something while being unemployed.

It is extremely important to know, that the Korean E-Sports Association it's a branch of the Ministry of Culture; and it also takes parts of the Olympic Association and the International E-Sport Federation; not many governments have that outreach to find and create a stimuli to attract tourism by the idea of doing events related to electronic entertainment and public participation on a cultural level. The United States has a solid gaming culture but it wasn't until 2013 where the VISAS started to open for players around the world.

Starcraft (4) became one of the first games to gain popularity due the connectivity towards the competition, even surpassing household names such as Wow, which at that moment it became the staple of what would become online competition as well the development of an industry.

We have to consider that online gaming is not new, it has been around since 1970, but early versions of games where you can interact and have an avatar had been since 1995 with Active Worlds (5) and Worlds.com but they tend to be chat related rather than anything else related to interactive gaming in the purest form.

Thank you for reading me, the second entry will be developed later next week.

References:


  1. https://www.racergamingchairs.com/blogs/gaming/the-rise-of-esports
  2. https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/wizard/
  3. http://www.e-sports.or.kr/board.php?b_no=9&_module=kespa&_page=view&b_no=9&b_pid=9999989400&ckattempt=1
  4. https://www.activeworlds.com/web/index.php