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When I'm not writing about my experiences in this journey called 'life', I'm singing and uploading my own interpretations of modern music. Click on "Cover Songs" to hear them, or on the YouTube logo on the right to see my YouTube channel.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Gaming To Work - Working To Game

I still remember the day my dad brought our first computer home. Just like any expensive purchase of his, he thought it prudent not to inform the rest of the family about it until it was literally sitting on our doorstep. Legend has it that our first car simply turned up in the driveway in similar fashion, with my dad at the wheel and his incredulous and dumbstruck (and later livid) wife at the front door. I was six or seven years old when the stack of boxes that held our first computer were being carried into the house. It was probably an IBM 386; after a bit of research I find it had a processor speed of 40MHz, 116MB HDD and 8192kB of RAM! The only box I could carry was a small one with 'mouse' written on it, which I was told was a mechanical toy for our cat. I'm still hazy about some of the facts, but eventually it was set up and running in my dad's office at home.

I remember my initial confusion at the purchase of this machine. What could it do? Why did dad need it? However, all those questions disappeared in a puff of DOS based graphics as soon as I was introduced to the games available on it.

Sixteen long and painful years have passed since, yet despite vast amount of change in almost every aspect of my life, I still love gaming. Every year finds me desperately attempting to keep up with the stunning leaps in PC technology; every year I end up failing - miserably. Trying to keep up with the changing times is quite laudable in itself, but when the sole reason for my endeavours is the pursuit of happiness through the latest PC games, it is a bit harder to own up to. What's more, confessing that you love gaming is a little harder when you're in your 20's as compared to when you're still in high school and have a non-existent social life; yet my mind refuses to see anything wrong in it. I suppose my still non-existent social life may have something to do with that.

However, when compared with the rest of the world, my love for computer games is about as noteworthy as a postbox to the mailman. Somewhere between PacMan and World of Warcraft, gaming suddenly became an overnight celebrity so to speak. Online gameplay probably played a major role in this, and then the battle of the gaming consoles added fuel to the fire. I remember the days of the Nintendo 64, and the level of gameplay and visual brilliance it brought at the time; in just under a decade however, the N64 has evolved into the awe-inspiring Nintendo Wii. With so much to choose from, potential gamers literally drove themselves mad diving into the variety of games on offer for different platforms.

I was never a console gamer, and so this led me to pursue PC games with vigour. However, along came university in India, and my gaming was restricted to the 3 weeks I would get at home during the vacations. So now that I finally find myself with some time on my hands, I'm amazed at the savage intensity that some people have towards gaming. Just the other day I read an article about a boy who dropped out of school to pursue a 'career' in Guitar Hero gaming! Hello? Since when did gaming become a career choice? I felt like I had woken up in another dimension, one where Madonna was a legitimate role model and Miley Cyrus was the anti-christ.

But what really got to me was the Championship Gaming Series programme that airs on TV. What was once considered a past-time for teens and kids has now spawned into an international tournament, complete with media coverage, tv shows, national qualifications, general managers and the most bizarre thing of all - money! Yes these elite 'athletes' (I kid you not, apparently if you sit on a chair and rapidly move your index finger you are deemed qualified to be called an athlete!) not only have to go through 'intense physical and mental preparation' but are also required to 'display remarkable skill, reflexes, precision and commitment to compete and win on a level unmatched by other gamers'. Are you kidding me?! The most annoying thing about the show though is the general managers for the teams; watching them jump up and down in their suits and ties as they spur their team's on is just ludicrous at best! General manager of a team of teenage computer addicts without a life?! Yes, put THAT on my resume, thank you very much!

For the first time in a long time, I'm actually at a loss to express my complete and utter disgust at this so-called 'sport'! Yes, it's called sport now! What's next for gaming I wonder.

The Olympics, anyone?

1 comment:

Dili said...

Gaming has its own Olympics actually. Its called the World Cyber Games. Gaming has been @ professional levels for some time now in countries like South Korea and the US. Its the real deal, with players paid to play and lucrative sponsorships. Celebrity players aren't that hard to find anymore. Most of the good players make a few million off winnings and sponsorships and retire from the scene at around 17, 18, 19. Usually because they head off to college using the money. :)

Although I question the value of playing Guitar Hero full time, technically its possible for that kid to make a good living out of CounterStrike, Halo and Call of Duty :)


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