Why No GamerGate Post!?

I have been watching the seemingly endless amount of news surrounding GamerGate. Due to the highly sensitive and life-threatening nature of the conversation, I will refrain from commenting on my position on the matter. At this moment things have gone to far for my liking. Once things seem to have mellowed out where we can have a healthy and non-aggressive dialogue about gamergate, I will post my opinion. Until then…there will be no blog post about gamergate. That is all and thanks for your understanding!

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VGHS is Awesome! Here’s Why!

Let’s start with what is VGHS? VGHS stands for Video Game High School, which is a web series created by famed YouTuber Freddie Wong and his colleagues Matthew Arnold, Will Campos, and Brian Firenzi. VGHS is a action comedy web series that takes place in a…high school. Main protagonist Brian D. is a chipper and eclectic FPS shooter and you follow his life at VGHS. Of course, there are other main characters; the charming intellect, Ki Swan, badass with a sniper, Jenny Matrix, and the outlandish and cunning, The Law (seriously that’s his name). This web series is funny, cheesy, heartfelt, explosive, and all around awesome. Usually, shows based around videogames do no pan out so well (here’s looking at you G4TV. VGHS has captured the attention of those who love interesting shows on youtube and gamers alike.

VGHS brings two worlds of media together tv and videogames.  Granted, VGHS is not on television, but it is created to be watched as a short mini series. Videogames can be studied, analyzed, and cherished as a collectible, but VGHS is different. VGHS embraces the different kinds of games together to make for interesting story lines and set pieces. Also, the show does not take itself to seriously to feel like you are watching some boring action movie. Most importantly, this show incorporates interesting characters who you start to really care for. These characters help show a different side to the videogame community, a side where gamers can be just as hard working and studious as any non-gamer. Stereotypes such as all gamers are lazy, or there are little to no female gamers. Those stereotypes amongst others are virtually (pun-intended) no existent. All this is not to say, VGHS is greatest thing that happened in the videogame community, but damn near close.

Sesason 3, sadly the last season, of VGHS released there first video today. You can either download the full season on itunes and/or wait for weekly episodes. VGHS is brilliant displayed of how web based television and videogames can come together to make something amazingly. It’s about embracing the culture around games and stop trying to alienate as something completely new to explore.

P.S. Click on VGHS to see the first episode of season 3 and to watch the previous seasons.

Are Gamers Pro Athletes?

The debate about whether gamers should be considered to be Pro-Athletes has been going on ever since the rise of major e-sports games such as Defense of the Ancients (DOTA), Counter Strike, and League of Legends. This is an exacerbating conversation to talk about, but it brings up a valid question.

So, let’s start by breaking down each of these identities. Video gamers are people who play virtual games by using certain apparatuses (e.g. mouse, keyboard, controller) to interact with a game. Gamers use mental strength to solve in-game challenges and plan strategy. Physical strength comes into play with the rapid clicking of RTS’s (real-time strategy), fatigue of sustained focus over a long period of time, which, of course, comes with the inevitable hunger pains. An athlete, as defined by the Oxford Dictionary website, is “a person who is proficient in sports and other forms of physical exercise.” Physical exercise is the key point here. Exercise is defined as an “activity requiring physical effort, carried out especially sustain or improve health and fitness”. I bring this up because this is the crux of the debate. More specifically, we need to be able to evaluate the physical exercise being done by gamers and compare it to that of pro-athletes,

My mentor recently sent me an email about colleges recruiting gamers as athletes. This topic actually started a rational yet somewhat heated conversation between my suite mates. One was on the side that League of Legends professional gamers are athletes. His reasons were that pro-gamers go through rigorous training, long hours of playing to contemplate strategy as well as sustained focus. The other was asserting that ‘real’ athletes have to actually move the whole body to play their sport. He further exclaimed that an athlete has to go through much more strenuous physical activity than pro-gamers. Long story short, the conversation ended with “Let’s agree to disagree”.

I honestly do not know how this escaped me, but I just found out that professional gamers are considered professional athletes in the U.S. What does this mean? Does this mean the U.S. is taking a step forward into understanding the value of being a gamer? Or is this just another way for the U.S. to make money? I say it’s a little bit of both. The economy benefits because the videogame industry is a billion dollar industry. So, the American economy greatly benefits from the consumption of videogames. Also, being a gamer goes beyond sensationalism and entertainment, but becomes a large part of a person’s identity!

So after all of this, I guess my readers still have questions? Mainly, what side on the debate am I on? Honestly, I do not know. I empathize with pro athletes since I was the captain of my high school tennis team. I understand first hand the time and commitment it takes to be good at your craft. I also appreciate the time and commitment professional gamers put in to be good at competitions. This debate will continue for as long as we try to quantify the amount of exercise between these two groups. No one puts into question that both groups are dedicated to their craft. We must come to a consensus on this issue, for I would not want pro-gamers devaluing basketball players and vice versa. I have a feeling things will never get this heated, but who knows? At the end of the day, gamer, pro-gamer, professional athlete, are all descriptions of people who enjoy a particular activity. I love games and I love tennis – enough said.