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Tycho / on Sun, Feb 24 2013 at 11:01 pm

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The One True Way

It’s so funny; we just did a strip about how Riot’s karma engine was upgrading humanity.  But he was back in practically the next day, absorbing bioaccumulative abuse from brigands re: his plainly amateur shit.  So, maybe it doesn’t work on everybody.  It’s possible that if your brain is mostly pockets of dead fluid you don’t benefit from these civilizing efforts.

It was very, very important that Gabriel be made to regret his ways, specifically, that others should “reportalo” him.  I don’t know Spanish, I took French instead.  I won’t need one of those little blacklight wands to get to the bottom of this, though.  I think I can piece it together.

I talked a little bit about what makes it (and games like it) catalyze especially aggressive behavior; they’re more meaningful, which is something games often avoid.  I don’t mean that they’re meaningful in that they reference Darfur, but that’s usually true also.  In League of Legends specifically, there’s a kind of persistence but it’s not as big a deal as what’s going down right now in this match.

With the rise of eSports though, I wonder to what extent the game as a “career path” doesn’t alter the valuation individual players associate with this time.  You aren’t just ganking, or whatever, you’re “training” to jungle professionally or something.  Riot pushes their competitive scene hard, and Valve is gonna turn the screws too.  The narrative which features everyday gamers elevated to digital gladiators - what we might call a Last Starfighter Scenario - must be intoxicating for skilled players.

Which is alien.  I’ve never tried to “go pro” at anything, never thought that was in the cards; in fact, I have an entirely other set of cards and none of them even insinuate valor.  I’m only a professional whatever this is because of I don’t know why.  But if you have the biggest game in the world, and they do, and you’re paying people millions of dollars to play it at the highest level, stakes is high.  Their public matches have functionally been transformed into kind of Farm System, which I am given to understand is some kind of sports term.

(CW)TB out.


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