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Pro Gaming Network Television Coverage Begins Sunday

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the i'm-not-happy-until-its-prime-time dept.

Television 92

The New York Times has an article on a first for pro gamers: network television coverage of a match. Sunday at noon EDT CBS Sports will be airing coverage of the World Series of Videogames. Events will include Guitar Hero II, Fight Night and World of Warcraft 3v3 Arena combat. The article explores some of the challenges of making gaming understandable on television: "The dollars are already quite mainstream. Americans bought about $13 billion worth of video game systems and software last year, more than they spent at the film box office (around $10 billion). Advertisers for Sunday's broadcast include KFC, Intel and the Marines. But for gaming to make it as a major-network TV sport, the big hurdle will be translating a medium that is by its nature meant to be experienced firsthand into a compelling hands-off spectator experience. It is a task that in some ways is no less daunting than that of the early baseball television producers who eventually realized that a camera way out in center field would provide the best view of pitches." Update: 07/28 23:19 GMT by Z : Fixed day of the weekend the show is on.

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This is no worse (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20021631)

than watching any other grown men play any of their other stupid games.

oooh, bitter! ...seriously, keep an open mind... (3, Insightful)

fantomas (94850) | more than 7 years ago | (#20021697)

oooh, somebody had a hard time on school sports days....

Well, seriously, bullying is a significant and traumatic issue, so I do sympathise with you pal if you had a hard time at school. But don't write off all sports. Keep an open mind and maybe you'll find something which works for you, makes you friends, keeps you fit. Plenty of folks do. One of my best mates at school was "the fat kid" - he left to go to university completely hating sports, came back 3 months later having had a go at scuba diving and loved it. 6 months later and the guy was in great shape, active member of the club, was a heck of a lot lighter, and had a great girlfriend.

Just because you don't like traditional school sports, don't write them all off.

Good luck!

Re:oooh, bitter! ...seriously, keep an open mind.. (3, Insightful)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 7 years ago | (#20021715)

Well, seriously, bullying is a significant and traumatic issue, so I do sympathise with you pal if you had a hard time at school. But don't write off all sports. Keep an open mind and maybe you'll find something which works for you, makes you friends, keeps you fit. Plenty of folks do.
Not the AC, but one should point out that GP wasn't bashing sports. He was bashing WATCHING OTHER PEOPLE play sports...

Re:oooh, bitter! ...seriously, keep an open mind.. (2, Insightful)

fantomas (94850) | more than 7 years ago | (#20022821)

f'sure, point taken, I was picking up on the tone of the post and the fact he noted "stupid games". This suggested to me that the poster had a low opinion of sports in general...

Re:oooh, bitter! ...seriously, keep an open mind.. (1)

MBraynard (653724) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024329)

I think when you read that much into a simple statement, you're really projecting your own baggage.

Re:This is no worse (2, Insightful)

scottiwantspam (1134417) | more than 7 years ago | (#20030569) i want spam to the above address, thanks.

lazy.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20021637)

soon people are too lazy to even play anymore, and just watch when someone else playes. Like with ice hockey and other sports.

Re:lazy.. (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 7 years ago | (#20021919)

soon people are too lazy to even play anymore, and just watch when someone else playes. Like with ice hockey and other sports.
Ice hockey? Not bloody surprising; I'd rather watch some other guy getting his head bashed in than having it done to me.

I for one... (1, Interesting)

SilentOneNCW (943611) | more than 7 years ago | (#20021659)

...welcome this extraordinary event. It is high time that the geekier sports such as video gaming be given a chance on network television. Imagine the thousands of gamers that will be affected by this.

Re:I for one... (2, Informative)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 7 years ago | (#20021947)

It is high time that the geekier sports such as video gaming be given a chance on network television.
Anyone in the UK from their mid-teens onwards will likely remember GamesMaster [] , a show on Channel 4 [] that primarily focused on people playing computer games in just that manner. And this was over 15 years ago... okay, to be fair, it's not been on TV since 1998- but my point is that showing gaming on TV is nothing new.

Personally, I'd rather have seen less people playing games and more reviews and stuff. (But apparently- according to the article- GamesMaster was under the jurisdiction of Channel 4's sports department.) Watching people play computer games just wasn't that exciting to me.

Re:I for one... (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 7 years ago | (#20022551)

This is just anther retread ... they tried this during the Atari - Colecovision days, and it was a HUGE FLOP!

Why? Because the people who like to play video games don't want to watch other people play, and the people who don't like to play video games - surprise! - they don't want to watch other people play either.

With pro sports, the rules and playing field are simple and easy enough for most people to grok at a glance - with video games, either you're familiar with the in-game territory that's being played at that moment - in which case its BORING, in a "been there, done that" kind of way, or you haven't, in which case it's like a movie spoiler.

Part of the entertainment is discovering this stuff yourself ... so all these advertisers are just SUCKERS!

Re:I for one... (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 7 years ago | (#20022997)

This is just anther retread ... they tried this during the Atari - Colecovision days, and it was a HUGE FLOP! [..] all these advertisers are just SUCKERS!
Well, GamesMaster ran for six years and ten series, which is pretty respectable... and the WP article suggests that its axing was due to personal politics rather than ratings (which were still healthy by Channel 4 standards at the time of its demise).

As I said, I wasn't too keen on it personally for similar reasons to the ones you give, but plenty of others must have disagreed. Whether it would have done as well on say, BBC1 or ITV (the two highest-rated and more mainstream channels of the time) is unclear. Also, although I said C4's sports department dealt with it, it was more just a series of informal challenges than a proper "sports" type tournament. Perhaps the show you talked about was different, I don't know.

Re:I for one... (1)

kv9 (697238) | more than 7 years ago | (#20023927)

Why? Because the people who like to play video games don't want to watch other people play, and the people who don't like to play video games - surprise! - they don't want to watch other people play either.
have you even seen a korean StarCraft match, or more importantly, listened to the audience (and the announcer)?

Re:I for one... (1)

galaxia26 (918378) | more than 7 years ago | (#20029165)

Why? Because the people who like to play video games don't want to watch other people play, and the people who don't like to play video games - surprise! - they don't want to watch other people play either.

With pro sports, the rules and playing field are simple and easy enough for most people to grok at a glance - with video games, either you're familiar with the in-game territory that's being played at that moment - in which case its BORING, in a "been there, done that" kind of way, or you haven't, in which case it's like a movie spoiler.

Okay, so you count the sales of movie-based games where? You see the movie the game is usually spoiled, so why get the game?

Re:I for one... (1)

mh1997 (1065630) | more than 7 years ago | (#20022149)

..welcome this extraordinary event. It is high time that the geekier sports such as video gaming be given a chance on network television. Imagine the thousands of gamers that will be affected by this.I for one will be affected by reliving that magical time in my life when my older brother would take my game away from me and make me watch him play. At least when it is on TV, there will be commercials. Now, if I can just get my neighbor to come over and beat the crap out of me before the game starts....

Unless your experience was different than mine, games are fun to play, not watch.

Re:I for one... (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#20022469)

games are fun to play, not watch
I think this is true for physical games as well as computer games, and yet we have premium rate channels dedicated to showing nothing other than people playing games. Some people seem to enjoy watching more than participating.

Re:I for one... (1)

Azari (665035) | more than 7 years ago | (#20028181)

Frankly, I think that this is a problem for video games (for consumers, not necessarily for the industry). If televising video games ever really takes off, which I doubt it will, I think it will only exacerbate the 'graphics over gameplay' problem which we currently face because suddenly companies won't just be making games for gamers[1], they'll be making them for spectators as well. Think of a couple of your favorite games and then think about how much fun they are to watch (I'm a fan of RPGs, for example :P)

You could argue that broadcasting competetive gaming will broaden the market enough not to make an impact on the genres that don't lend themselves to competetive play, but I doubt it'll happen, unless they're going to start televising Nintendo's expanding market in playoffs of Wii Sports or Mario Party

1 - Remember 'By Gamers for Gamers'? How about 'By Corporate Whores for Consumer Whores'? I'm looking at you Hollywood.

Re:I for one... (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 7 years ago | (#20029807)

Do you think a game that's unbalanced or otherwise bad will be used for a competition? Players are good at finding the optimal strategy if one exists and exploit it to the limit. The best graphics wouldn't make it fun if everyone always picked the same faction and performed the same strategy because everything else will cost them the match (unless you put players in there that wouldn't last five seconds in an open competition).

Re:I for one... (1)

Azari (665035) | more than 7 years ago | (#20029895)

It has nothing to do with whether a game is good or bad, balanced or unbalanced. I am saying that (to my mind, at least) using gaming as a spectator sport has the potential to encourage two things above all others: eye candy and head to head multiplayer. While this in itself is good in that it could encourage both publishers and authors in the direction of decent testing and quality control, I think it would be to the detriment of other game genres. The more media attention that gets put the game industry's way, the less they seem to be inclined to be creative (rather than jumping on the latest realistic-physics-pixel-shaded-$world_conflict_of_ the_moment-multiplayer-only yawnfest bandwagon).

Re:I for one... (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 7 years ago | (#20032947)

But arguing that graphics are more important than gameplay for getting a game on TV ignores just how much of an impact even minor imperfections in the gameplay will have on a competition. Of course the dumb companies will think they can make big money by releasing B-rate multiplayer titles but that won't take off because those don't work in a competition.

Re:I for one... (1)

donaldm (919619) | more than 7 years ago | (#20030955)

I am a fan of RPG's and Adventure games and I cannot see an audience watching someone play theses type of games although maybe a quick glance. For the person controlling the game I am sure if they enjoy it I know I do, but I can't imagine an audience watching someone playing Oblivion (as an example) who is just out to collect all the plants, I picture the commentary like:

"Yes he has found a blood plant and! No he could not pick it oh the humanity! Wait he has found another one and "Yes" he has picked it. Now he has found another one and "yes" he has picked it and ..... ZZZZ".

Of course the Thieves Guild quests could be more interesting. "Now audience we want absolute quiet since a great deal of concentration is required to open up this very hard lock"! "Oops he has just been apprehended by the Watch what should he do?"
1) Pay the fine?
2) Go to jail?
3) Fight?

We could go back to the first Super Mario Brothers games with - err no, how about Metroid or Zelda? well I leave those up to your imagination. As for Wii sports it may be family fun but for a large audience? :-)

Uh, yeah. (2, Insightful)

EveryNickIsTaken (1054794) | more than 7 years ago | (#20021669)

But for gaming to make it as a major-network TV sport...
Hey, I love gaming just as much as the next guy (X360 + PC here.. working on finding a Wii).. but IMHO gaming will never "make it" as a sport. It's just not entertaining enough to watch. Games are fun to play, not watch on TV.

Re:Uh, yeah. (1)

OutLawSuit (1107987) | more than 7 years ago | (#20021785)

These "mainstream" games that CBS is trying to pass off as Pro Gaming will likely not be that entertaining to watch. The entertaining games to watch people compete in will likely not see the light of day on CBS, either due to violence or how complicated they are. Like Starcraft would be a great game to watch, which they do in Korea, but it is not mainstream enough in the US for the casual viewer to even know what is really happening. Then fighting games like Marvel vs. Capcom or whatnot, most viewers could not appreciate how complicated it is to pull off those moves. Then FPS violence kind of eliminates them even though they're great to watch people compete at those. It's always good when games get positive exposure, especially with all the negative press recently, but I doubt this will catch on to CBS viewers. I've not seen a game tournament on Spike TV or ESPN so I don't know what kind of games they play at those but I'd assume any game tournament would be better off being shown on those networks. I should also mention that it bugs me that turned the WoW arena into a Pro Gaming thing. An arena team is more dependant on class makeup and gear rather than skill which I doubt most viewers will understand.

Re:Uh, yeah. (2, Interesting)

jettawu (1030820) | more than 7 years ago | (#20021979)

Maybe what those games need are mods to reduce the violence and make the gameplay easier to follow in order to gain spectators.

Specifically, most FPS games are very bloody and also take place on maps that are not designed for spectators to view the game. Soccer/Football, Baseball, American Football, etc all have large, open fields that allows the audience to view every active member of the game.

Just reducing the current games to open maps wouldn't be enough, though, as just that change on its own would make the game less entertaining I think. The gameplay would have to be modified to allow for the more open maps... as it stands, most FPS games don't have gameplay types that would be very interesting on an open map.

How to "bleep" blood (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#20022127)

Then FPS violence kind of eliminates them even though they're great to watch people compete at those.
Replace the red blood with multi-color blood, and you have digital paintball, which can easily coast through TV-14 standards and practices.

Re:Uh, yeah. (1)

drsquare (530038) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024059)

Then fighting games like Marvel vs. Capcom or whatnot, most viewers could not appreciate how complicated it is to pull off those moves.
I don't see the point, anyone interested in that sort of thing would just watch UFC or something.

Re:Uh, yeah. (2, Insightful)

prencher (971087) | more than 7 years ago | (#20021787)

Korea disagrees.

Re:Uh, yeah. (1)

jZnat (793348) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024007)

Speaking of which, are there any other widely-attended gaming tournaments in Korea besides Starcraft ones?

Oh really? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20021831)

Googled any shooter (Gears?) on Youtube recently? Ever played player versus player in room full of people, or just connected in a common chat on Xbox live? I'm guessing not. All that's needed are the ability to capture the entire match of any game and put and direct a camera anywhere anyway in it. Presto, a resolution of events resolution that no other sport can match.

Re:Uh, yeah. (4, Insightful)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 7 years ago | (#20021859)

Hey, I love golf just as much as the next guy (working on getting into a country club).. but IMHO golf will never "make it" as a sport. It's just not entertaining enough to watch. Golf is fun to play, not watch on TV.

In non-troll-speak: Sports are covered so heavily because of inertia. A few people like watching it, enough to justify coverage, and people who don't really care about them watch it because hey, it's on. I don't think gaming will be any different.

Re:Uh, yeah. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20027087)

Hey, I love golf just as much as the next guy (working on getting into a country club).. but IMHO golf will never "make it" as a sport. It's just not entertaining enough to watch. Golf is fun to play, not watch on TV.

In non-troll-speak: Sports are covered so heavily because of inertia. A few people like watching it, enough to justify coverage, and people who don't really care about them watch it because hey, it's on. I don't think gaming will be any different.

Put simply, you don't have to play golf to be able to watch and appreciate it. But video games are simply too detached from reality to bring in viewers who aren't gamers themselves.

I don't play golf myself or know much about it, but I could watch an hour on TV and pretty much figure out everything that's going on... As well as be amazed that these players are able to hit a little white ball such a distance with such precision. Same goes for most physical sports, the rules are apparent and the fact that these athletes are demonstrating physical skills beyond the average joe is easily to discern. In fact I'm pretty sure most people couldn't name half of the events in the Olympics much less tell you their rules, but they're still among the most watched events on TV simply because it's easy to see that these humans on TV is doing something that takes extraordinary ability.

Watching a video game is a completely different bag. It's so detached from reality, and the rules are so abstract, that you simply can't be impressed by someone's skill unless you yourself are very familiar with the game's intricacies. Someone "owning" on a FPS is completely meaningless if you don't understand how difficult it is to do, how this gun does this and that armor does that and so on. Even worse, a Warcraft 3v3 PVP event is just a jumble of spells, numbers and flashing lights. Hell I'm a casual warcraft player who knows quite a bit about the game, but since I don't PVP much and haven't made it anywhere near endgame I still have no idea what is going on when I'm watching 70's duel. And how do you explain why you should be impressed to the uninitiated? You certainly can't look to six people twitching their wrists on keyboards and mice for clues, and running commentary that his Felguard dispelled his Ice Shield nght before the Shadow Priest Mindflayed him is just nonsense.

There may be enough die-hard WOW players to make televised battles a success, who knows, but I can't this experiment working as anything more than a novelty. Televised Starcraft works in Korea because it's basically the national sport... As popular as WOW is here it's far from that, and further a large percentage of players have no interest in being a part of 3v3 combat much less watching it as a spectator (it's really only one small aspect of a much greater game.)

Though I should add that watching anyone play Guitar Hero could be quite entertaining (being a very social game), so that might actually work. But that's because they're putting on a show in real life, it's not all about knowing what's happening on screen..

Re:Uh, yeah. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20021987)

"It's just not entertaining enough to watch. Games are fun to play, not watch on TV."

Presumably the same can be said for every sport out there, and with possible exception of ghost riding the whip (which for some reason Wikipedia classifies as an extreme sport, though it's probably more of a self-humiliatory activity), it's really quite hard to see how each sport doesn't have qualities which make them interesting or exciting to watch, but more interesting or exciting to do. Yet people still watch these sports. Heck, people spectate games of chess even though one of us (not me of course) would claim the game is boring enough to claim in the first place. Why?

To address games first, we're not really accustomed to the idea of gaming being a sport: while multiplayer gaming is naturally competitive and structured, there are more notable competitions for these games to make them even more competitive and structured, and for the most part you can draw parallels that define it as a sport, not all gaming is or can be defined as sport, not like how recreational football and professional football both are. There are numerous problems and confusions within this including whether because there are elements out of the player's control (small or large, due to the fact that no computerised activity is ever 100% down to player skill), or because there's such variation between games. These things can be overcome, eventually, mostly through ignoring them and doing it anyway. Something businesses and entrepreneurs are particular adept at doing, whether it's a good idea or not, but you generally can't confirm it's a bad idea until it's failed miserably. Unless you're a pessemist, then everything's failed miserably. Back to the damn topic now...

There's also the issue of the audience. To answer my original question of why people play sport, at least some of the time it's because those spectators aren't capable of participating in the sport themselves. The rest of the time it's probably something to do with the celebrity ethos, and how "spectator" entertainment works as a whole: if you know of people that are highly regarded, are "professionals", or just well know, you'll want to know more about them, especially if it's due to something that interests you. It's why I've watched videos from the Pubmasters (Counter-Strike) and keep a vague eye on the profession of Band of Brothers' progression (Eve Online), but I never really bother to watch random videos of people playing CS or Halo 2 on YouTube, unless I know something interesting's going to happen. Eventually you get so many "celebrities" that the assumption growns on you that everybody involved in the activity is highly regarded, and what would otherwise be a random video is a bit more interesting, especially if you have the long-term map of a league or tournament to monitor the progression through. Sickening as it may be, it kind of explains why the first series of Big Brother had people that were interesting that became well known, and ever since anybody with an odd haircut in that show is suddenly a celeb.

For now it seems like a dumb idea. If it picks up, especially on those that usually don't play games, we'll probably become a bit more comfortable with the idea and maybe grow to like it. Especially if the shows are made entertaining beyond just watching people play the game (Pubmasters videos were good at that, but they were crazy yet capable of winning at the same time...), but some things can never be found for gaming television. It's harder to see the human factor, because you're looking at computerised graphics. You can't feel a connection to a particular person, or remember their amazing exploits, because they look like everybody else - unless they actually bring the real people into it, so you can see their faces, but the connection would still be difficult to make. There's no way for people to do interesting and unique things within the rules, usually, because they're not coded in: and the only way to produce something new that's within the rules is to force the game to do it, which is cheating anyway and kind of destroys the point.

Right now I'd rather play a game than watch it, though I do find some games interesting to watch if I'm studying it, for tactics or strategies or just generally to see how others play. That would be the other half of the equation of course (Three halves he says! Off with his head!) - besides watching chess for admiration and watching chess for consolation, you might watch it for study. For gaming to "make it" as a sport though, either gaming will have to take a step forwards and make itself worthy of watching, or business will have to take a step sideways and perform some wonderful trickery on our tiny little minds. And if it has to, it will, because it can.

Or gamers will have to actually try to learn something from the games they're playing. But really, playing games to learn? What an antiquated idea! Lets let them melt our brains instead, and turn us into mindless zombies. [Insert your preferred game development idol here, eg: Shigeru Miyamoto] would be proud...right?

At first.... (4, Interesting)

Chineseyes (691744) | more than 7 years ago | (#20022069)

I agreed with you but then I thought about when I was a child. At one of the local hangout spots there was a street fighter arcade machine where literally dozens of people would stand around for hours to watch this guy I knew in middle school kick the crap out of every person that dared to challenge him with every character there was. Just to entertain himself he would allow himself to get the crap kicked out of him on purpose until he had almost no energy left then proceed to taunt his opponent while he blocked their every move and slowly killed them.

We were all amazed as kids and enjoyed every second of it, how it will play out with adults I'm not sure; but it will only work if they can find gamers who do things that are sufficiently unique and amazing that people will want to watch for extended periods of time.

Plus people watch poker and NASCAR so anything can make it on tv.

Re:At first.... (1)

donaldm (919619) | more than 7 years ago | (#20031029)

Actually I can remember the 1970's with Defender and Donkey Kong and a good player was fascinating to watch but times do change and fighters became popular to play and watch particularly if you get a skilled player but while a 2 to 10 minute game may attract a large audience it definitely won't hold them for very long. The same is true even today.

Re:Uh, yeah. (1)

Annymouse Cowherd (1037080) | more than 7 years ago | (#20022735)

What about StarCraft?

Re:Uh, yeah. (1)

EveryNickIsTaken (1054794) | more than 7 years ago | (#20023037)

This discussion is about a US Television network, not a Korean network.

Re:Uh, yeah. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20023613)

I beg to differ, it was fun to watch even if you couldn't play. In Finland we have channel 69 sending gaming broadcasts now and then of BF2 and some other games, and I must admit they beat the other channels TV-shops easily (around ~1am to 3am).

If any of you have watched for instance T2TV (Tribes 2) with spectator, you should know it. Good spectator can make even cereal eating contest interesting... And if you can attain crowd that has experience of that game, may it be cereal eating, or playing counter strike, it just makes it more interesting for the viewer.

Re:Uh, yeah. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20027307)

Like any 'sport', if you wanna make it interesting but a couple bucks on a side.

Games on TV (5, Interesting)

Evangelion (2145) | more than 7 years ago | (#20021681)

I recall when Doom 3 came out, the QuakeCon that year webcast the matches that were being played there (some Doom3 1v1 deathmatch, as well as some Q3 CTF matches there). I was watching these on my living room TV as they were being webcast, and I kind of realized something about watching games or sports on TV -- they are only truly interesting if you know enough about the game to play it yourself.

i.e. being a Canadian, I wasn't able to avoid learning how to play hockey as a child. Not that I'm any good at it, but I know the rules, I know the point of the game, and I understand what it means when different things happen. However, I find Football (either kind, take your pick) mind numbingly boring -- because I never really played them, I haven't really internalized the rules, and don't know enough about the tactics of the game(s) to be interested in them.

Similarly, watching Q3CTF and Doom3 (especially the 1v1 matches), I really got into them because I understood what they were doing, and I could anticipate the reactions and behaviour of the competitors. The same is true with watching (PvE) WoW videos -- I get into them because I understand what's going on.

I have a feeling that's going to be the largest impediment to gaming on TV -- sports rules change very slowly, and not by very much. Even if you haven't watched NHL hockey in six years, you'd be able to sit down and clearly understand what's going on[1] within a few minutes. If someone was watching Q3 videos online six years ago, and then sat down today to watch -- umm, Halo2 or something? what are people playing these days? -- it wouldn't be even close to the same. It would be like watching an entirely new sport every few years.

[1] This does not extend to league management.

Re:Games on TV (1)

kitsunewarlock (971818) | more than 7 years ago | (#20022011)

No, the biggest problem is two-fold.

1.) Gamers have the internet. They don't need to buy cable-TV to watch these events. In the long run, it is not something to invest in.

2.) epic moments are VERY rare in video games (obviously; anyone playing WoW will tell you only once or twice a night will anything note-worthy happen, and even then its not worth mentioning more than once or twice to a friend). The odds of them happening in "professional events" are even more rare. These are the people who don't fuck up. Odds are, you'll see one MINOR thing occur (someone hits "Sinister Strike" instead of "Ghostly Strike", loses their evasion bonus and some energy-per-damage, and then the match), and it'll take the announcer 45 minutes to explain why that was such an error. But in the end, it'll pale in comparison to something some random newb posted on youtube. Because really, the best moments are with those who play the game just to have fun, not play it to have fun winning.

At least in my experience.

Re:Games on TV (2, Insightful)

Panseh (1072370) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024813)

1) I posted on this point somewhere in this thread. South Korea has two networks regularly broadcasting professional gaming matches and hosting events, full of major sponsors. They were the start of professional gaming. True fans can get it streaming, but why stream it when they can watch it with better quality on network television? Plus streaming is not a substitute for being at a finals event in person; it's like a regular sporting event with rabid fans screaming for their favorite. 2) This is true only for World of Warcraft, which is at it's core an RPG, not a skill-based game. Blizzard must strive to maintain balance for both player vs. player and player vs. environment at the same time, which does not make for an entertaining spectator game. Other games which are skill and strategy based have potential for "epic" moments, even when nobody screws up.

Re:Games on TV (1)

mdahl (1092585) | more than 7 years ago | (#20022105)

I agree with you on this, but i feel that the maps in question is a very important aspect too.

On danish television they have shown Call Of Duty 2, and Quake 4 tournament games. I have played neither game myself, but a lot of other FPS games, at a pretty high level. I fully understand concepts like spawn-camping, both players and weapon/armor spawns, and how much of an impact it will make on a game. I understand the tactics applied in team/objective based games like Call Of Duty 2/CS/MoH/ET/etc, but without knowing the maps all i can decipher from the televised games, is how good/bad people aim. A lot of the charm in team based games is simply not coming across, if you do not know the map of the match personally.

This is why i believe that FPS in it's current form will not make it on television. I *can* sit down with my dad, explain to him why that move was a deal-breaker, but he probably won't spot it himself. Hell I probably won't if I don't know the maps and general tactics applied to that map well enough.

This simply is not true for sports like soccer or ice hockey, where, regardless of having any insight, you will be able to pretty quickly determine whether or not it was a killer move or not.

I believe this is why these games where chosen however. Despite not really having a competitive community built around it to start with, as far as i know anyway.

WoW implements the fighting and supporting while remaining pretty spectator friendly. Even if you have no clue how the game is played, you cannot help but notice the massive balls of fire hitting people. That said, from a former 'hardcore' FPS player, the WoW pvp is a bit shallow, and leans, in my opinion far to much on critical strikes/resists and other luck of number moves that can significantly alter the outcome of a match.

I have played WoW from release, played it hardcore the last six months before the expansion. I do love it as a game, i just don't see it as a great competitive game with regards to pvp. It comes nowhere close the experience FPS games have giving me, especially Enemy Territory which i believe is the perfect mix of fast-paced action and teamwork.

Might be the fact that reflexes and aiming is mostly out the window with WoW, yes you do need to target players, but it's holds such a low impact on the end result. Wow pvp is a all about know the formula to deal with whatever class you come up against. It was true two years ago, it is true now. Foresight and planning about gear makes for some pre-game tactics, but thats about it. It's like Formula 1, if you have slicks on and it starts to rain, you're screwed.

Re:Games on TV (1)

fotbr (855184) | more than 7 years ago | (#20023921)

Maybe if you quit trying to compare WoW PvP to FPS, you'd be happier with it. WoW PvP was never ment to be a form of in-game FPS. Its still part of an RPG and is treated as such.

As for "It's like Formula 1, if you have slicks on and it starts to rain, you're screwed." I don't think F1 is using slicks any more. GP2 does, as does Champ and Indy. And some of those drivers CAN run slicks in the rain without issues. Point of this is car analogies almost never work on slashdot.

Re:Games on TV (1)

mdahl (1092585) | more than 7 years ago | (#20033473)

First of I'm comparing the entertainment value of the two, and why i feel WoW is worse as a competitive game than the some of the good fps games. They're pushing wow into a competitive environment, which it is not ready for. WoW pvp has never been ready for this level of competition. To many random events are pushing the results. Wrong class match-ups, gear choices, odd luck and other things can determine a match winner far to easily. And no, wrong tire choice in formula one *will* make you lose a race faster than you apparently think. It slows you down dramatically, and you will lose the race if you don't get them changed. Likewise will the wrong class/gear match-up in WoW also ruin your chances dramatically. The analogy isn't faulty.

Re:Games on TV (1)

Antony.S (813668) | more than 7 years ago | (#20030997)

Curious, was the CoD2 and Q4 you're referring to the ClanBase EuroCup 13 finals on GZTV? /I helped run that!

Extreme cynicism follows (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#20022161)

I kind of realized something about watching games or sports on TV -- they are only truly interesting if you know enough about the game to play it yourself.

Which is why state school systems mandate physical education classes that teach specific games, in order to build a market for television broadcasts of those games, so that the state can tax the sale of goods and services sold by advertisers on those broadcasts.

Re:Extreme cynicism follows (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20024013)


maybe it is because you Americans have grown so god damned fat that your government is worried that you will sink your half of the planet into the ocean, throwing off the gravitational axis of the Earth, and plunging us into the sun?

It's a real concern you know. Get the fuck off your PC once or twice a week, and find a game to play that involves MOVEMENT.

I know you'd prefer to sit in mommy's basement jerking it to conspiracy reports, but you'll be dead before you kiss a girl if you don't hit the court/rink/field fatty.

Re:Games on TV (1)

AngryJim (1045256) | more than 7 years ago | (#20022641)

I've had very similar experiences myself as a tournament paintballer. When the National Professional Paintball League (NPPL) came out with a show on ESPN, many of my friends just simply didn't get it. I took some of them out to the field with me the next week and suddenly they were glued to the screen during the next broadcast.

StarCraft in South Korea (1)

Panseh (1072370) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024669)

When the face of the top first person shooter or real time strategy game changes from year to year, it is a very difficult to garner a strong fan base.

However, in South Korea this is not the case, where since it came out in 1998, StarCraft: Brood War has been at the top of professional gaming. The OnGameNet StarLeague [] has been around broadcasting StarCraft matches since 1999 and Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation, one of the top four South Korean television networks, started it's own MBC StarLeague [] of their own around 2001. Both of these leagues are going strong thanks to their fans' love of Blizzard's creation. I am one of these fans of StarCraft pro gaming in Korea, though I don't contribute to their revenue, I follow the leagues through Team Liquid's [] coverage and watching live streams of the matches late at night on [] .

The rules of the game are critical to its excitement. Letting certain glitches be used by the players, or limiting the game's UI can make or break balance of a game. In games with unknown information, keeping players in a sound proof booth is important too. There were a few notable instances where a pro gamer was about to make a fatal move, but stopped at the last second due to the crowds reaction to the impending encounter.

It will be interesting with the advent of StarCraft 2 on the horizon whether or not Starcraft: Brood War will continue to be successful in South Korean pro gaming. Many of the gamers and commentators have said they will go where the money is. Will the fans support their tried and true game of 9 years or will they move on to its next iteration? Whatever the case, this article [] hints that with 20% of South Korea's population following E-sports, pro gaming will be alive and kicking for quite a while.

Re:Games on TV (1)

Schmiggy_JK (867785) | more than 7 years ago | (#20025007)

Actually pro gaming has been on TV for a while now, though a Direct TV exclusive along with web broadcasts: [] While I cant speak much for all their choices in games; Fifa 07, Dead or Alive 4, Project Gotham, they at least have Counter Strike: Source. Players are making, at least the starters, a 30K salary just for being drafted and playing. Even the terrible players. Hopefully this is a start of a new era in broadcasting gaming. The big key though is to make the viewers feel like they are in the game, and not just watching like a sporting event. At least that is my theory.

Re:Games on TV (1)

Das Modell (969371) | more than 7 years ago | (#20025215)

I was watching these on my living room TV as they were being webcast, and I kind of realized something about watching games or sports on TV -- they are only truly interesting if you know enough about the game to play it yourself.

I think this applies to most things. I rarely watch speedruns of games I've never played. As for sports, I can watch boxing or judo because I practise both so I know what's going on and I can appreciate it. But something like football or ice hockey just bores me to tears.

Re:Games on TV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20033041)

Suppose someone sat down six years ago and watched a Quake III match, and then sat down today and watched a Counter-Strike Source match - what would be different about it? Honestly, in the genre of FPS the only thing happening is people shooting faces (and I say that as someone who regularly wins LANs in multiple FPSes). Quake III = Railgun to face. Counterstrike (1.6 or source) = AWP to face.

RTS? Starcraft, build up, either bunker down or rush or tech fast to higher tiers anticipating their bunkering down (usually scouting for it). Wait till you have a sufficient advantage over their weakness in one of these fields, weigh your odds - then destroy them all at once. Otherwise you can play a long drawn out economy war (for resources), but normally any good RTS player is very mindful of their economy, and if not they are about to rush you with all their troops and you should be preparing for that not trying to grab nodes of whatever. Fast forward to Dawn of War: Dark Crusade today, the tactics are no different - and while anyone familiar with these games will get a lot more out of it (and be able to anticipate the result before it happens better), anyone can watch with only a minor understanding and see the outcome of Necron Warriors getting kited by Eldar Reapers and understand that for next time - what they dont know, they will learn. The tactics never changed, just the names and the pieces that do those tactics. Everyone understands a zerg rush. or even a lone arbiter dropping a whole fleet of corsairs into the midst of the enemy base.

MMO? These are the ones are very simple to understand, get all the people with red names dead before all the people with green names die. Tactics for doing that what you'd expect, focus firing one at a time, while trying to CC as many of the others as possible, or causing ordered chaos to unwaiver your opponents and sieze victory through the carnage - or heal the green names to counter the damage they take, or prevent healing on the red names. You could simplify a 3v3 MMO fight into just 6 bars of health moving up and down and people would understand and probably watch - hell people gamble on far worse odds than 50/50 all the time, all you have to do is get the people to become empathetic to one side or the other and you have them 'invested' in their victory - and that is gambling fundamentally - the premise of all television and spectator entertainment - pick a side, be a cheerleader.

Re:Games on TV (1)

bishiraver (707931) | more than 7 years ago | (#20042151)

It would be like watching an entirely new sport every few years.
Which is exactly why Starcraft has stayed as the spectator game in Korea it has - it's stable, it hasn't changed (much) in almost nine years. Even if you only played it heavily the first two years it came out, you can understand what's going on when you watch someone play it today.

Blizzard understands this, which is why they've said the basic rules and concepts are staying the same, while functionality is extended and modified to make it a more entertaining push-pull type match - especially with good players, keeping the game to under 30 minutes.

Interesting. (1)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 7 years ago | (#20021703)

Interesting that gaming on TV seems to be coming back into vogue. In the UK, we used to have a show called GamesMaster [] , which was quite fun. People would try to complete 'challenges' issued by the games master (bizarrely played by Patrick Moore [] , with a distorted head). The only one I actually remember was someone trying to complete a track on the SNES version of Mario Kart in a certain time. :-)

It was pulled because some people at the channel thought gaming on TV wasn't wanted by anyone.

fuck a b1tch (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20021707)

wow 3v3 arena? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20021729)

Is the world ready to see Staburface, Bullmeat and Nohealz of the against Loladin, Xxlegolassxx and Nooblock of ?

Re:wow 3v3 arena? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20021835)

Well, I fucked that up, there was supposed to be equally stupid team names in there. proofreading FTW.

I can see the headlines now (1)

sa1lnr (669048) | more than 7 years ago | (#20021739)

Geek sports jocks wow the girls with their 1337 wrist action and fingering skills.

Err, Sorry. Got a bit carried away there. That last bit should read "1337 mouse and keyboard skills"

They better be good..... (1)

Chineseyes (691744) | more than 7 years ago | (#20022115)

They better be good with those fingers, with the weight I see a lot of "gamers" putting on these days they won't be able to find their dick under the rolls of fat. Although with diabetes, hypertension, and ED that comes with being that fat pharmaceutical companies will probably be the biggest sponsors of the gaming channel. I can see it now.....

Don't let a 15 hour session of WOW get in the way of a 45 second romp with your gaming groupies. Cialis it will be there.....when the moment is right.

another worthles bullshit channel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20021743)

that will do nothing more than help inflate my TV bill...WE NEED ALA-CARTE NOW GOD DAMN IT

biz8at3h (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20021875)

sux0r stat#us, *BSD

Sports? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20022041)

I guess it's as much of a sport as poker or extreme ironing on the ESPN.

Horrible game line up. (3, Insightful)

ejito (700826) | more than 7 years ago | (#20022137)

Guitar Hero II, Fight Night and World of Warcraft
Guitar hero is not really a competitive game, as players are really just playing against a preset sequence, not eachother. It's impressive for a while, but it's more similar to rodeo than head to head competition. Fight Night is hardly competitor quality, especially for a fighting game. I'm assuming it's on the list because of corporate meddling. They could've at least chose a fighting game actively played in leagues, like Super Smash Brothers. World of Warcraft is not balanced enough nor does it have the gameplay for competitive PVP. PVP might be fun, but at a competitive level, class imbalance (which rotates every patch), UI modding, combat skills (especially engineering), terrain imbalance (no projectile clipping), and itemization all play a large factor at an advanced level. Blizzard can make very competitive RTS, but WoW just isn't even close to that caliber.

Re:Horrible game line up. (1)

Twiceblessedman (590621) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024025)

Agreed, it would've been a lot more interesting to see Smash Brothers or any other competitive fighting game.

Re:Horrible game line up. (1)

ImaLamer (260199) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024097)

When I saw Guitar Hero listing I thought one thing: David Letterman might have something to do with this. Seth Rogan was on the show once and they both got to talking about Guitar Hero and it turns out David Letterman plays! I know that Letterman is involved somewhat with CBS programming, so maybe he mentioned something like this to Les Moonves over dinner and now it's on TV?

Sure, it's just a theory - but don't you think that would be the source rather than the advice of some CBS intern. "If Dave likes this stuff and he's older, maybe the audience is bigger than we thought." In fact being that Guitar Hero and WoW are featured I'd bet that the whole show is geared towards us older gamers.

Re:Horrible game line up. (1)

SteelWheel (769945) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024583)

I agree--concept is interesting (if a bit niche), but game selection is terrible. I'm not that much of a gamer (have a Wii, my first console in years)--but the best way to do this would be to play Halo in one of those "Slayer" PvP (or 2Pv2P) modes, either to a preset score, or for a preset time. Like I said, I don't own an Xbox myself--but I assume there has to be some sort of way to set up an extra omnisicient "camera" that can move all through one of these battlezones, jumping around from place to place as the action dictates. That would be interesting to watch--on the few occasions I've played Halo, I've had trouble keeping track of what is "ahead" of me and what's "behind". If I could watch two other good players play, and observe from "outside" what was happening, I might even become excited enough to pick up a 360 myself.

Re:Horrible game line up. (1)

metroid composite (710698) | more than 7 years ago | (#20043549)

As someone who plays Smash, it's a hard game to appreciate if you don't know what's going on. At the basic level, even some game reviewers don't get the concept:

The concept seems elementary, but after testing the game for easily over 20-hours, I still am confused by the play. There is no rhyme or reason for a knockout, and delivering that "final blow" can be done in 10-seconds or 10-minutes. Probably the biggest flaw within SSBM is the complexity in simplicity.

Many times I have started off the game, and in a few seconds the game is over. Sometimes the screen is nothing short of a cluster bomb, and was clueless on what happened. On the other side of the ball, the complete opposite has happened. I've beaten my opponent into the red with over 200% damage, and still sometimes can't pull the Mortal Kombat and "finish him". There are a handful of moves that deliver this "final" blow, and many times I'll knock the guy a mile but he still reappears.
(Taken from this review [] ). Once you understand the basics you can certainly appreciate a high level match (though even there it was a while before I recognized and appreciated stuff like wavedashing and SHFFLing. For that matter, I learned how to wavedash myself long before something clicked into place and I recognized stuff like wavelanding--though like I say it's not necessary to recognize these in order to appreciate a high level match).

If you take a match like, say this one [] , I'm awed by the way they move, just because I have played probably thousands of hours of smash, and am impressed by the pace of the whole thing. However, given someone who doesn't remember the game too well, are you going to get that same "whoa, they move so much faster" reaction, or the "wow, they chase each other way off the edge" reaction?

By comparison, Fight Night may not be a brilliantly balanced fighter, but it does a good job of looking like televised boxing--something much less abstract than SSBM's quirky physics exploits. I can see why it would appeal to a Television producer. I don't see it drawing ratings year after year (unlike, say, televised Starcraft in South Korea) I don't think it will have the lasting depth. But I can see why they would use it over more hardcore games when testing the waters--the rules are clear, being basically the rules of boxing. The graphics are really pretty, and not abstract-gamey.

Re:Horrible game line up. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20049743)

Having watched the WSVG tournament for 3v3 WoW, you should know that people don't play their own characters. Everyone has the ability to play any class they want, premade with all pvp items suitable for that class. There's no engineering, you get unlimited money to respec any way you want.

In this situation its very balanced and somewhat entertaining to watch in the WSVG.

Not sure how they figure this is a first (1)

Scooter (8281) | more than 7 years ago | (#20022317)

xleagueTV - [] a channel dedicated to gaming, regularly show pro-gaming matches (on a show called "The Match").

They also managed to find some people to discuss the match in the studio who actually have an idea what they're talking about - although it is sometimes a bit cringing when they're winging it. Regular contributors involve various pro-team managers and sponsors, and developers.

It's not perfect, but I do find I can actually be entertained by watching people play games like Quake 4, Forza and gears of war, although the players move in a stilted way on console FPS games due to the limitations of the controllers which makes spectating a bit harder.

The parts which don't really work are interviewing the players after the match - most of them seem to struggle to string a sentence together - but then, they're young kids mostly, and they're not there to be witty - I've always wondered why sports shows in general, interview the athletes so much - they're just not talkers. Mind you, the dumb questions don't help: "What's your plan then?" well he's not going to tell everyone his tactics is he, which leaves the obvious answers like "er.. score more points than the other guy?"

They also seem to take the video feed direct from the player's PC, and most fast FPS players have all the eye candy turned off - great for playing, but not so pretty to watch. A spectator view would be better on a dedicated machine with all the prettiness turned up.

It's on channel 279 on Sky.

Demographics? (3, Funny)

paleo2002 (1079697) | more than 7 years ago | (#20022441)

My first thought when I looked at the article was "What the heck is this doing on CBS!?!" Sure, its wonderful that they're trying to mainstream the competitive side of video games and that the event involves a variety of games (with a noticeable absence of an RTS). But, why in the name of Tassadar are they running this on CBS?

Let's see . . . CBS is best known for its half-dozen procedural crime dramas, an investigative news magazine whose trademark is a device many video gamer players have never seen in real life (a mechanical stop watch), and for being partnered with AOL: your parents' internet. The target demographic for CBS is upper-middle-class 40+ professionals who are getting ready to bury their parents. Ever watch CBS in the morning (The Price is Right, Sunday Morning)? Count how many commercials they run for life insurance, death insurance, investment/retirement firms, and luxury cars. Oh, and Country Music, we can't forget how much CBS loves the soundtrack of the heartland.

Running a video game competition on CBS is like running something educational on FOX. And, no, Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader does not count. And I just can't wait for the running commentary.

"Wow Jane, video games have really come a long way since Pac-Man and Pong!"

"I agree Scott. Hey, do you think the winners will get their prize money in quarters?"

Where is it airing? (1)

Jeruvy (1045694) | more than 7 years ago | (#20022863)

I just checked my locale and could not find it. Someone have more info on where it's airing?

Re:Where is it airing? (Not in Utah) (1)

RobK (24783) | more than 7 years ago | (#20023061)

It's strange how such a "high profile" launch with good sponsors doesn't manage to get airtime. My Tivo reports that despite a 3 hour block of PGA Golf - there are no other sports on.

But I can get almost three hours of "Paid Programming"

Not exactly a ringing local endorsement.

Re:Where is it airing? (3, Informative)

Tetrad_of_doom (750972) | more than 7 years ago | (#20023335)

It is playing in Boston on Sunday at noon (ET). The title of the post is incredibly misleading.

Game devs... make competition versions.... (1)

foniksonik (573572) | more than 7 years ago | (#20023081)

Game developers should be making special versions of the games that include multiple camera angles and support for remote control of those cameras.

Imagine a 1 on 1 combat game with head cams, fist cams, low angle shots, birds eye view shots, etc.

Currently games are set up to maintain the challenge for the gamer but few provide support for spectators. This will be easy to work around with MMOG type games, just set up extra players around the arena and use their views... but for games that are more traditional, well the view that's best for the gamers is rarely the best for the spectators.

Re:Game devs... make competition versions.... (1)

porpnorber (851345) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024621)

Since there's no huge need for gaming broadcasts to be live, this could be beautiful. All you need is a log of the match. You can then do the cinematography in post-production, as it were. Indeed, with a little help from the vendor, you could generate the final footage with enhanced visuals on a rendering farm, and it could look like film.... Seriously, it has the potential to blow away real world sports, as a viewer experience.

Re:Game devs... make competition versions.... (1)

Ponzicar (861589) | more than 7 years ago | (#20025607)

The excitement of seeing the action as it's unfolding shouldn't be underestimated. The Superbowl can also be edited and released at a later date, but you'd be crazy if you think people wouldn't prefer to watch the live broadcast.

Re:Game devs... make competition versions.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20028083)

You can then do the cinematography in post-production, as it were. Indeed, with a little help from the vendor, you could generate the final footage with enhanced visuals on a rendering farm, and it could look like film.

That, my friend, is an awesome idea.

Apparently not all CBS stations think it tv-worthy (1)

bigbigbison (104532) | more than 7 years ago | (#20023403)

I just looked at the guide for my local CBS station. You know what it has on at noon? Infomercials. Apparently they think they can make more money showing infomercials than videogaming...

Re:Apparently not all CBS stations think it tv-wor (1)

cashman73 (855518) | more than 7 years ago | (#20025283)

The local CBS affiliate out here in the Phoenix, AZ, market isn't showing this, either. Instead, they started their programming at 9 AM MST (NOON EDT) with some kid's show called Cake, followed by a DDR tournament from 9:30-10 (ok, we're getting closer, but still not on target to the slashdot article), then a rerun of Rocky III from 10-12, and the Canadian Open golf tournament all afternoon.

Still, not like I really care too much about video game tournament coverage. I'm guessing that they'll most likely be studying from the same lesson plans on this that was used by G4, meaning that it'll pretty much suck,...

The main reason that we don't see much video game tournament coverage on television is because it's not designed for that type of passive media. Video games, by nature, are supposed to be interactive. The vast majority of television viewers don't want to watch some overly pimple-enladen teenage punk playing some video game; we'd rather play the game ourselves. Sure, there some watching going on; you watch during a two player game while your buddy makes his/her moves, or you might watch someone to gain skills, and such. But the real entertainment value of video games comes from the interactive part.

If CBS really wanted to get some bang for its advertising dollar out of airing video games on its airwaves, do something really creative with the games, like the Red vs. Blue guys [] , or these WoW addicts [] ,...

Re:Apparently not all CBS stations think it tv-wor (1)

bigbigbison (104532) | more than 7 years ago | (#20028115)

That's the Saturday lineup. This is going to be on Sunday. I made that mistake at first too. Unfortunately my local affiliate still isn't showing it. Oh well. I'm sure someone will put it online somewhere if I really want to see it.

one word (1)

mistermiyagi (1086749) | more than 7 years ago | (#20023835)


The listed Day is incorrect.... (1)

Schpyduh (1134113) | more than 7 years ago | (#20023929)

After checking my local TV listings in the US, it appears that CBS will be airing the episode on Sunday---not Saturday. sunday, Sunday, SUNDAY at the Colliseum...seum...seeum

geeks (1)

Is0m0rph (819726) | more than 7 years ago | (#20024545)

And the geeks shall inherit the Earth... cue 2112

The linked article sucks (0, Offtopic)

LocalH (28506) | more than 7 years ago | (#20025053)

They don't even know how to caption their photos correctly - the man pictured on the left is Freddie Wong, not David Briers aka wuLFe.

Re:The linked article sucks (1)

LocalH (28506) | more than 7 years ago | (#20029197)

Offtopic? OFF FUCKING TOPIC? What I wrote DIRECTLY regards the linked article, how could it be any MORE on-topic?

I think /. need meta-meta-moderation to counteract trolls in metamod.

wtf is with those games? (1)

sentientbrendan (316150) | more than 7 years ago | (#20027603)

None of those are games that are played competitively... I mean, common, guitar hero? World of warcraft? There's nothing impressive about being good at world of warcraft... it's just sad.

The only games that are really played competitively are starcraft, warcraft 3, and counterstrike. Why the hell not cover those? They already have huge tournaments...

Lousy game selection... (1)

hitmanWilly1337 (1034664) | more than 7 years ago | (#20027993)

You want a good game for competitive play? How about UT? Its whole premise is that its a competition to begin with. The only problem with it that I see is that it might be a little bit too fast for the unitiated to follow.

Need to standardize on one game/map for years (1)

Retired Replicant (668463) | more than 7 years ago | (#20030913)

Sports in real life do not change their playfields or rules very much (if at all). Because the game and playfield do not change over time, viewers get to know the nuances of strategy. To some extent this is what happened in Korea with Starcraft. Starcraft is an old game and by sticking with it year after year, even though newer games with better graphics were available, it gave viewers a chance to get to know the nuanced strategies and gameplay styles of particular players. In the US, there has been a lack of focus when televisimg videogame competition and no standardization on a particular game. Instead, broadcasters simply go for whatever is the most popular game (hence CBS's choice of WoW and Guitar hero of all things) in a given year, and then switch games completely the next year. The other problem I see is with trying to get people interested in watching videogames of real sports. Why would anyone want to watch Fight Night or Madden when they could watch real boxing or real football?

I didn't like it. (1)

MaWeiTao (908546) | more than 7 years ago | (#20037929)

I think we're a long way off from professional gaming. I don't think they're at a point yet where they can be enjoyed from the sidelines like any real life sport. There's a dynamic that's missing.

I think real sports are able to transcend the game itself. There are countless minute variables that affect the game and players. The players have real emotion. They suffer from exhaustion, injury, frustration. There's the interplay between players. There's weather, wind, the grass itself. There's a whole world outside of that particular game. At the same time nearly all sports are relatively easy to relate to and it's simple enough to follow what's happening.

By chance I happened to catch that pro gaming event on CBS and I watched gamers compete in all three of the listed games. All I took from the boxing game was how EA did a fairly good job of texturing but how animations were awkward and jerky.

I've played World of Warcraft and bit and watching those guys compete I had no idea what the hell was going all. All I saw where characters running around towards and away from each other, lights flashing, numbers floating up from these character's heads and the camera wilding spinning around at times. I'd see these numbers popping up but no change in the HP bars at the bottom of the screen. All this would be punctuated by the view of some guy being defeated.

The Guitar Hero competition was exceedingly embarrassing to watch. These two dorks were up there with plastic toy guitars but somehow managed to convince themselves they were rock n roll gods. And as if it weren't lame enough one guy decides he's going to be cool and smash his guitar. I can't imagine very many people think that's cool enough.

Now, this isn't to take anything away from these games. Guitar Hero 2 is an awesome game. But it's an awesome game played in a living room with friends. Not on stage or worse, televised.

Most games today just don't translate well to television. They're difficult to follow, there's no realistic way for a produce to properly convey the action and be able to choose quickly enough what events should be focused on. And games are still too scripted and actions too limited for them to work as a spectator sport on a large scale. Even car racing games, which are closest to the real thing are still lacking.

I also think that when we finally have a game that can be successfully turned into a spectator sport they're going to have to adhere to a very rigid set of rules to ensure consistency. We can't have it like it is now where with each new version and update things change drastically. Well, it can be done, but then you're looking at exhausting extensive resources to ensure proper balance.

When it came down to it the game struck me as advertising punctuated by a bunch of guys playing games that were no fun to watch at best and downright embarrassing at worst.

It wasn't all that bad. (1)

Blackwulf (34848) | more than 7 years ago | (#20038247)

I checked it out today, and you know what, I didn't think it was all that bad. CBS treated it with respect and gave a good primer on the game. The way they portrayed the games were both exciting and informative to those of us that knew the games. The commentators they had knew the games and were able to provide insight. They ran a good vignette of WoW terminology for the WoW section, and even popped up definitions for terms that people may not know.

I was pleasantly surprised with the respect they gave the medium, and hope it continues.

different people different choices (1)

OldZombie (921225) | more than 7 years ago | (#20040865)

I agree about CBS not being the most optimum choice for a channel given its demographic etc. but maybe this is the channels way of changing its image and try and appeal to a more younger audience...notice the use of the word "try" how far they are successful will depend on how good the coverage is how comfortable they can make the average user feel about the game in question and more importantly how knowledgeable the guys (girls) are who present the event and their ability to convert gaming terms and expressing them in layman terms! An example of that is I watch my nephew play online turn based Pokemon game the graphic are just still 2D images and all the battles take place in the head of my nephew but he gets great joy out of beating the opposite trainers Pokemon's and rule the gym etc. I don't know much about the Pokemon culture (Should I be embarrassed?) but when he explained to me I realized how it could lead to the same cycle the way WOW has level up (not just in numbers but factions etc.) get good gear fight better monsters - rinse lather repeat. But the question is would showing those still images make for good TV viewing? NO!

This is America we're talking about (1)

edraven (45764) | more than 7 years ago | (#20049395)

If you put it on television, people will watch it. I had a linux machine connected to the TV when I was experimenting with creating a media center. My friends would sit and watch the apt-get show.
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