eSports in Singapore: Is it up to you or the higher powers? - GXBlog
It took one local team from Singapore to encourage many in the same country to rise up and carry the flag that says “Support eSports in Singapore because we’re ready”. Yes, I’m talking about Scythe.SG who has done us proud in the DotA 2 Championships by attaining third in a heated battle involving the world’s top 16 teams. This achievement has garnered countless blog posts and newspaper articles that either condone or condemn eSports in Singapore, or rather just videogames in general. A news article I picked up somewhere, right after the DotA 2 Championship ended, was about videogame violence and they used my name as the hypothetical antagonist. It got slightly personal for me but I shall not mention what it was exactly so as to avoid immortalizing the story.
That said, I was initially going to write something that would side those who are in favour of supporting eSports in Singapore, but I feel there is a bigger picture that we are not seeing. Now this is where I will be as honest and as forthcoming as I can. In this respect, I know I might be offending some people, I might get a little personal and I can be wrong, which I will readily stand corrected. So here goes:
Is it in us to Support Local Talent?
Alright, the first controversial question but one that’s extremely crucial to the cause. I will simply present a few questions as food for thought. What is the first thing that comes to mind if the idea of Singapore creating its own brand of cars was mentioned? Are you willing to purchase one like how we see many Proton Sagas and Wiras being purchased in our neighbouring country? Or would we stick to our dream BMWs just because we feel a German brand is better? I’m not trying to be racist, I’m simply provoking thoughts.
How often do we support our own local soccer leagues, the S-League? Personally, I’ll admit that I don’t actually watch it and call me hypocrite, but I highly doubt the WHOLE nation is actively supporting the games, and encouraging these sports men for their training and hardwork.
In retrospect, an eSports team called Scythe.SG has worked hard to fight their way into third place in the DotA 2 Championships. To drive my point, funding their trip, and taking time off wasn’t granted easily. They had to suck it up and make it happen out of their own pockets and life commitments. Now that’s determination. It would simply be sad if they do not feel that the country is behind them. In a worst case scenario here’s what can happen with that lack of support and I pray that it never happens: The team does not see a need to want to represent Singapore, since the country itself wasn’t there to support them and to cheer for their efforts. You are losing local talents right there.
It’s as good as destroying the dreams and passion of a sports athlete. If you think sports athletes are those who perspire out in the field or in the court all day, you’re wrong. You don’t see professional pool players breaking a sweat in their games, do you? Furthermore it’s torture to be sitting in a chair all day, practicing battle strategies and what not. It is as intensive as a chess player and don’t get me started on what chess players go through.
Coming back to my point, what is our mindset in regards to local talent. Would we buy a local gaming magazine just because it is made in Singapore? Would we buy a game by a local developer just to encourage them? Or are we going to shoot down all their dreams and hopes and eventually destroy our own local gaming industry?
So you bring this up to the Higher Powers.
I’m not sure if this is going to be safe to say, but the Youth Olympic Games did not turn out as awesome as planned or as we hoped. I applaud the effort for coming up with YOG, but the reports of it being overspent kind of tells you stuff I refuse to mention on this public blog.
My point being, we need to band together as gamers and take the initiative to start something out. If you truly have passion for eSports, then put that passion into action. Start being autonomous. There are many avenues to do this and there are probably quite a number of gaming organisational bodies ready. Stop asking the government because their stand on eSports from what I have seen, isn’t clear and the last thing we need is someone who’s not clear about what they want.
I’m also going to take a bold step and say that if it has anything to do about money, suck it up and make it happen. Many dreams and success stories were about people who created something out of nothing. So if you feel you have nothing and want to create something, you’re on the right path.
Violence in gaming? What is this I Don’t Even…
I highly doubt that violence was a spawn of videogames. I’m very sure that even in ancient times, violence existed. In ancient Rome, the Colosseum was an arena where real violence existed. I’m talking about real life limb dismemberment and such. Kids watched that during those times and it was meant to remind them of what will happen to them if they become a prisoner or law break of Rome.
Fastforward to a not so distant past, the television was blamed for inducing violence into kids. Then it was computer games and today, it is still computer games. I hate to burst your bubble, but in future it is going to be something else. Metal music was once blamed for undesirable behaviour and today we have clubs to blame for even more undesirable behaviour. Do you see a pattern? It is an unstoppable force of semantic change. It appears that we as humans find it easier to blame on something that we do not understand, in this case videogames. My advice to parents is to discipline your kid from young. I grew up with a mother who would cane me with a wooden rod like there was no tomorrow. She can vouch for me that I’ve never ever laid a finger on her other than to hug as her my mum. All that, coming from someone who plays videogames as his job.
If I break it down to you, there is a BIG DIFFERENCE in firing a rifle in a videogame and firing an actual firearm. I’ve been through National Service or what many would call the millitary, and I’ll admit sometimes I get a little cautious about carrying my rifle around. Just because I play videogames, that does not automatically make me an elite sniper. If that were the case, the guys from this First-Person-Shooter clan known as “BF Nut” would be commandos by now.
Whew, now that all this is off my chest, I’m off to interview Scythe.SG. Feel free to drop comments, feedback, arguments and disagreements onto the Facebook wall. Cheers.
Finally, someone who knows what he is talking about.
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