Tag Archives: world cyber games

The Mind Sport Debate

MIND SPORT: Should competitive gaming be considered as an internationally recognised mind sport in South Africa?

THERE was a lot of talk and debate towards the end of last year about 2011 being “the year of eSports”. The central debate in a South African context was whether or not competitive gaming should be recognised and treated as an international mind sport in our country.

Electronic sport, or mind sport, falls into the category of non-physical competition. Competitive gaming is the fastest growing mind sport, and there currently exist several leagues and tournaments word-wide whereby gamers compete at amateur, semi-professional and professional levels.

With a steady increase in the number of competitive gamers across genders and cultures, the mind sport debate revolves around the idea of classifying network gaming as an official national sport and treating and covering it in the same manner as existing sports such as rugby and cricket.

It’s a misnomer that ‘real’ sport is physical and sweaty and demands an impressive display of physical prowess. With most sports being based on warlike principles, it’s often forgotten that quick wit and strategy play an integral part in most of the sports we love. And let’s face it – not everyone is cut out for the gym or has the impressive build of Os du Randt.

Consider chess, poker, pub quizzes, crossword contests and poetry slam as competitive mind sports. These all require quick wit, intellectual talent and creativity without the need to physically tackle opponents to the floor. And if you think that gaming is mindless finger-clicking, competitive gaming demands huge amounts of quick thinking, strategy, and above all, teamwork.

The World Cyber Games

World Cyber Games

The World Cyber Games, which began in 2000, initially consisted of 174 competitors from 17 different countries with a total cash prize of $20 000. In 2006, 700 competitors from 70 different countries fought for the cash prize of $462 000 (Wikipedia. Image: erodov.com).

The good news is that African countries are gradually getting on board and gearing up to compete internationally. Mind Sports South Africa (MSSA) is currently driving inter-school gaming leagues and organised the first official gaming test match between South Africa and Namibia last month.

According to an interview with the president of MSSA, Colin Webster, published on ITWeb, “One of the key highlights this year is the fact that MSSA is in talks with local government to organise a national e-sports LAN event that will have the same stature as a national sporting event. Gamers from all over the world will be able to test their skills against South African gamers.”

Unfortunately, for South African gamers to compete on a global scale and participate in the major leagues held in Europe, Korea and the United States, politics need to come into play. In order to compete internationally, gaming (as well as any sport) need to meet a certain set of criteria. There are good reasons for these, but when we consider that hi-tech sports such as gaming are ever-evolving with technology, perhaps we need to consider having such criteria updated as well.

The central issue is that for any sport to qualify and be able to compete at an international level, it needs to be accessible to everyone. Every government school has a sports closet full of soccer balls and cricket bats and there are real efforts to offer the same to rural schools around the country.

However, now that we are undoubtedly living in the digital age, it is also becoming compulsory for all schools to have computers and internet access. That’s all it takes to set the stage for competitive gaming tournaments. Learners could even opt to participate in network gaming during their lunch breaks. I’d guarantee that you wouldn’t have to twist any arms to get learners interested.

Mind Sport Growth and Revenue

There is also the opportunity to make a decent living from competitive gaming. The World Cyber Games held in South Korea every year sees a huge flow of revenue from sponsorship and advertising – not to mention the marketing value that top, individual gamers gain by proving their skills. As existing tournaments have shown, large technology and PC corporations are more than willing to play their part and offer sponsorship and support.

To put the growth and interest of competitive gaming into perspective, the World Cyber Games, which began in 2000, initially consisted of 174 competitors from 17 different countries with a total cash prize of $20 000. In 2006, 700 competitors from 70 different countries fought for the cash prize of $462 000 (Wikipedia).

I sincerely hope that competitive gaming gets the attention and coverage it deserves within the realm of mind sport. As an ardent gamer, I believe that having games pushed and played to their limits by professionals will improve the quality of existing and future games as well as associated technologies.

Furthermore, it’s a chance for people to engage with the latest technology, a chance to bring together people with similar interests, to team-build, to profit off all the advertising possibilities, and to show the rest of the world that South Africa has what it takes to compete globally in the realm of quick wit and real time strategy.

Mind sport links:
2011: The Year of eSports
Africa gears up for e-sports

All the rAge right now


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Really Awesome Gaming Expo: If you feel like an adrenalin-fuelled weekend full of fun, intrigue, adventure and ‘skop skiet en donner’, then rAge is without a doubt the place to be

THE annual rAge expo, which takes place in Johannesburg from the 3rd to the 5th of October at the Coca-Cola Dome in Northgate, is back for the 6th year in a row, and is in a league of its own as South Africa’s coolest interactive technology and gaming expo.

This year visitors can look forward to new game and product launches, competitions, prize giveaways and amazing specials.

The event is looking to be a weekend extravaganza set to whet the appetite of anyone from Sandton yuppies looking for the latest in gadgets, to avid gamers interested in everything from the hottest games to taking part in the many competitions happening throughout the weekend.

Gamers will have to battle it out against each other in a
Call of Duty 4 spectacular like never before!

call of duty 4

This year you can expect to find the following thrilling games, competitions, launches and lots more (courtesy of The Lime Envelope):

•Intel South Africa is the headline sponsor for the South African qualifier of DreamHack – an internationally renowned competition. Gamers will have to battle it out against each other in a Call of Duty 4 spectacular like never before, set to test the skills of even the most talented gamers.

Intel will also be launching the Intel Soccer Challenge 2008 – South Africa’s first-ever online soccer game which is sure to intrigue soccer and gaming fans alike.

•To gamers, the World Cyber Games is considered to be the Olympics of gaming events, and this year rAge will play host to the South African final of the competition, with the Grand Final event set to take place in Cologne Germany between the 5th and 9th of November 2008.

Thirty players will compete against each other on Saturday the 4th of October for the ultimate prize – a once in a lifetime opportunity to compete against the worlds best in Germany at the end of the year.

•Visitors can look forward to experiencing innovation like never before at the HP Experience stand. Pioneering new products such as Touchsmart — a computer which allows you to interact with the computer screen through the use of touch technology, and Voodoo — a genuine power gaming machine, will all be on display and for sale at the stand.

Megarom will be bringing two international developers from both the Far Cry 2 development team as well as the End War team, who will be talking to the public at rAge at scheduled intervals throughout the weekend. Visitors can also look forward to a Guitar Hero III competition running on the Megarom Interactive, MTN Loaded and Xbox 360 stage.

•Gadget geeks, action fanatics and would-be-babe magnets will be the focus of Coke Zero with their From Zero to Hero competition. Visitors stand a chance to win spectacular prizes including four Coke Zero FMX bikes, four PS3 consoles, PS3 games and R100 000’s worth of Sony products.

•Become the life of the party this year and keep your friends entertained for hours on end with the new games on offer from Xbox 360. Look forward to exciting new games such as Lips – where your living room transforms into your stage, and You’re in the Movies – the first and only game of its kind to literally transport friends and family into the magical world of cinema.

CTT Computers will have technology freaks watering at the mouth this year when they showcase the first ever Microsoft Home Server available to South Africans. Not only will this operating system be for sale at the expo, but one lucky visitor will win one of these truly brilliant operating systems.

There’s no doubt that this years expo will have something for everyone, whether you’re a casual gamer or just interested in finding out about new computer gadgets on the market – rAge has something for you!

•Ticket prices are R40 per person per day, or R60 for a weekend pass.

For more information on rAge visit:
rAge 2009 plans
www.rageexpo.co.za

Related articles: • g.O.dGaming…an Olympic sport?

Gaming… an Olympic sport?

Running, swimming and weight-lifting are all sports that instantly come to mind when thinking about the Olympics. Video games, on the other hand, don’t generally feature on this list. However, a recent drive by the Global Gaming League (GLL) wants to see this change. Ted Owen is behind this push and was aiming to get the ‘sport’ introduced at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

According to Owen,”People aren’t watching the Olympics anymore. You need to bring younger viewers back if you want to keep making money. To do that you need to embrace non-traditional sports.”

Michael James, Editor of NAG, SA’s leading gaming magazine says,

“While most sports focus on physical prowess, few recognise mental agility. This is where video games can bridge the gap. The gaming community is populated by some of the most competitive and motivated individuals, willing to invest heavily in training and the top-of-the-range products, in order to become the best of the best.”

According to Morris – Director of content development for CNNMoney.com, competitive gaming plays a major role in Asian culture, with the Chinese industry alone estimated to top US$2 billion annually by 2010. This popularity is what drove the GGL to seek approval from the Chinese Government first before going to the IOC.

The Olympics hasn’t seen a demonstration sport since 1992, and there has been no indication from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that they are revising this decision. Nevertheless, it is Owen’s perception that

“The only reason they haven’t done an exhibition sport in the past several years is no one has brought a good one to them.”

Gaming seems to be all the rAge right now
The annual rAge Expo is the perfect place to decide for yourself whether competitive gaming is worthy of inclusion in the Olympics as a sport. Samsung will be playing host to the SA National Final of the World Cyber Games, which is a global tournament in which nearly one million players from around the world compete against each other for the title of world champion in separate events.

The SA finalists will join over 700 players from 74 countries in Cologne, Germany in November to take part in the eighth annual WCG Grand Final event.

The rAge exhibition is also packed with hot new games to play and loads of cool computer and gaming kit to buy. Set to take place at the beginning of October this year, the really Awesome gaming expo appeals to anyone who’s into the fun side of technology.

For more info on rAge visit:
www.rageexpo.co.za
All the rAge right now