Hi fellow nerds and non-nerds!
For our paper we, Joel and Max, wanted to take an in-depth look into the global culture that has been born around games. By games we mean computer games and videogames and all that’s around the subject. In our essay we wanted to take a look upon some of the more outstanding parts that are involved in gaming. We then wanted to define them and see how they contributed to the culture as a whole.
Except that, we also wanted to see how wide spread the culture is and how it developed into a global community that’s born a huge industry based on just games. More specific we wanted to see what parts of the more outstanding gaming subjects that have rooted itself in our daily life. Firstly we wanted to look at Sweden, since we live there, and see what parts of gaming that our nation and citizens appreciate the most. Secondly we wanted to look at eastern Asia and see how gaming has made a difference in some of the most successful countries of gaming, Japan and South-Korea. In the following text you will find these subjects presented one by one with some added reflections of our own.
One of the things we looked upon was the concept of virtual reality, second life. People all around the world connect to the internet on a daily basis just to enter a game and live their second life in a global community. Things like RPG (role playing games) where you take the role as an avatar that you’ve created with a different identity then yours. Through these means like games such as World of Warcraft (from Blizzard Entertainment) with 12 million active subscribers around the world that forms a virtual society. The norms and values are different and based on the game and its rules as well as the social practices. What is right and wrong morally and legally can really distinguish itself from the real world. This global society forms the people that take part of the game and spreads these means outside the game into the real world. We must accept this form of living as a new special culture no different than any other.
The second thing we wanted to oversee was the term E-sports. Is it possible to sport through the means of a game and how does it affect the gaming culture. Competing in games is no different than competing in other sports at all. Maybe it’s not the physical capacity of the players that matter but the factor of skill, strategy and a fast working mind contributes and forms a winning concept. You might as well see similarities between E-sports and things such as Chess or perhaps Bridge. Nowadays there are people that make a living as professional players such as a professional baseball player would. There are money and experience to be gathered from different tournaments all over the world. This opens up for a whole new market with sponsoring, prices and contribution to the audience of the sport. E-sports are quite popular, especially in South-Korea, and many people want to be able to watch E-sports being broadcasted. In fact there are TV channels and live streams that focus on these things. For instance, MLG (Major league gaming) in North America is broadcasting different tournaments from time to time, and in South-Korea there are TV channels just for the means of E-sports. And because all is connected to the internet live streams with commentators from different nations are a common sight on the internet nowadays. So the whole concept of E-sports forms a new market, a new interest and a new form of showing off to the society.
In Sweden we found that the gaming culture is sort of an underground movement that’s growing over time. We don’t find it so common and games don’t really influence our society on a remarkable basis. Still there are some exceptions where games are noticed by the country. Events like Dreamhack, a massive LAN-party (Local area network), with over 10 000 visitors each time, makes an outstanding mark on our ordinary thoughts. People don’t realize that there actually is an underground movement such as gaming and they begin to open their eyes to the fact that it’s growing. Sometime we will get involved and from what we know, there is much to learn and many benefits to take from the concept of the gaming culture.
We found that in the nations of Japan and South-Korea it’s actually E-sports that is the main “thing” of gaming culture. And because these countries are classed as techno-cultures the means for gaming to take place is remarkable. Japan for instance is the homeland of several huge gaming companies, Nintendo, Capcom and Namco just to name a few. Because of this gaming had it easy to root itself and become a part of the everyday life. In South-Korea, professional players are often viewed as celebrities just because E-sports are so huge. The thing is so popular that the RTS game (real time strategy) Starcraft, from Blizzard as well, has become the national sport of South-Korea. Yes it’s true!
Another unique part of the gaming culture is Cosplay (costume play). Cosplay means that you dress up like a character of your choice by making/buying a costume. This phenomenon has its roots in Japan and was mainly based on Manga and Anime Characters. But since gaming in Japan is often influenced by Manga and anime gaming became a part as well. It’s not to huge outside Japan but it still exists, people all over the world are doing this and they like it.
So we can find all these parts in our everyday life and they are easily accessible because of the modern technology. All these parts share one thing, their passion for gaming and you can find all at the same place when special events like Blizzcon is arranged. Blizzcon is a remarkable example for how different parts of gaming culture comes together with tournaments, costume contests and players of the virtual reality coming together in real life. Gaming is huge and is not to be neglected. There is a culture and even possibly a nation. Taking part in this may form you as an individual to the better, take the shot and try it.