Friday, 24 February 2012

What is The Point of Esports Journalism?

The perceived purpose of general journalism is to inform and educate people about the news.  For sports coverage, the goal is largely the same but with obviously different subject matter.  You might assume that esports journalism should be the same, and it should.

So why do we so often receive evangelical pieces about how awesome esports is, aimed at an apathetic or straight-up antagonistic audience?  In the past ten years i have seen dozens of such pieces - i even read some of them - and they all seem to serve the same purpose: look how awesome competitive gaming is.  The latest attempt from Slasher (a serial offender) is no different and has so far been met with the same level of "meh" that all the rest have been.

Lets be clear: Slasher is generally a good guy, and his heart is in the right place.  Getting a "real job" with a mainstream gaming website is something he should be rightfully proud of.  But he of all people should know that preaching to the mainstream audience is waste of time and effort on several levels.  Firstly, they don't care.  Look at the comments:

"No. Sorry. I've tried watching people play videogames on TV before and it is lame"

"I don't know anyone, anywhere, who watches the matches, the ones I have watched are boring..."

Secondly, trying to spread the good news about esports might seem like a venerable goal, but when do we get to the point where we say fuck it: they don't want us and we don't need them?  For me, that came a long time ago.  We absolutely don't need them.  Why not concentrate on improving what we have?  Instead of looking out to a hostile world, why not try looking inwards and fixing the problems we already have?  That makes a lot more sense to me.

Slasher has been around as long as i can remember; he should know all of this.   If i didn't know better i might even think he was just doing it for the paycheck (they are highly sought after in esports journalism, that wasn't a dig).  If he genuinely thinks he can convert people to some kind of esports crusade, well, more fool him.  I just hope his next article for Gamespot isn't so horrendously fluffy.

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