As popular as watching poker or racing on television has become, there is a new entry in the professional sports world coming to your television. The MLG - Major League Gaming - has a deal with the USA networks to air videogame competition from a host of cities in a series of playoffs meant to determine the champion gamers, with some $800,000 plus in winnings possible.
More here, where observers note:
"The good players and quirky personalities are certainly out there," said gaming expert Michael Goodman, a Yankee Group analyst who noted that video-game competitions already draw big TV audiences in Asia. "It's like the 'World Series of Poker' -- no one would have thought that people want to watch a bunch of people sitting around a table playing cards, but it has become very popular."
And I'll gladly admit it - I've been a videogamer ever since the ancient times of Atari and Commodore 64s. (Yes, I played Pong, too.) My PS2 has provided not only goofy and entertaining fun, it's also brought some truly intense challenges and experiences mentally and physically via a host of games too numerous to mention. Today's gamers can choose from almost every level of game experience - 3-D realities, racing, historic war games, alien encounters, board games, on-line role-playing and on and on.
In addition to the rise of degreed study programs available and the high level of computer engineering available for tomorrow's game designers, there are some deep studies on the nature of videogames via such web sites as Ludology.org. A study of theory and a clearinghouse for the philosophy of this media are offered, with info from Christian gamers to the current round-up of political games where you run for office, the site is a regular stop for gamemakers, players and designers.
What would a game be without a corresponding Philosophy? Not a game, certainly.