I’m glad to see var1ables take the local scene discussion and run with it a bit.
I grow up in a growing city in southern California. Together with a neighboring city there is a total population of 203,000 people in this city, most of them young. And by young i mean middle school-high school-college age. Some of my fondest memories in middle and high school was going to local LAN centers and playing counter-strike with my friends. Playing tournaments, and just pug a lugging was great fun.
But the major problem with this is the simple fact that these LAN centers either moved or went out of business, or made the cost to play at them so high which a person of the gaming age range simply can’t afford it.
Yup, LAN centers around these parts simply haven’t had staying power, and that’s a shame. X3O was the only one local to me, and they’ve called it quits, at least for the time being.
I’m now curious the proportion of gamers that now use laptops as their main gaming rigs (as I do) and would be able to easily forgo the LAN center and congregate anywhere they see fit – Starbucks, libraries, parks, community centers; at the very least the laptop gamer has to be more common than they might have been even five years ago…
However national leagues with regional teams in each league seems completely feasible. Now that the average game of a gamer is in the 30’s and from the look of the average pro gamer is about 18 the ability for the people to get up and move. Gaming mobility if you will.
Didn’t get around to it in the podcast, but this is kinda phase G or H in the overall scheme of things; way off in the distance. I think, first and foremost, gamers need to revisit the notion of community building in their own backyard. This used to exist to an extent in a few spots around the country back in 1.6’s heyday last decade. I didn’t mean to suggest that such a thing could exist on a widespread scale nation-wide right away, but I’m sure that in denser population areas, Starcraft players could find themselves with a decent group of fellow players all within a short drive of each other. Socialization is a key component of any sport; we shouldn’t forget this simply because the in-game ladder system can deliver an even match in under a minute, anytime, day or night.