essays and pithy thoughts

the Cult of Netcode - epilogue

in down is the new up, glhf

You can be into gaming without elevating it to the level of religion. This stuff shouldn’t be dogmatic, that’s all.

The scene is buzzing at a pitch only audible to dogs, just as it had five years ago, and it’s unhealthy. It’s textbook bubble formation. Everyone’s so giddy on 2011 prospects, and are so busy frothing at the mouth while proclaiming that this year is the year, that practically nobody is thinking of what happens in 2012, or 2016. If they are, they’re picturing something along the lines of the Space Olympics. Fueled almost entirely on hype, large prize pots, and happy thoughts; how long can the scene’s trajectory this quarter sustain itself before the inevitable downward correction occurs?

While this article by @famsytron is spot on in identifying the inflationary state the scene is in, I see the problem being just as bad if not worse in the sense of the scene’s sentiments and expectations around the current growth spurt. There’s more to this equation than ‘bigger prizes good’ and ‘smaller prizes bad,’ but it requires an honest, critical examination of what’s going on, and that’s one thing that religion expressly forbids.

If you’re all-in on esports, I wish you the best, wave your flag. But what I won’t get behind is this demand for one-dimensional esports megaphones; people who turn themselves inside-out on social media and on YouTube to show that they’re nothing but esports 24/7; people who drop of out school to play video games non-stop and wear it like a badge of honor; people who leverage their entire futures against this thing. It can’t possibly find the robust growth they believe it should have, at the pace they believe it should be delivered at – and they think that it would happen if only everyone would just shut up and get in lockstep.

I still enjoy watching streams, and playing Starcraft, and cracking open some Gungame every once in a while; I got an invite to do some Starcraft commentary next month that I might actually take up. I say that becuase I’m sure at this point it’s easy to assume that I’ve gone sour on the entire ecosystem, but it’s not the case. My frustration is the lack of initiative and thought on organizing solely for the advancement of the games themselves as the vehicle for sustainable growth, and it’s pointless to be the only dissenter in a room full of zealots.