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Esports and the journalism box

in down is the new up, glhf

I would really love for esports to stop obsessing over the journalism box: the dimensions and materials of that box, how high the edges are, if it can be moved about, who is in the box, who is outside the box, who is in the process of climbing in or out of the box, if the state of things inside the box changes when it’s closed and nobody can see in, who deserves to be in the box, who definitely shouldn’t be in the box, who is claiming to be inside the box while standing outside the box, what those inside the box can do, what those inside the box absolutely should not do or ever say, what responsibilities those inside the box have towards the end of ‘not hurting esports’, what opinions those in the box can hold but never ever express – all constitute massively pressing matters for the esports community, and all are pointless distractions.

Yet here we are, yet another week of hanging all sorts of fun, arbitrary catches onto the activity of writing about a scene, courtesy of yet another faux pas (twice in a row from the same team!)

Precious.

Need to drag a debate from substance to drivel in esports? Bring up someone’s credibility as a journalist. Debate’s over! How tidy. Instead of maybe trying to arrive at a reasoned conclusion about something, let’s instead rehash the full implications of that word; as if we’re the first humans ever to have encountered the consequential dynamic between a group of people and someone who journals the goings-on of that group; as if there’s totally not hundreds of years worth of study, literature, and prior art on that subject; as if there’s not a constantly burning debate over these issues in the world of actually journaling actual news.

Nah, I’d rather read what some fuckwit on /r/starcraft has to say about these problems.

Garfield had no leg to stand on in his spat with Slasher. It is not the fault of Slasher, or anybody who writes on the scene, that the business model of the esports team is predicated upon having exclusive domain over scene news.

That’s indicative of a broken business model, not broken journalism. Yet what was everyone talking about?

The box.

People trying to punch back against Lewis in recent days after getting called out (and, on balance, rightfully so) – what’s the line of attack?

That he’s not worthy of being considered in the box.

It seems that those who have been pressing hardest against the walls of that box, lobbying for the dimensions to be smaller, more restrictive, and more cubic, seem to be doing so because the journaling of events in the scene is somewhat against their interests, or flat out overlaps with their business model.

And that’s the fault of journalism?

It’s hard to define this segment of human activity. That’s probably because its nature is constantly shifting, and that change is accelerating, if anything. That’s really what irks me the most about esports’ general obsession with trying to define that box. Journalism is what journalism does. Your definition is irrelevant, because who really cares what label anybody affixes to anything said about the scene? It’s about what’s said, and why it’s said.

Yet, that’s not satisfactory for some. Simple people absolutely must put things in simple boxes in order for them to be comprehensible. That journalistic endeavors require a box that cannot be defined by six flat surfaces is apparently too much to handle.

I’m not quite sure how to wrap this up, other than with a general appeal to knock this shit off. Esports is lucky to be large enough to be worthwhile to write about. Those people who write about it are going to have opinions, and those opinions will be expressed from time to time. And that’s the way it is.