Why the up rise of E-sports brings us together
Society is increasingly divided by racism, sexism, and terrorism. Instead of loving each other, people fear or hate one another. Especially online, people feel safe giving hateful opinions because in reality they are sitting at a computer screen in the seclusion of their own homes. A lot of these differences and segregation take place online on forums like 4Chan or Reddit. It even went so far as the popular online frog meme Pepe being officially announced to be a hate symbol and no longer acceptable to be shown.
Many think that videogames are a great cause of antisocial society; and although they may not be entirely wrong, they are completely oblivious to what online has to offer. It is true that many kids of around 12 to 21 stay inside more because they play videogames. What most people forget though is that these kids are playing each other from across the world, or are playing with their local friends.
Single-player games haven’t been as popular as they used to be. Best-selling games like GTA5 thank their success to the multi-player function they offer their consumer.
Not only gaming has been made Multi player focused because of the internet, entertainment has made a huge shift as well. Platforms such as YouTube and Twitch have gained a lot of popularity amongst the online community, with a massive part being content creators playing videogames. This brings great cohesion in the online world, especially on Twitch where the broadcaster can directly connect to their audience through a chat window. People can say whatever they want (of course the chat is moderated, otherwise behavior and language would get out of hand) and the broadcaster can instantly respond to these messages by either typing in the same chat or just using his microphone. This makes the form of entertainment very personal as the viewers feel connected on a personal level with the broadcaster.
The way to bring this online community to a real life location is through E-sports events and gaming conventions. The growth in online entertainment has given the opportunity for companies to invest in tournaments where the best play videogames for a certain prize pool. The biggest recorded $20,770,640.00. This was the prize pool of The International 2016, where the team Wings Gaming won the 1st prize of $9,139,002.00 playing the popular online game DotA2
Hundreds of thousands fans come together to view these tournaments, and the rest of the fans follow it on the event’s Twitch, YouTube, or other streaming channels.
It is easy to see e-sports are very popular today across the world. A beautiful way that betters the world through e-sports and the connection of people online is donations. Especially on Twitch where fans can subscribe to their favorite streamers at the expense of 5 dollars per month. Most streamers additionally have a donation option for fans to send them money using PayPal. Donations are mainly used for these content creators to make streaming a sustainable source of income for them, so they can keep doing it as their full time job. However, this also unlocks opportunity for something beautiful: Gaming for Charity. E-sports and entertainment celebrities span together to give back to society. A popular way is 24-hour streams or special charity events like annual fundraisers.
So while everyone starts in their own home playing by themselves, the benefits to connection and society are apparent. Multicultural friends are made, which reduces racism rates. Donations are used to help those in need of finances, whether it is a business or a person in need of medical treatment. The people that are perceived as “Shut-ins” are now going to conventions and events to meet those who they meet online. Everyone who has attended these events and conventions have described the energy and mood to be “Absolutely insane, everyone cheers, there’s a friendly ambiance, and everyone is just so happy to be here!”
The E-community really isn’t all that bad.