Last week, I had the privilege of interviewing two of the English casters for the League of Legends: Ladies Battle in Korea. We talked about women in e-sports, the job of a caster and cultural differences and challenges that come along with the job. You can watch Bil and Josh in action on the Ladies Battle AfreecaTV channel where you can also find more details on the league. I talked with Bil and Josh separately on Skype text chat on July 30th 2015.
Currently in Technical Alpha, Rising Thunder is already set to be the next big thing in the fighting game industry. It’s also probably the closest thing we have to a Pacific Rim game minus the destruction of environments (can this be in the game please?). What truly sets the game apart from other fighting games is the simplicity of the controls (without being as simple as Divekick) and the emphasis on keyboard controls. But is the game really as newbie friendly as it’s design makes it out to be?
Many League of Legends players will claim that the results of a match are determined during the champion select screen. A successful team will boast players with high APM (actions per minute) and vast knowledge of not only their own champion mechanics, but also how they function between their teammates and enemy champions. The developer of League, Riot Games, is a strong proponent of supporting the game as an e-sport and in general, to have the game be played competitively. An element, or more so, a requirement of a successful e-sports team is to master the inner workings of the game, not only the rules, but how your opponents and teammates work within the affordances of the game.
In Western game studies, we are seeing an emergence of a “canon”, games which scholars consider to to be essential playing for understanding the medium. But is this really the case, and are these games worthy of canon? Sure, people will always write about the latest games to keep up with the trend but in academia, are seeing a prominence of certain games written and presented on in the last few years. Social games (World of Warcraft, Second Life…) and e-sports games (Starcraft, League of Legends) aside, it is often Western RPGs which become objects of close reading. Popular series’ such as Bioshock and Assassin’s Creed along with Bioware and Bethesda’s newer games are mainstays of the field, but why?
Twitch.tv is not only a popular site for the e-sports scene, but gaming communities in general. I have decided it will be useful (and fun!) to start streaming from my own Twitch channel to not only better understand the inner workings of the site, but also to place emphasis on gameplay itself in my work. Let’s be honest, I play games hours a day anyways, so I may as well stream it and talk to a screen in the process.
I hope to stream most weekday nights around 8:00pm. Games will include with single and multilayer games of varying genres and commentary provided will be of varying academic (or non-academic) nature.
You can find and subscribe to my channel at: http://www.twitch.tv/alexandralive
During the next few weeks I will be writing special posts on my two week trip to South Korea. It was not only an amazing experience, but also invaluable for my research in e-sports, East Asian culture and education.
I have been following several professional Starcraft circuits ever since the height of the Brood War expansion craze as a player and an organizer. I have also started a local University club, managed my own team and volunteered for two prominent e-sports organizations: The Collegiate Star League and E-sports Canada. Professional gaming in South Korea is huge, so much so, they have their own television channel dedicated to broadcasting games and other gaming related shows.