Question for T.L. Taylor

All of the talk about about e-sports and the creation of large industries to support professional gaming feels very reminiscent of the gradual transformation of other games into sports (i.e. baseball or basketball starting as little more than a game and becoming the MLB and NBA respectively).  Which in turn feels a little like gentrification in that it polishes what might be thought to be rough around the edges and has positive and negative consequences (healthier and more aesthetically pleasing residences vs. the removal of low-income housing).  Gaming could for example reap the benefit of a systematic curbing of hate speech through increased regulation.  The negative side of the coin feels a bit more nebulous in that I think it takes the form of a change in character, or how it feels to play these games.  For example, the prospect of playing in the NBA does affect the manner in which kids think about playing basketball.  Now that the rambling is done, my question is, do you think that the transition towards the professional will change the nature of gaming (as the games become more than games) and do you see any negative aspects of this transition?



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One Response to Question for T.L. Taylor

  1. cstabile says:

    I think you’re absolutely right in pointing to the dangers of commercialization/regulation. I’ve been thinking about this in regard to debates about anonymity. On one hand, anonymity, opponents argue, allows for trolling and bad behavior. On the other hand, imo, anonymity also allows for some really important political and cultural interventions — think about Wikileaks (or the Federalist Papers if you want to think historically). Corporations like Facebook have a vested interest in having our data attached to our IRL identities . . . and governments have an interest in discouraging anonymity as well.

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