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Will in Seattle 1
But I "need" more 4x stoves in virtual life ...
Posted by Will in Seattle on May 2, 2012 at 2:20 PM · Report this
DeaconBlues 2
Insert Credit is decent, just make sure you stay away from anything written by Tim Rogers. You will finish it and immediately think, "Well, I just wasted about an hour of my life."
Posted by DeaconBlues on May 2, 2012 at 2:35 PM · Report this
balderdash 3
It's true! Being skilled, being excellent at something, is a huge asset. Mentally, emotionally, through the habituation to self-improvement and practice, it makes you a better person. Some folks never really learn to apply those strengths and skills to anything but their one hobby, but it's definitely better to have something you're good at, than not.

It sounds silly, but this did actually kinda happen for me with Starcraft; the point at which I went from thinking of myself as "not good enough at Starcraft to play online, so why bother" to "not good enough to win much playing online but I'm going to get better by trying" was a minor personal watershed.

I'm pretty good at other things, much better than I am at Starcraft, but for some reason that's where it happened first.
Posted by balderdash on May 2, 2012 at 2:38 PM · Report this
Vince 4
I have a PS3. Can I play Starcraft? I'm not very good about these things. I have conquered some games, others not so much. But I need something new and wondered about what's next.
Posted by Vince on May 2, 2012 at 2:41 PM · Report this
Zebes 5

Sorry- Starcraft is a PC-only beast at this time.
Posted by Zebes on May 2, 2012 at 2:55 PM · Report this
Kris 6
This article only exists so that when the Stranger staffer who wrote it gets caught playing at work they can claim they were doing research.
Posted by Kris on May 2, 2012 at 2:56 PM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 7
If spending endless hours perfecting your game playing produced competence at anything real, other than playing that one game, you wouldn't have to write long essays filled with subtle arguments and obscure factoids trying to talk people into believing that game playing made you competent at other things.

Real life is more like, "Hey fucking IT guy whose had six different jobs in three years, put down the game controller and fix my god damn laptop. I got a meeting today!" or "Hey fucking roommate, put down the game controller and cough up your share of the rent!"

I mean seriously. Who says, "Lets find a gamer to share this apartment. His rent will never be late!" Who says that? Anybody?

Ok, I'll admit. A lot of gamers wake up one day and realize they've flushed half their life down the toilet and that motivates them to do something with what's left of their life. But you could say that about ex-cons or cleaned up meth addicts.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn on May 2, 2012 at 2:58 PM · Report this
Zebes 8

You're right, video games are just like criminality or doing meth!
Posted by Zebes on May 2, 2012 at 3:28 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 9
@5 works on Mac PowerBooks too.

And there's an annoucement brewing on some Linux gaming ports over the next couple of months.

Now, excuse me while I mount my Sparkle Pony in the Panda beta.
Posted by Will in Seattle on May 2, 2012 at 3:32 PM · Report this
balderdash 10
@7, I doubt you'd get the same attitude from a surgeon, or a pilot, or a master carpenter, or anyone in any trade where your level of competence actually matters more than your ability to take people's shit. Or, for that matter, anyone who plays an instrument. You practice, you get better. Direct correlation. Being better feels good, and if you're lucky, gets you paid more. Unfortunately most American jobs these days are fundamentally in the shit-taking industry.

I'm not trying to be snide. I think a lot of people go through life without ever really pursuing, much less achieving, excellence at anything. Clearly we get by without it. I just think that's kinda... sad.

I feel like there's a relatively more abstract point to this article that you may have missed, is what I'm getting at. It's not that gaming makes people the best. It's that the very act of acquiring and bettering a skill is valuable, and can be - though often is not - applied to things outside of games. The guy who's good at Starcraft gets as much practical utility out of it as the guy who's good at playing the violin, so why not accord both the same level of basic respect? Not awe or admiration. Just respect.
Posted by balderdash on May 2, 2012 at 3:40 PM · Report this
Mattini 11
@4 Starcraft is PC-only and can have a pretty steep learning curve. But you might want to try Diablo 3 when it's released this month. Starcraft is player vs. player and insanely competitive; Diablo is player vs. environment and easier to play casually.
Posted by Mattini on May 2, 2012 at 3:58 PM · Report this
@6 Indeed! The bosses here are all like "WHY AREN'T YOU WATCHING ALL THE PORNOS? THESE COMPUTERS ARE OPTIMIZED FOR PORNOS!" And we're all like "Meep? Research?" And then they're all like "OKAY BUT GET BACK TO THE PORNOS ASAP!" And also they pronounce "ASAP" like it's a word.
Posted by The Stranger Testing Department on May 2, 2012 at 4:11 PM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 13

Wait, you can equate Starcraft with playing the violin? But I can't equate video games with meth?

Even though millions of people will pay good money to hear a great violin player, and you can't pay people enough to get them to watch some guy play Starcraft. People will listen to great recordings of violin players of the past until the end of history. Nobody wants to watch a recorded Starcraft game, even once.

And game addition is a real thing, like meth addition. Violin addiction? Not really a thing.

It's the same thing as saying devoting your life to becoming a great masturbator is equivalent to devoting your life to becoming a great surgeon. Nobody is going to exhort their kids to spend their lives in pursuit of masturbatory perfection. That would be a curse.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn on May 2, 2012 at 4:19 PM · Report this
raku 14
#13- There's a bar on Pike and like 12th that apparently plays Starcraft games for people to watch, according to the xeroxed flyers on the door. I have zero interest but it sounds less stupid than a sports bar.
Posted by raku on May 2, 2012 at 5:04 PM · Report this
Posted by digitalwitch on May 2, 2012 at 5:05 PM · Report this
Mattini 16
@13 You've chosen a poor game to argue about, because Starcraft may be the most watched game of all e-sports. Tournaments are broadcast on TV in South Korea. Tournaments are streamed online here, and people pay for HD feeds. Go to youtube and count the number of subscribers Starcraft commentators have, or the number of views.

I know you're just trying to say "video games r dum," but arguing that they're not popular as a spectator sport is plain wrong.
Posted by Mattini on May 2, 2012 at 5:10 PM · Report this
balderdash 17
@13, in addition to what others have pointed out, you're also making your argument about the value of a pastime based solely on how much money it can bring in. I guess maybe that's actually how you feel about it, in which case, well, I'm not sure we have a lot to talk about it. But is that really what you think? And if so, how did you manage to put down The Fountainhead long enough to read Slog?

Seriously, though, if that's where you're coming from philosophically, then this argument is kinda pointless. We just have fundamentally different ideas about the world and what's "worthwhile." Is being an excellent violin player still worthwhile even if you're not a professional concert violinist?
Posted by balderdash on May 2, 2012 at 5:52 PM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 18

You can take hours away from productive activity and spend all your time trying to become a better masturbator. There's no law against it, nowadays. But you really think you can get people to respect you? No. There not going to respect you. Not. Ever.

I suppose spending time trying to boost the image of masturbation as art is time not spent perfecting your masturbation. Which is an improvement, of sorts. Time spent making up arguments that video games are respectable is better than spending time playing video games.

And did somebody just try to make a convincing point by linking to "The encyclopedia that anyone can edit"? Yeah, good luck with that. Gamers wrote an apologia about themselves on Wikipedia. Amazing. Put that next to the band that wrote a Wikipedia article about themselves.

Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn on May 2, 2012 at 9:58 PM · Report this
prompt 19
@11 I still think one of the best parts about starcraft is the matching. If you suck at it, it'll match you against other people who suck just as much. I wish other games did that. You can be bad and still have fun playing online and you'll even win some.

@17 Then pull up or and tell me how many thousands of people are watching games at any given moment in the day.

Why does starcraft and games have to be about anything besides the game? Is someone who spends hours practicing juggling or playing baseball any more or less of a waste of time than people who play and get good at starcraft?
Posted by prompt on May 3, 2012 at 1:05 AM · Report this
prompt 20
@17 PS - and I will not have you besmirch the effort that I and everyone else here puts towards masturbating.
Posted by prompt on May 3, 2012 at 1:08 AM · Report this
prompt 21
Argh. I meant @18 for all of those. My apologies balderdash.
Posted by prompt on May 3, 2012 at 1:08 AM · Report this
Vince 22
@11 I thank you, kind sir!
Posted by Vince on May 3, 2012 at 5:46 AM · Report this

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