Monday, July 13, 2015

Immiseration of the gaming class

Somewhere, someone, somehow is making a, naturally, the Comrades at Morning Star The People's Daily are alientated;
 Jeffrey Shih, for example, known by his gaming name Trump, live-streams his play sessions and will explain his reasoning for making certain moves, even apologising to viewers just moments after they’ve informed him that he missed a winning hand. 

In an environment where simply playing Hearthstone full-time wouldn’t make him a living, Trump broadcasts to generate income, receiving sponsorship and ad revenue, also soliciting donations while he plays.

If you’re a fan it’s an exciting form of spectator entertainment, watching and interacting in real time with some of the best exponents of your chosen hobby.
Say, Seahawk fans with Russell Wilson seconds after he threw away the Superbowl last winter? Dustin Johnson after missing a four foot putt at Chamber's Bay in the U.S. Open last month? Yeah, we can see why that would be fun. So, what's the gripe?
But in its full effect, what Trump and hundreds like him are also doing in this scenario is acting as full-time publicists and ambassadors for Blizzard Entertainment. The firm doesn’t pay him a penny, has full deniability as to his actions and no responsibility to look after him. 

Trump must sell his personality, humour and skill on the most precarious of premises: that the game and he will remain popular in a world of 30-second attention spans. At the moment he has an audience, but for how long is anyone’s guess. And those of his peers who aren’t quite so witty, can’t get a sponsorship deal or lack the means to run a slick broadcast channel will earn nothing at all.
Well, guys, you could always create your own games and see how many people are attracted to them.

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