Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Kings of the Virtual World

A recent Wall Street Journal article reported on the Asian Indoor Games (new to me, but what do I know?).  As well as the stuff you might expect the games also include 'e-sports', which I think you and I would know as computer games:

New to this year's event is the e-sports category, in which contestants will duke it out in popular sports-related videogames such as the soccer title FIFA 07...But "athletes in (these) sports have to apply a lot of techniques and mental abilities to win," says Eric Chau, director for cultural events and communication...The titles selected all promote Olympic ideals because, argues the committee, they're all related to real-world sports (soccer, basketball and motorsport)...The Mongolian team, which came away empty-handed from the first Indoor Games in Thailand two years ago, expects to win some medals in this category. Tsogt Sharavrentsen, a manager with Mongolia's national e-sports program, points to his star athlete, 19-year-old Lkhagvasuren Byambasuren, who forged his FIFA 07 skills in the Internet cafes of Ulaanbaatar.'

I'm sure my son would concur with the term 'star athlete' for someone whose exertion is presumably largely confined to his thumbs.  But if you link it to this story, you can begin to see the scale of the Mongolians' ambition.  Clearly, they're out to conquer the virtual world...


1. Peter said...

One would expect Japan to do well in events such as these. I guess now that along with a cautious welcome to capitalism and mineral exploitation, Mongolia is now moving beyond wrestling and horseback riding in matters of sports, or, should I say, "sports." I should imagine that much in today's Mongolia would make a man like Nergui shake his head in wonder.

Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"

2. Michael Walters said...

I've always been fairly agnostic on the subject of computer games - they've never particularly excited me, but I suppose I can see the attraction. I think it was the use of the phrase 'star athlete' that really gave me pause.

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