And not long after my last post on video games and western culture, we see this awesome follow-up video from NFL Pro player Chris Kluwe, known for his punting skills for the Vikings, echoing and emphasizing many of the same points on gaming culture. Enjoy!
So over the past couple of weeks, a whole slew of events at work and in my community has furthered demonstrated to me the culturally-based stigma towards video gaming. Thanks to mass media, the stereotypical gamer is reduced to a pimply-faced, pale-skinned male who lives in his parent’s basement. He is anti-social, wears only black clothes, and will end up being a mindless or violent drain on society because of these “evil” video games. Having lived in Taiwan for two years, I am amazed by how much societal pressures and norms impact individual personalities and behavior. It is more clear to me because of my exposure to other cultures how extreme Americans tend to be on many seemingly odd issues. I imagine every society has their quirks, but that doesn’t make me appreciate America’s antagonism towards gaming any more. I think it’s time to tell the other side of this story…
In League of Legends, after you’ve progressed your account to the maximum level 30, you have the opportunity to play in the Ranked matchmaking system. In this system, you gain and lose various points depending on the skill level of your opponents and the outcome of your game against them. The players in ranked matchmaking are divided out into six separate tiers of players: Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond, and Challenger. Each tier contains five divisions to help separate out the ~1 million players that are in the ranked system. So I am one game away from making it into the third division of the Gold tier, and it’s an exciting feeling. But until recently, I never realized what that means. Then I found this set of compiled statistics that shows me how I compare to other players (I was pleasantly surprised!):
Today I had time to play just one game down in the Bunker at Adobe (yes, my workplace is that cool). Recently in the AHGL competitive games, I’ve been running Rumble in mid lane as opposed to top like I normally do. He seems like an odd champ for me to pick considering my mechanics for last hitting really suffered when I would only play the support role. Rumble’s kit simply doesn’t jive well with those who have trouble getting minion kills. However, my style as a utility player works extremely well with Rumble’s ultimate ability, that blessed Equalizer. In this match, I went up against a Lux who had the poke and harass to keep me down during the laning phase, but some clutch uses of my ultimate turned around a team fight on my mid-lane tower, scored a blind dragon kill when we had no chance to contest it, and secured a baron kill to drive the rest of the game. Fun times!
At the end of Season 3 in the After Hours Gaming League, the second division in the League of Legends B-League was faced with quite the conundrum: a five-way tie in win/loss ratios (4-6 for the curious). Unfortunately, with the playoffs scheduled to take place the very next week, the event organizers and teams did not have the time to play tiebreaker matches since all these folks have full-time day jobs to worry about. So what is a quick way to sort out the few teams that will be able to go on to the playoffs from those that won’t? Co-op vs AI speed runs, of course!