Posted by austinslin (5 posts) -

Cool Wired article on the redefining of what it means to be (a) global, (b) an athlete and (c) a global athlete.

Based on the description inside the body of the US P-1A Visa (below) who knows what this means for the further future convergence of what it means to be a contemporary, international athlete.

"You must be coming to the United States to participate in individual event, competition or performance in which you are internationally recognized with a high level of achievement; evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition substantially above that ordinarily encountered so that the achievement is renowned, leading or well known in more than one country."

http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2013-12/16/starcraft-2-visa

#1 Edited by mercutio123 (471 posts) -

Sure that would fit into that description. However. You. Have. Got. To. Be. Fucking. Kidding. Me.

This is all too depressing.

#2 Posted by TheHBK (5506 posts) -

This. Really, just this.

#3 Posted by Fredchuckdave (5717 posts) -

Hilarity ensues.

#4 Edited by Wolfgame (816 posts) -

Imagine being a real athlete applying for one of these Visas and getting denied then reading this article...

#5 Posted by flasaltine (1682 posts) -

Why are people here so against esports? There are people out there making a living off it. It is a legitimate business. Millions of people watch LoL and Dota 2 and Starcraft and whatever. Are people trying to seem cooler when they hate on esports? To think they are above it? To show others that they are not that nerdy?

#6 Edited by Wolfgame (816 posts) -

@flacracker: I was just being facetious, you are reading into this way too much. I don't have a problem with people calling esports a thing, but the level of sacrifice physical athletes have to make versus gamers is not even close to comparable. I am not even a sports person and I am willing to admit that.

#7 Posted by Oldirtybearon (4850 posts) -

@flacracker said:

Why are people here so against esports? There are people out there making a living off it. It is a legitimate business. Millions of people watch LoL and Dota 2 and Starcraft and whatever. Are people trying to seem cooler when they hate on esports? To think they are above it? To show others that they are not that nerdy?

I think the terminology is what bothers people. To call it "esports" is to imply there is athleticism involved. Sure it takes skill to micro-manage and multitask to a high level in Starcraft but to say that's comparable to highly skilled basketball player... it's ostensibly belittling the talent of real athletes.

#8 Posted by Sooty (8082 posts) -

I can understand this to a degree for StarCraft and games like Street Fighter, maybe even Dota, but not League of Legends. That game is nowhere near deep enough to be in awe of someone's ability on it.

#9 Posted by L44 (565 posts) -

The first guy to get a visa, Danny Le, is the coolest guy ever, Hakuna Chapanya.

#10 Posted by Jonny_Anonymous (1085 posts) -

@wolfgame:

@flacracker said:

Why are people here so against esports? There are people out there making a living off it. It is a legitimate business. Millions of people watch LoL and Dota 2 and Starcraft and whatever. Are people trying to seem cooler when they hate on esports? To think they are above it? To show others that they are not that nerdy?

I think the terminology is what bothers people. To call it "esports" is to imply there is athleticism involved. Sure it takes skill to micro-manage and multitask to a high level in Starcraft but to say that's comparable to highly skilled basketball player... it's ostensibly belittling the talent of real athletes.

I see absolutely no problem with this considering darts and chess players get the same.

#11 Posted by mercutio123 (471 posts) -

@flacracker: I don't mind esports as a term. It's just that someone can be now classed as an athlete by playing video games. Sure it takes skill. But an athlete excels in physically stressing activities. Or something like that.

#12 Posted by Bollard (5663 posts) -

@austinslin: Progress!

Also, everyone here shitting on this is a douchebag.

@flacracker said:

Why are people here so against esports? There are people out there making a living off it. It is a legitimate business. Millions of people watch LoL and Dota 2 and Starcraft and whatever. Are people trying to seem cooler when they hate on esports? To think they are above it? To show others that they are not that nerdy?

I think the terminology is what bothers people. To call it "esports" is to imply there is athleticism involved. Sure it takes skill to micro-manage and multitask to a high level in Starcraft but to say that's comparable to highly skilled basketball player... it's ostensibly belittling the talent of real athletes.

The only one "obstensibly" belittling people here is you (I can use big words incorrectly too). Nothing about eSports has shit to do with real sports. eSports is its name, and it's growing, so get used to it. I think a highly skilled progamer is equally entitled to being recognised as a basketball player. Heck, there are hundreds of sports I literally couldn't give a fuck about but I at least respect the people who are good at them for showing dedication and talent in their discipline. eSports should be no different.

#13 Edited by I_Stay_Puft (3568 posts) -

Are e-sport participants athletes?

Answer: no.

My honest opinion and yes I don't think race car drivers are athletes either.

#14 Posted by Oldirtybearon (4850 posts) -

@austinslin: Progress!

Also, everyone here shitting on this is a douchebag.

@oldirtybearon said:

@flacracker said:

Why are people here so against esports? There are people out there making a living off it. It is a legitimate business. Millions of people watch LoL and Dota 2 and Starcraft and whatever. Are people trying to seem cooler when they hate on esports? To think they are above it? To show others that they are not that nerdy?

I think the terminology is what bothers people. To call it "esports" is to imply there is athleticism involved. Sure it takes skill to micro-manage and multitask to a high level in Starcraft but to say that's comparable to highly skilled basketball player... it's ostensibly belittling the talent of real athletes.

The only one "obstensibly" belittling people here is you (I can use big words incorrectly too). Nothing about eSports has shit to do with real sports. eSports is its name, and it's growing, so get used to it. I think a highly skilled progamer is equally entitled to being recognised as a basketball player. Heck, there are hundreds of sports I literally couldn't give a fuck about but I at least respect the people who are good at them for showing dedication and talent in their discipline. eSports should be no different.

I didn't give my opinion on it one way or the other. @flacracker asked a question and I gave what I think is the answer.

No need get super defensive there, tough guy.

#15 Edited by erhard (420 posts) -

@i_stay_puft said:

Are e-sport participants athletes?

Answer: no.

My honest opinion and yes I don't think race car drivers are athletes either.

On what grounds? F1 drivers have average heart rates of 190 BPM for 2 hours.

#16 Posted by 2HeadedNinja (1671 posts) -

@flacracker said:

Why are people here so against esports? There are people out there making a living off it. It is a legitimate business. Millions of people watch LoL and Dota 2 and Starcraft and whatever. Are people trying to seem cooler when they hate on esports? To think they are above it? To show others that they are not that nerdy?

I think the terminology is what bothers people. To call it "esports" is to imply there is athleticism involved. Sure it takes skill to micro-manage and multitask to a high level in Starcraft but to say that's comparable to highly skilled basketball player... it's ostensibly belittling the talent of real athletes.

So ... someone that is really good at a Videogame ... or Chess ... is inherently worth less than somone who can run fast or throw a ball? Both are things you need talent an skill for and I don't see why one is supposed to be worth more than the other.

#17 Posted by Wolfgame (816 posts) -

@oldirtybearon said:

@flacracker said:

Why are people here so against esports? There are people out there making a living off it. It is a legitimate business. Millions of people watch LoL and Dota 2 and Starcraft and whatever. Are people trying to seem cooler when they hate on esports? To think they are above it? To show others that they are not that nerdy?

I think the terminology is what bothers people. To call it "esports" is to imply there is athleticism involved. Sure it takes skill to micro-manage and multitask to a high level in Starcraft but to say that's comparable to highly skilled basketball player... it's ostensibly belittling the talent of real athletes.

So ... someone that is really good at a Videogame ... or Chess ... is inherently worth less than somone who can run fast or throw a ball? Both are things you need talent an skill for and I don't see why one is supposed to be worth more than the other.

But I haven't seen anyone say that competitive gaming shouldn't exist, I just don't see why we feel that we are entitled to the legal visas reserved for athletes. If ya want "esports" to be accepted by people outside of the culture it gets off to a bad step to immediately try to equate it to modern athletes

#18 Edited by HatKing (6023 posts) -

@wolfgame said:

@flacracker: I was just being facetious, you are reading into this way too much. I don't have a problem with people calling esports a thing, but the level of sacrifice physical athletes have to make versus gamers is not even close to comparable. I am not even a sports person and I am willing to admit that.

I recently heard a relatively enlightening argument against that point there. Something about how much time is required of these players. That it's different from poker or chess because the game (re: StarCraft) is constantly changing via patches and whatnot. The players' bodies are, apparently, under significant duress because of the dedication they put into their game. And that while it's, obviously, not as physically demanding as some sports, as it falls under the category of a more cerebral thing, it would probably be just as demanding as something along the lines of archery (which is almost never contested as a real sport).

I'm not much for any sort of competitive entertainment, be it football or Starcraft, so I'm not about to get into a semantic argument about what qualifies for a sport. But, personally, I think any time somebody can qualify for a visa, it's a good thing, culturally speaking. Visiting/touring/immigrating are all generally fantastic for furthering world culture in a community. And this sort of thing might help video games be taken more seriously in the mainstream.

#19 Edited by GreggD (4507 posts) -

@chavtheworld said:

@austinslin: Progress!

Also, everyone here shitting on this is a douchebag.

@oldirtybearon said:

@flacracker said:

Why are people here so against esports? There are people out there making a living off it. It is a legitimate business. Millions of people watch LoL and Dota 2 and Starcraft and whatever. Are people trying to seem cooler when they hate on esports? To think they are above it? To show others that they are not that nerdy?

I think the terminology is what bothers people. To call it "esports" is to imply there is athleticism involved. Sure it takes skill to micro-manage and multitask to a high level in Starcraft but to say that's comparable to highly skilled basketball player... it's ostensibly belittling the talent of real athletes.

The only one "obstensibly" belittling people here is you (I can use big words incorrectly too). Nothing about eSports has shit to do with real sports. eSports is its name, and it's growing, so get used to it. I think a highly skilled progamer is equally entitled to being recognised as a basketball player. Heck, there are hundreds of sports I literally couldn't give a fuck about but I at least respect the people who are good at them for showing dedication and talent in their discipline. eSports should be no different.

I didn't give my opinion on it one way or the other. @flacracker asked a question and I gave what I think is the answer.

No need get super defensive there, tough guy.

But angst.

#20 Posted by I_Stay_Puft (3568 posts) -

@erhard said:

@i_stay_puft said:

Are e-sport participants athletes?

Answer: no.

My honest opinion and yes I don't think race car drivers are athletes either.

On what grounds? F1 drivers have average heart rates of 190 BPM for 2 hours.

I just don't think they're athletes its one of those age old debates. They are good at what they do but will I put a Mario Andretti on the same pedestal of a Jesse Owens? My answer is still no.

#21 Posted by Dalai (7040 posts) -

Does this mean I'm an amateur athlete because I play video games? Because if that's true, the state of athletics is dire.

#22 Posted by Hunkulese (2786 posts) -

Wow people sure get angry over nothing. An Athlete gets a visa to come and complete. A gamer gets a visa to come and compete. It's the same thing. Obviously gamers aren't athletes but what's the point of having to create a new visa when you already have one that encompasses everything?

#23 Edited by yinstarrunner (1218 posts) -

I can understand people feeling icky about it because "games aren't physically demanding", but that doesn't mean that they don't require a shitton of practice and aren't legitimate sport.

For example, Violet here plays Starcraft 2. If you want to play Starcraft 2 at the highest possible levels, you need to be practicing non-stop. I mean, 8-12 hours a day. That's a huge time investment that probably excels the amount of sheer time "normal" athletes put into their work. Nothing against them of course; I'm sure many of them would practice more if not for the limitations of the human body. Asides from that, playing Starcraft for a long period of time is extremely taxing on the mental side of things.

No, they aren't "athletes" in the traditional sense, but that train of thought also extends to Chess players and Professional bowlers. Let's grow up, people, and stop crying over some vague definitions. And I don't think this will suddenly cause Pro Gamers to want to put themselves in the same league as traditional athletes, either.

#24 Edited by ll_Exile_ll (1811 posts) -

@wolfgame said:

@2headedninja said:

@oldirtybearon said:

@flacracker said:

Why are people here so against esports? There are people out there making a living off it. It is a legitimate business. Millions of people watch LoL and Dota 2 and Starcraft and whatever. Are people trying to seem cooler when they hate on esports? To think they are above it? To show others that they are not that nerdy?

I think the terminology is what bothers people. To call it "esports" is to imply there is athleticism involved. Sure it takes skill to micro-manage and multitask to a high level in Starcraft but to say that's comparable to highly skilled basketball player... it's ostensibly belittling the talent of real athletes.

So ... someone that is really good at a Videogame ... or Chess ... is inherently worth less than somone who can run fast or throw a ball? Both are things you need talent an skill for and I don't see why one is supposed to be worth more than the other.

But I haven't seen anyone say that competitive gaming shouldn't exist, I just don't see why we feel that we are entitled to the legal visas reserved for athletes. If ya want "esports" to be accepted by people outside of the culture it gets off to a bad step to immediately try to equate it to modern athletes

That argument is dumb on so many levels. You're saying that because the visa has the term "athlete" attached to it, pro gamers shouldn't be allowed to qualify? You are basically saying that, due to a technicality of nomenclature, these competitors should be forced to jump through hoops just to be able to come to this country to compete?

You do realize that it's just called "athlete visa", right? It doesn't officially and unequivocally state that now and for the rest of time esports competitors shall be known across the globe as athletes officially and unquestionably. Chess players and other professional competitors in a variety of non-physical activities all qualify for this visa as well, it has to be called something and athlete visa is what was chosen.

The bottom line is that esports competitors from other countries need a relatively hassle free way to attend tournaments in the US and they meet the criteria for this visa, the terminology is irrelevant.

#25 Posted by erhard (420 posts) -

@erhard said:

@i_stay_puft said:

Are e-sport participants athletes?

Answer: no.

My honest opinion and yes I don't think race car drivers are athletes either.

On what grounds? F1 drivers have average heart rates of 190 BPM for 2 hours.

I just don't think they're athletes its one of those age old debates. They are good at what they do but will I put a Mario Andretti on the same pedestal of a Jesse Owens? My answer is still no.

You haven't given a reason yet.

#26 Edited by Brodehouse (10072 posts) -

They are absolutely athletes that are playing a game for sport, just like a million other sportsmen who play games for sport. The word athlete comes from the word for competition, Victorian Brits assigned it to mean track and field sports.

That you are more impressed with one compared to the other really has nothing to do with it. Once you realize this, it should be easy. That I'm not impressed with stacking plastic cups does not mean that a speed stacking competition is not a sporting event.

#27 Posted by Nictel (2429 posts) -

This truly is the age of the nerd. We are now even defeating sport jocks at their own thing!

#28 Posted by Autumn_Thunder (85 posts) -

For Violet in particular it was get the visa or join mandatory Korean military service.

http://www.teamliquid.net/forum/viewmessage.php?topic_id=438107

Terminology issues aside, I don't see how anyone can be against giving players visas. If you have an ability to make a reasonable income from tournament winnings and sponsorships but can't due to being denied access to the country where events take place, well that kinda sucks.

#29 Posted by Hunkulese (2786 posts) -

They are absolutely athletes that are playing a game for sport, just like a million other sportsmen who play games for sport. The word athlete comes from the word for competition, Victorian Brits assigned it to mean track and field sports.

That you are more impressed with one compared to the other really has nothing to do with it. Once you realize this, it should be easy. That I'm not impressed with stacking plastic cups does not mean that a speed stacking competition is not a sporting event.

They're definitely not athletes. Maybe they would have been in Ancient Greece, but they're not in the modern sense of the word. It's silly to try and argue that they are athletes.

However, they meet the exact same criteria as an athlete does for needing a visa so it makes sense that they should be able to acquire an athlete visa.

#30 Posted by Doctorchimp (4078 posts) -

Wow people sure get angry over nothing. An Athlete gets a visa to come and complete. A gamer gets a visa to come and compete. It's the same thing. Obviously gamers aren't athletes but what's the point of having to create a new visa when you already have one that encompasses everything?

Cause this is the internet, where everything is a struggle between us and them.

#31 Posted by MikkaQ (10317 posts) -

By that definition Lang Lang could arrive on an athlete's visa. It's a bit silly. Might as well rebrand it a performance visa and make it encompass everything related to skillful performance. That would make more sense, but hey bureaucracy!

#32 Posted by xaLieNxGrEyx (2605 posts) -

He's making money playing against other tier 1 competition. I'm fine with this.

#33 Edited by austinslin (5 posts) -

Thanks for everyone's thoughts on this!

In a globalized world--where competing head-to-head with someone from another country now only requires an internet connection--the concept of competition is no different than it has ever been, but the possibilities of exercising it are broadening.

To the point @yinstarrunner raised, a similar link can be had to chess players definitely. Competitive chess isn't new to the world, either in person (my own results in the cafeterias of my middle school days reminded me how awful I am at chess) or virtually (anyone else remember watching a telnet connection link up in the 1990s to join a chess game? Alas, my chess prowess on a computer lab terminal rivaled the same low-rung performance as my in-person endeavors) and no one has considered granting athlete visas to chess Grandmasters from across the globe, but perhaps one underlying point in the modern era is that an internet connection enables a chess player to compete anywhere, any time of day, at the highest levels of their abilities.

There is certainly a difference in competing physically on a court or fencing strip than across processors and graphics cards (or telnet chess rooms), and I interpreted the visa issuance not necessarily as the labeling over what is or isn't an athlete, but perhaps just the expansion of what it means to compete, with different countries themselves defining what it means to be a global athlete or, for that matter, a global competitor (a slippery slope when the broadest context of "competition" is taken into account, surely).

For those Pro Gamers who compete for a living, I think this is a great step, whichever visa or international bureaurcracy it's under.

A few years ago on a business trip to Korea, I was in Seoul during the World Cup season. Korea had advanced and with their player's enthusiasm, an entire city, an entire country was captivated. As I was taking the subway back to my hotel, the streets were filled with the red t-shirts, red flags. And the heat in the spectators eyes matched those I saw on the faces of the actual soccer players on every television I passed in a window or restaurant bar. Back in the hotel, alongside hearing people cheer three rooms away through the walls when Korea scored, I flipped to a broadcast competitive gaming channel, also featuring Korean pro gamers and a competitor country, and that same fire was no less intense in their eyes.

@HatKing--I think that's where the real victory is: visiting/ touring, bringing gamers together in person in a world where many may have only ever competed screen-to-screen, headset to headset. My own abilities as competitive gamer have never extended beyond Wii bowling and people related to me, but I'm a fan of those folks out there--real, competitive pro gamers that are creating one more channel by which connectivity shrinks all those past constraints of geographical limitations.

In that light, a real global gaming culture--interacting globally and competing globally and cheering globally--whether you're labeled an "athlete" or not---just somehow makes awesome sense.

#34 Posted by believer258 (11989 posts) -

I don't see the issue. One type of player does something that is mentally taxing for long periods of time, the other does something physically taxing for long periods of time.

Hell, if you really want to dig into it, you don't perform as well mentally if you aren't, in some way, physically active. So ha! Take that! (Yes, I'm kidding on that bit).

#35 Edited by austinslin (5 posts) -

@believer258 ha. No wonder my fencing coach used to thrash my knees with a blunt sword when I foolishly let daydreaming creep into fencing practice. In the gaming world, the haptic feedback of Playstation controllers and the like have always given me that unforgettable handshake just when I'm about to get trounced in Silent Hill (which is filed under the same memories of punching myself during a round of Wii golf--mental and physical stimulation). Sorry for the late reply, thought this re-comment was posted (again, testament to my e-prowess).