Legitimacy, Technology and Nationalism

I’ve come up with a thesis statement from some of the common themes of our class readings. In my paper, I want to write on the boundary of E-sports and how it’s a legitimate sport as my main argument. Also, I want to connect the idea of technology and nationalism together in my paper. This will work out, because there are controversies over E-sports being a “real sport,” and development in technology has lead to increase in popularity of E-sports. As E-sports competitions (and competitors) arise from all over the world, there has been many tournaments where gamers represent their country, just like Olympics. In my paper, I would also include ideologies, practices and behaviors assumed in Korean culture of E-sports while talking about nationalism. I want my thesis statement/research question to look something like: What factors make E-sports a legitimate “sport?” and how does development of technology tie into the focus of nationalism in E-sport communities and countries? (not fully polished)

I found 3 scholarly sources from UCSD Geisel Library’s online research tools to help strengthen my paper.

Sources that I’ll use are going to be:
1) Robinson, Geoff “iNcontroL”. “Stay Ahead In Starcraft II.” PC World 29.9 (2011): 70. Academic Search Complete. web. 28 feb. 2014.
2) Perez, O. (2012). From Chess to Starcraft. A Comparative Analysis of Traditional games and Videogames. Comunicar, 38, 121-129. (DOI: 10.3916/C38-2012-03-03).
3) “All-Stars.” New Yorker 89.42 (2013): 43-1. Academic Search Complete. Web. Web. 28 Feb 2014.

The first source from Geoff “iNcontroL” Robinson, the article talks about how to become a better Starcraft (E-sports) player. He gives advices such as:

  • “Never stop producing your worker units”
  • “Don’t let yourself get supply-blocked. Build your Supply Depots/Overlords/Pylons before you need them, so you don’t slow down your army production.”
  • “Try to keep your money supply below 1000 minerals.”

I could really use the first article to show how technology has been the biggest factor in popularizing E-sports & use this article as a proof that there has been help/guide books that’s being published to tutor/help gamers. Previously, there has been a lot of Korean E-sports related articles to help gamers on being a successful E-sports competitors. Mostly because E-sports originated in Korea. But Geoff is targeting the main audience – specifically in North American countries. We know this because the article is published in English. He hopes to train future Starcraft competitors outside of Asia. Notion of nationalism/technology ties into this article and I could possibly talk about Geoff’s passion in making E-sports culture/competitor stronger in North America.

I could relate second article by Perez to talk about the boundaries of Starcraft being a sport by comparing Starcraft to a game of chess. The articles answers questions such as, “What are the main distinctive features used to represent war in military strategy videogames (Starcraft being one of them) compared to those used in chess? What are the main differences between the most popular video ludic metaphors of construction and traditional puzzles?” The aim of this article is to explore questions like these by making a comparative analysis of the underlying meaning of traditional games and popular videogames. This article would help strengthen my paper in emphasizing the importance of acknowledging “competitive games” as sports by comparing similar rules and characteristics of E-sports gaming (Starcraft) to a game of chess.

Third article has a quote that mentions, “ ‘It’s like being an athlete,’ Snute, the Norwegian, who is twenty-three with shaggy blond hair, said at a pre-tournament photo shoot. He was drinking a Pepsi, and wearing Adidas pants..” This article really challenges readers in viewing E-sports competitors as athletes and further talks about how E-sports competitors are a lot like the “regular” sports atheletes.


2 extra scholarly articles:
a) Huhh JS (2008) Culture and business of PC bangs in Korea. Games and Culture 3(1): 26–37.
b) Witkowski, E. (2012). On the digital playing field. Games and Culture, 7, 349–374.

These are LEGIT scholarly sources from Sage Journals.

First article talks about culture and business of PC bangs in Korea. A PC bang is a type of LAN gaming center, where patrons can play multiplayer computer games for an hourly fee. PC bang has become a space for nurturing online gaming cultures. It goes in depth on the role that PC bangs play in the emergence of online games as a dominant game genre for Korean players. I could use this article and explain how PC Bang is used as a tool that strengthens E-sports culture in Korea & raise issues with nationalism. It’s an interesting fact that PC bangs are only popular & famous in Korea.


Second article talks about how players of E-sports are engaged physically in practice and play. These practices & play are described in the article through the core themes of movement, haptic engagement, and the balanced body. Furthermore, it talks about how technologies in play are laboring actors too; the players and technologies are rendered as networked, extended, and acting in and on the same fields of play. I would use this article to “defend” E-sports as sports and back up my paper by examining legitimacy of a traditional sports ontology and notion of engagement with computer game play as a legitimate sporting endeavor.


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