CONFESSIONS OF A GAMER

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Are you a gamer…?

It was around 2001 when I got my first computer. I was a 15 year old boy in Year 9 and I wanted a computer for homework and … research (yeah, right!)

I loved gaming when Nintendo, Sega and Playstation were around. The gaming world has gone crazy now with PS4s, XBox one, WiiU and the high powered computer – brands I’ve never heard of!

I’m not here to talk about the playable consoles are out there, no. I’m here to talk about gaming and its affect on me.

In 2001 when I received my first computer I was so excited and couldn’t wait to tell all my friends, just like any 15 year old kid would do. I wanted to show off, but I was sort of a late bloomer – I had no idea how to put games onto it!

My best friend at the time came over and showed me how to load games. The first game he installed was Starcraft. After that, it was Starcraft Brood Wars, Counter Strike and Warcraft III.

So everyday after school and on weekends I was playing these sorts of games just to pass the time and to be with friends. Then things got out of hand. I found out that there were LAN (local area network) cafes around, and people would play games with their friends for small bets – for food and other things. Yes, I am guilty on making bets in gaming when I was that age, but it was ‘harmless’ – bets like the loser shouts the winner lunch – good old times. At that time I was playing a game called DoTA (Defence of the Ancients.) The point of the game is to destroy the enemy base called the Ancients, but there are five other people defending it as well, and utilising a choice of 50+ heroes, so the layout would be a 5 vs 5 all out strategic brawl!

At the time I was growing up, DoTa had one of the biggest gaming communities around.  Now it has gone crazy and there are lots of other games out there with a similar concept. DoTa reached its biggest prize pool in history in competitive gaming at $10,924,224. Because competitive gaming has grown since 2005 when the prize pool was only was $5,000, small to big computer/gaming companies have taken this interest to the next level. They ask themselves what would draw the crowd and get more people and gamers involved?Between 2011-13 they introduced the concept of professional and famous gamers (those who had made it big in Youtube, Twitch or blogging) to commentate on competitive gaming.

When people around the world started catching on about the prize pool getting bigger, so did the idea of sponsorship, endorsements and other sort things that show gamers they can be appreciated.  Gaming nowadays can be a way of living!  For example, according to the Business Insider article “15 of the Highest-Paid Professional Video Gamers in the World“, Danil ‘Dendi’ Ishutin has earned around $455,616 USD playing DoTa 2 in 43 tournaments around the world, and that doesn’t include sponsorship and endorsements!

All my life I’ve been playing games, and while my family and my fiance disapprove of it, I love it. I get to interact with people and with friends from all around the world. I’m good at it and I have made some good, solid and fun friends. We are going to turn our love of gaming into a profession. You never know – we could win the next international ‘TI’ in DoTa 2 competitive gaming, and we predict the next prize pull to be around the $20m mark!  But if not, I’m fine just making an annual wage to keep gaming.

I’m 28 years old, newly engaged, and I’m a gamer …

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