The media tend to come at video games from a lot of different angles. Various stories might alternately treat gaming as a multibillion dollar business, a growing cultural phenomenon, an art form worthy of critique, or the leading edge of a technological revolution. But there’s another potential gaming angle that gets comparatively little coverage or respect from the press in general: gaming as professional sport.
This is slowly beginning to change, though, as more and more media outlets begin to take pro gaming seriously. CBS, Spike TV, USA, and DirectTV have all experimented with pro gaming broadcasts to various degrees, and G4 recently announced a deal to show Championship Gaming Series events on its network.
The entire pro gaming subculture is also the subject of a new book, Game Boys, a fascinating look at pro gaming’s efforts to gain respect and attention through the lens of two competitive Counter-Strike teams. I talked with Game Boys author Michael Kane about his experience writing the book, the current state of pro gaming on television, and whether or not video games could become the next great spectator sport.