Monday, July 31, 2006

Want to be a better gamer? What's it worth to you?

Have you ever been frustrated playing a video game and getting your bootie handed to you in a paper bag? Does it feel like no matter how much you practice, you never get any better?

Maybe you need professional help? How much would you be willing to pay for a private, individualized session with a gaming tutor? Think I'm joking? Check out this article.

This kid has made up to $2700 in a single week by training people on the fine art of playing a video game.

Seriously?!?!? I find this insanely unbelievable. Are these people hoping he'll be able to train them so they can get a small piece of the pie earned by the top competitive gamers (yes, there are professional gamers who make a living by winning competitions)? It doesn't seem to me that the professional gaming market can sustain this sort of market.

More than the idea of people hoping to break into professional gaming, this could be modern societies way of replacing other "skills." People pay good money to get their kids to learn to play piano. I had piano lessons every week for many years...and I have since lost any ability I ever gained. I can generally read music but have no chance at playing anything beyond chopsticks.

I also took lessons to learn to swim, ice skate, and even to get the basics of tennis. Lessons in each of these weren't totally necessary as I could muddle along without the help of a "professional" trainer (usually just older kids on a summer job) but it would've taken longer and I wouldn't have gotten as much out of it.

Is it fair to compare music or sports lessons to video game lessons? Probably not. You're not likely to be called upon to play Halo 2 in front of a crowd at a church social...or call upon your skills in Pac-Man to save you as your boat sinks.

So why would you pay $25-65 an HOUR to have someone critique your gaming skill and push you to be better?

I'm not sure which side of me is more upset at this...the cheapskate in me? Or the rational me?


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