Advertising in esports: The FGC is doing it wrong.

19 04 2014

I turned on the NorCal Regionals stream, a tournament a love to watch when it’s on, and I see this ad staring me in the face:

Are you guys serious? The main demographic of streamers is about 13-17. So, to see our community leaders pushing smoking onto these kids is just plain stupid. Now, I know a lot of you are saying “BUT BUT, DIEM! THERE ARE VERSIONS WITHOUT NICOTINE IN THEM. THAT IS WHAT WE’RE SELLING.”

No, you’re selling smoking. Whether or not you think so, you’re not selling a version of the product. You’re selling the ability to stand in the cool kid’s circle and puff on some stupid shit. You’re selling the same invite to the same party that Joe Camel sold in the 1960s. Safe(er) alternative or not, what you’re selling is an addiction. To children. And that, to me, is absolutely disgusting.

When I’m at a tournament, or PAX, it’s instantly a selling point. You see these big, ugly, flashy cigar-esque monstrosities, and the air of superiority surrounding them. The issue here, is they shouldn’t be a trophy. This is the step down from smoking cigarettes. It’s a slow, nigh-on pointless antidote to the plague that smoking has created in our society. So, when we see these stupid things, we shouldn’t view them as badges of honor. They should be shown as a sign that someone was weak and fell victim to advertising and idiotic kids on their block, and now are taking steps to become healthier. (And admittedly, more attractive.)


Now, it should be noted that I’m biased. I won’t even take advil, for the most part. I don’t condone drinking, smoking, etc. But, I can see the appeal. Weed, alcohol… I get it. From my understanding, it’s fun. Not for me, but like I said: I get it.

Smoking this shit they’re pushing offers no high, no escape. And there isn’t a step down, only steps up. You can start by saying “We’re only advertising the non-nicotine branded ones.” Until the kids actually start using it. Until the kids order things that aren’t just juice. Until they start ordering the nicotine, because it’s as easy as not.

The issue here, is that we’re not pushing a positive message. Streaming is the future, and a lot of kids don’t even watch TV anymore. It’s just streams. We control the media at this point, and we’re not using it to our advantage. Instead, we’re doing what our fathers, and their fathers did. Sell out so that companies who sell a shitty, addictive, dangerous product so that we can make a quick buck.

The worst part, is that there are so many easier ways to get this done. More interaction with chat. Better commentary, and better player histories to keep viewers interested. This would increase viewer retention, and the money you could make from that would off set having to sell things like this to kids.

And I’m gonna keep harping that. Because people at tourneys know that generally, these events are 18+. The viewers at home ARE NOT. They’re children who look up to the streaming community like how we in our childhood looked at Jordan. It’s getting to that point to the general public, and for some kids, it’s even beyond that.

Some streamers use this stuff on stream, or drink on stream to the point of insane intoxication. I don’t support that kind of behavior either. It’s the same thing. I want to yell the word cunt every five seconds and smash my keyboard every time I die. But, I know my viewers expect more from me, and I expect more from them. I don’t want to help breed a bunch of raging maniacs, the same way I don’t want people breeding another generation of alcohol dependent smokers.

We could be pushing Tropicana and Dole fucking Bananas. But, instead we pretend that we care about health by pushing smoking out. Is that all the FGC has to offer? Fight sticks, inside joke tshirts and smoking? We have Marvel characters, all of Capcom, Smash Bros, King of Fighters… All sporting some of the most recognizable characters in video game history. And we STILL have te resort to this shit?

If that’s the case, either the streams aren’t good enough, or the product we is as shit as the products we advertise.  I refuse to believe my years in fighting games are a waste.  We can do better.

 To the people who use “vapes” now after having quit smoking: Power to you! I think the steps you’re taking are admirable, and I’m sure it isn’t easy. But since making that switch, think about if you’d want the people who look up to you, whether it’s your younger brother, or the thousands home, to have gone through the money-wasting, cough inducing trials of adolescence that you have.

Sorry about the rant. Shit, I haven’t used this blog in two years…  But this needed to be said.

Like I said: We can do better. We owe it to the people who watch these streams day after day. 


Gaming for Charity! Fighting Fire with Fire.

29 04 2012

I’m planning on hosting a charity event for a friend of mine, but before we talk about the event, I want to highlight a few details about my friend’s recent struggle.

Recently, a close friend of mine had tragedy strike.  Brendan Triano, or Gunblade as he’s come to be called in the competitive Smash Bros community, was asleep in his house in Clifton, NJ, when an electrical fire sparked in his attic.  His grandfather, who had just come back from vising the local market, came home to see smoke and flames.  He raced upstairs to wake his grandson up, but then found himself too weak to make it down the stairs.  Brendan carried his grandfather out of the house safely, leaving two people saved by each other.

Brendan Triano:  “If it weren’t for my grandpa, I would be dead.”

The fire engulfed his house almost entirely, and destroyed all of Brendan’s earthly possessions, minus his wallet, keys, and his trombone.  Brendan loves jazz, and said that he’s going to be looking towards music to get him though these next couple months.

Brendan is a long standing member of competitive Smash, and supporter of competitive gaming, attending tournaments for games like Marvel vs Capcom 3, Smash Bros, Street Fighter 4, and much more!  You can even see him commentating at the biggest Brawl event in history.  His knowledge and love for the gaming community is boundless, and it’s time that he cashed in some of the loyalty he’s shown to us.

While I intend to donate, I’ve been racking my brain to think of how I can better help the kindest, more lovable person I’ve met since I started gaming competitively.  It’s amazing how obvious it was, really.  It’s ironic, that I’m going to try to fight fire with fire. Read the rest of this entry »

Capcom is Wasting Our Time; Their Time.

25 04 2012

Real talk, I’m a fucking geek.

We know this.  I blog about gaming.  I actively spend Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday in small spaces with other dudes yelling about video games and movies.  I have my girlfriend playing Final Fantasy 7 as a stipulation for our future together.  Hell, I took a bus across the country to play Marvel vs. Capcom 3.

With this crap said, it’s still really important to tell you how much I love Skyrim, and Oblivion, and Lord of the goddamned Rings, and Kingdoms of Amalur, and pen and paper sutff…  I love fantasy.

Maybe I like Glee, too.

But, even with my love of all things fantasy, and despite my yearning to play this game:  Dragon’s Dogma was just bad, man.  I eagerly awaited the demo to be released yesterday, as I’ve been up-talking this game at every turn, given the trailers’ exciting style of gameplay and lore that we’ve seen over the past year, or so.  This was up all of my proverbial alleys, and I have had this pegged as a top five release for 2012 since I first saw the reveal in the middle of last year.  Unfortunately, after 10 minutes with the demo, I was just about ready to end my own life.  (Luckily the thought of the hellspawn kept me going.  Not Hell itself, but the minions of Diablo 3.  Oh, and I guess my family and friends and sfasnajfksn.) Read the rest of this entry »

Things You Should be Hyped About: Not Playing Uncharted?

23 04 2012

The Uncharted series is widely regarded as one of the best things to happen to gaming this generation.  Coming off of a slightly slow beginning, the now flagship series from Developer Naughty Dog (Famous for their work on franchises like Crash Bandicoot and Jak & Daxter.) has taken flight as one of the must play series in gaming.

A rich storyline follows the would-be Indana Jones stand in, Nathan Drake, as he and his mentor scour the Earth for things only five or ten people give the slightest shit about.  Stuff like oil lamps, and tattered old maps detailing the hidden locations of items used by dudes who you didn’t care about much in history class.  Naughty Dog’s take on the rough-and-rugged explorer tale (which is older than any of us) and puts a rather magical scope of humility on it, with the cast of characters that will leave you ready to start the next game.   BUT WHY WOULD YOU EVEN PLAY THEM? Read the rest of this entry »

Why People Need to Chill Out About Reboots.

11 04 2012

First, before we begin, let’s talk briefly about what a reboot is.

It’s definitely not this.

Well, I guess I’ts kind of that, but that’s not what we’re talking about.  (And lord, never let me mention that again.)

What we’re talking about is a series reboot!  A reboot is basically a re-imagining of  a premise or base-of-mechanics of a movie/book/game/show/blah, while keeping the same general theme.  Most recently, we’ve seen headlines for reboots of the Devil May Cry series, a reboot for a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie (they’re aliens now?) and the Tomb Raider franchise.

A lot of people are getting CRAZZZYYY about it, saying that these series don’t need to be rebooted.  That we should be working as a culture to improve without change.  That rebooting these classics is a crime.

Those “a lot” of people are idiots. Read the rest of this entry »

A Great Day for Playstation Network!

10 04 2012

Playstation Network is generally poopoo.

Luckily, today has two releases that I really feel deserve every ounce of your attention!  Finally, after months of teasers, Skullgirls is available to the public!  Tournament player turned game developer Mike-Z and his team of ragtag well-wishers at Autumn Games are releasing their flagship title.  Skullgirls is a fighting gamer’s fighting game.  The game was designed with competitive play and balance in mind, which is a good thing, considering last month’s efforted release of Street Fighter x Tekken turned out to be a flop in the mind of the competitive community.

Patiently, the gamers around the country have been waiting for a new anime-styled fighter to really knock the community on their asses.  With BlazBlue not getting a large enough following, and no one in the world even knowing what MeltyBlood is, Autumn Games has essentially picked an open market to ravage with his beautiful, burlesque fighting game to be releasing into!

The game’s concept is simple.  Some hot/ugly chicks are fighting to get some magical item that grants wishes.  But, who cares?  It’s a fighting game!  The real premise is “Fight with hardcore bullshit until your opponent Ragequits.”  Luckily, the game’s netcode (GGPO) is so amazingly popular with fighting game players, and Autumn has done such an amazing job marketing this title, that you’ll have a ton of opponents to choose from after people start muting/blocking you for busting their asses. Read the rest of this entry »

Things You Should be Hyped About

9 04 2012

Every Monday, I’m featuring a brief article highlighting something in the gaming (or entertainment, if too godlike.) world that you should be paying some extra attention to.

This week, I think it’s important to talk about something that not enough people even know exist:

Bloodline Champions is an arena based, PvP game (with a REALLY HORRIBLE NAME.) designed to get you in, have you kill some people, and get the fuck out.  Imagine if Guild Wars (or WoW Arena) and League of Legends had a really ugly baby.  And that ugly baby grew up to be kind of a homely girl, but she’s so cool and she loves the things that you love, and she really likes you for you.  Like, you maybe don’t show her to too many of your friends, but you’re loving your time with her.

Well I’m not embarrassed!  This game is a fucking godsend! Read the rest of this entry »