Last week on the Clog, we got to sit down and talk with UC Berkeley’s own Electronic Sports Club president, Conan “Suppy” Liu. Through it, we got to find out some very interesting things about the competitive gaming community in Berkeley and what it takes to be a professional gamer. Definitely check it out if you haven’t already.
However, as we have also found out through Liu, the scene is very much growing and is on the move toward gaining an even broader mainstream appeal. So much so that it seems to have caught the attention of Kornhaber Brown, who has done a mini-documentary about the E-sports community for “PBS Off Book,” a Web series that explores new experimental artistic media.
The mini-documentary itself is very informative and really expands on the vast world of electronic sports in an easy-to-understand way. What’s also nice is that it breaks down the major genres of games played at professional-level tournaments, gives an interesting story of a real-life professional gamer and even dabbles in current issues that exist in the community, such as sexism and the exclusivity that E-sport gaming sometimes breeds.
Although given relatively little media attention, UC Berkeley’s electronic sports team has garnered quite a bit of respect both across the nation and internationally. Cal has particularly excelled in several real time strategy games, including Defense of the Ancients (DotA) and StarCraft, with the DotA team becoming the first ever Collegiate DotA League (CDL) champions and the the StarCraft team poised to win its second championship in the Collegiate StarLeague (CSL). We sat down with the Electronic Sports club‘s president and ace StarCraft player Conan “Suppy” Liu and asked him a few question about E-Sports here in Berkeley:
What does it take to become a serious gamer?
Conan: A lot of dedication. Not just playing casually, or for fun, but you have to focus on areas you can improve on. There are a lot of resources online, including videos of some professional players. One good way is to play a game and watch the replay, taking notes on ways to improve your strategy. It’s almost an academic way of gaming.
Are there any skills in competitive gaming that you would say are applicable outside of the gaming environment?
Conan: (Laughs) There is a study linking surgeons to their video gaming abilities, but in terms of realistic applications, gaming involves a lot of problem solving. At least in Starcraft, there’s a lot of strategy and on-the-spot critical thinking that requires you to think very quickly in reacting to your opponent.
How do students get on the Berkeley StarCraft team? How else can they get involved?
We have all watched Japanese animation at some point in our lives. Be it in the form of Hayao Miyazaki films, Dragon Ball Z or the animated series of Pokémon, we have all been exposed to it. But we’re sure you’re not surprised that those selections don’t even begin to scratch the surface of the world of Japanese anime. So how can you expose yourself to more you ask? Well that’s easy, check out Cal’s very own anime club: Cal Animage Alpha! read more »
Somebody please hold us, it has finally happened. Our dreams have come true! Someone has made a history class that fuses the academic study of history with the playing of video games. That’s right; a professor by the name of Joseph November of the University of South Carolina has crafted a history class that features video games as the main way students engage with course material.
According to a handout of the course description posted on reddit, the major focus of the class is to examine each game’s portrayal of its respective time period as well as consider how video games as a medium can help provide new perspectives on history. The playing list for the class features a variety of video games based in historical settings such as Assassins’ Creed II, Railroad Tycoon, Age of Empires III, Fallout 3 and many more.
Marching bands are pretty cool. Also, we have to admit that video games are pretty cool as well. But what if the two were combined into one impressively well-choreographed marching band routine? Well that is just what the marching band at Ohio State University did during one of their half time shows in what is quite possibly the most entertaining performance we’ve seen in a while. However, despite the attention the video has been getting, there seems to be a mini-controversy regarding the theme of OSU’s routine. They aren’t the first ones to do it.”
Coincidentally, Cal actually did a routine very similar to OSU’s back in 2007 in a couple football games that year against Stanford and Washington State. Naturally, the controversy is coming from YouTube commenters who are arguing away about whose better and who should get all the credit. To tell the truth, we didn’t realize that our marching band had done something like this in the past (It was before our time for some of us at the Clog so you can’t blame us!) but after doing a search on YouTube of “video game marching bands,” we pulled up the video by chance.
Honestly, the question of which school did what, when and where during what moment that the planets were aligned shouldn’t be a concern to everybody. After all, we both pulled off some pretty neat and entertaining performances. Regardless, the anonymous inhabitants of the internet should just take it easy and relax. While they do that, let us enjoy these lovely homages to our childhood video games of old!
Posted by Deborah Lee on Friday, September 30, 2011 02:10 pm
If you enjoy tabletop games or video games and are looking to befriend people with similar interests, consider Eudemonia on 2154 University Avenue. Eudemonia is a store dedicated to gaming of all types; they sell trading card games, board games, role-playing games and other merchandise. They also offer PCs installed with a constantly expanding library of games. The PCs are up-to-date with new releases such as “Dead Island,” “Warhammer 40k: Space Marine” and “Deus Ex: Human Revolution.” However, Eudemonia is not simply a retail space but a source of community. The store hosts numerous events such as pre-release and release parties for new TCG products. Every Tuesday is “Type Two Tuesday” where “Magic: the Gathering” players can meet up and play against each other.Every Thursday is “Board Game Night,” where participants play various strategy games and card games together. There are also occasionally LAN events such as the BATLL (Bay Area TeamLiquid LAN) Starcraft II tournament.
We took a visit to Eudemonia and chatted with some employees about the general ins and outs of the store:
We noticed that on the events calendar [on the website], Eudemonia hosts a lot of pre-release parties. What do these events entail? Do you guys do tournaments? read more »
No worries, because we at the Clog are here to make sure that at least one of your fall semester classes will be worth waking up for. Because we love our readers so dearly and would hate for you procrastinators to add a boring, soul-gnawing class just to reach that 13 unit mark, we present to you a short list of noteworthy classes we’re convinced you will enjoy immeasurably.