Tag Archive | "wcg"

S’pore gamers not receiving enough support from govt: Facebook note

S’pore gamers not receiving enough support from govt: Facebook note

Tags: , , , ,

With a long string of accolades and achievements, local gamer Aeriel Phirkhan believes the e-gaming community deserves more support. 

By Terence Lee

The WCG event looks like a freakin' UN Congress. Photo: Peter Karminski

A professional gamer recently wrote a heartfelt letter to the government pleading for more support for e-sports. Going by the name of Aeriel Phirkhan, he is also unhappy that gamers are too often portrayed negatively by the media.

I certainly am not familiar with the professional gaming world, but looking at the list of achievements Aeriel has highlighted, Singapore e-athletes certainly put our other sporting compatriots to shame (and with little government funding to boot).

Just to highlight some examples:

1. Wilson Chia became World Champion for Dead Or Alive before and won SG’s first World Cyber Games (WCG) Grand Final Medal. He also played a vital role in the Championship Gaming Series for SG.Swords.

2. Scythe, a Singapore DOTA (Defense of the Ancients) team, managed to beat two top teams in the world and won themselves US$150,000.

3. Aeriel himself got 2nd in the Hyundai Motors Cup, almost winning a Car and 3rd place in the Championship Gaming Series World Finals and have always progressed far in WCG and helped SG Swords to win the CGS Pan Asian Championship. He also became the youngest professional gamer in Asia to compete.

More examples were highlighted in the letter. He brought up how ‘Ducky’, a top Warcraft 3 player in Singapore “did really well and stunned the world before with his performances”. But he, along with with many local CounterStrike players who received international acclaim, stopped because they lack funding and sponsorships in Singapore.

He also brought up his own example. In 2008, his team had to start their own donation drive to fund their trip to compete in the WCG Finals in Germany. Gamers from other countries were appalled. Eventually the Singapore Cybersports & Online Gaming Association (SCOGA), a registered society set up by e-gamers, came through for them and managed to raise the required money. Schools like Pasir Ris Secondary chipped in as well. “We were really touched,” he wrote.

The media has done the e-gaming community no favors, he claims: “Its really annoying when most reporters tend to write negative stuff over in the papers over small issues(only a handful has written brilliant articles). And trust me, everyone in the scene know they always do. Just because of 1 person who did the wrong thing, they are making us, e-Sports gamers look bad. Know the scene first before assuming anything dearest reporters. Do attend our tournament events at least and see our passion first before slamming the community and bringing our efforts down.”

Singapore needs to move beyond just rewarding scholars who are book smart, and empower youths who are talented in non-traditional ways.

Ultimately, Aeriel hopes that the government will give them more recognition and support through the Vision 2030 initiative, which aims to chart the path for the future of Singapore sports.

“During the General Election 2011, we heard how some of the politicians promised to listen to the people and try to cater to our needs. Stick by your words,” he wrote.

I can certainly sympathize with his letter. Too often, the media has an unfortunate tendency to caricaturize a particular group of people. Gays in Singapore, for instance, are too often associated with AIDS and death. Portrayal of healthy homosexual families are censored by the local media. Apparently the old foogies at the Media Development Authority of Singapore don’t know that their kids are probably surfing gay porn behind their backs.

Gamers are too often associated with addicts. And even murderous psychopaths. I remember very distinctly a Sunday Times article that speculated on the reason why NTU student David Widjaja fell to his death after an altercation with his professor. The article drew a link between David’s love for World of Warcraft and his alleged stabbing of the professor — as if the media thinks we’re too dumb to read past the outrageous insinuations made. Puh-leeze.

As for government support for e-gamers, I certainly think Aeriel’s plea should be seriously considered. Since sports like badminton, football, and swimming receive an obscene amount of support from the government, why can’t e-gamers get a share of the pie, considering how they’re already doing well on the world stage? It’s about fairness and providing opportunities for all.

For Singapore to truly develop as a first world society, it must be able to give diverse individuals multiple pathways to success. If a particular person is not academically inclined but excels at World of Warcraft, I don’t see he or she can’t have the opportunity to succeed and win some cool moolah along the way. In other words, Singapore needs to move beyond just rewarding scholars who are book smart, and empower youths who are talented in non-traditional ways.

Hell, if a Singaporean wants to be an avand-garde porn director, more power to that, right?

The Facebook note was brought to our attention by a member of Girlaxy, a new Singaporean girls’ gaming team.