Either video games are growing up on the world's gone strange. I can't decide. I say this because the USA Network has a deal with Major League Gaming to televise the entire pro circuit of, well, people playing video games. Basically we're all expected to tune in and watch other people play video games. Maybe I don't get the whole "new media" angle of this, but what is the fun in watching people I don't know play games? There's a lot of money tied up this this venture though. That could explain it.
Major League Gaming in February received $10 million in venture capital funding to help it build a mass-market business to complement the $25 billion global video-game business. The company operates a seven-city pro tour and championship, exclusively manages a roster of the world's top video gamers and produces online and broadcast-quality programming.
This works for MLG because the company and its pro players scoop up all kinds of profits and minor fame. This works for the USA Network because it gets to sell lucrative advertising space during the televised games. This works for game publishers because their products get some exposure on the program. So tell me, why does this work for us viewers? Why do we want to watch people play games when we could just play those same games ourselves (and have a lot more fun than just watching other people play)?
On a related note, I love the file photo Reuters is using in their coverage of this story. They've taken a picture of someone holding a Sony PlayStation Portable. If I didn't know any better, I'd think that USA intends to air the televised games by pointing a camera at a PSP.