IT’S HOLIDAY TIME

Its school holiday time in the Calnan household, with both my boys receiving what they believe is a well-earned break from all those hard days they have spent at school this term…

Personally, I’m not so convinced, but given that school is closed I don’t really have any alternative but to feel grateful to have them home.

Rhett and Judd, are a bit like the cycle really, Same Same but VERY Different! They both have a love of sport, but Judd likes to see and be with people. To personally interact and read the body language.

Rhett, well he is one of those kids who is just as happy to be seated, glued to his desk in a dark room, headphones on, playing virtually with his mates online.

I don’t get it.

I admit I’m a luddite. Prehistoric. Left to the Ancient art of seeing people face to face.

I’ve never really been one for video games: I did like the odd game of PacMan while waiting for a Burger at the Fish and Chip shop. In fact, I still remember the first time I ever played Atari – it was at a school mate’s house, Jerry…

But I was never taken by them, more interested in mucking about face to face with my mates.

I never really liked having to endure watching someone else playing while waiting to take another turn, but to actually want to watch someone play a video game without ANY intention of playing yourself is completely beyond me.

But that’s my Rhett.

He loves playing video games!

He loves watching others play online?

He plays with his mates online. He watches his friends play online (and they watch him) while they all have the most ridiculous conversations egging each other on.

But then Rhett will also watch other gamers on YouTube who have recorded a game they played days, months or weeks ago – it’s simply beyond me….

But not my Rhettsy! He loves playing. He loves watching. He loves interacting online with his mates and I have to say that it’s a great way for him to spend some time and keep in contact with a few of his mates that live in the country who don’t get to the city much.

However, on the whole, I don’t get it. It’s a whole new world.

I don’t understand it and I’m not sure I like it.

But it’s not my choice as society is changing – just like it did when the Beatles burst onto the music scene scaring the hell out of parents with their long hair and delinquent ways. But somehow the Beatles generation seemed to turn out Ok in the end?..

Technology is a HUGE driver and not one to ignore. What is clear to me is that online gaming is going to create MASSIVE opportunities going forward that I want to be open to.

Photo By Jamie Mclnall from Pexels

The NEW Generation

Meet Griffin Spikoski.

This shy 14-year-old typically spends about 18 hours a day glued to his computer screen playing computer games – enough to send any parent to the nut house!

He has a YouTube channel where he regularly uploads videos of himself playing video games. Much of his social interaction is online where he meets and plays with friends and other players.

It’s a very different childhood to the one I experienced.

But before you judge, do you remember the chant “Turn on, Tune in. Drop out” from the 70’s?

Would your perception of Griffin change if I told you that he has a massive 1.2 million subscribers to his YouTube channel and nearly 74 million views? (See SCEPTIC)

Last year it’s reputed that he earned +$200,000USD in advertising sponsorship?

This Kid is part of the “ESport” Revolution and just like the hippies in their psychedelic bus, they are here – console in hand!

Follow the Money

It’s big business too! And only getting bigger with literally tens of millions of viewers. Riot Games have reported that 67 million people worldwide play League of Legends each month.

Epic Games has announced that it will award $US40M in prize money for the 2019 Fortnite World Cup, July 26 to 28 which is open to all players age 13 and up. Epic has further promised a total prize pool of $US100 million for competitive “Fortnite” events during 2019.

The big corporates are being attracted by both the size, growth and the tight demographics of this new industry. 62% of viewers are aged 18-34 according to Activat. All the usual suspects Coca-Cola, Red Bull, Samsung etc are flocking to be associated with the sport.

It’s no surprise that places like the city of Hangzhou in China have spent hundreds of millions of dollars building an ‘Esports town’ – they can smell the money!

Note: Audience total includes Esports enthusiasts and casual Esports viewers.
Source: Newzoo, 2018

According to NewZoo, Esports “on its current trajectory is estimated to reach US$1.4 billion by 2020.” when about 300 million people will be watching Esports. Their “more optimistic scenario places revenues at US$2.4 billion”. By contrast, the AFL has revenue of about $650M pa although they will still be somewhat behind America’s NFL at about $14B.

“The Esports industry entered a new era at the end of last year, when Riot Games, League of Legends’ developer, signed a seven-year, multi-million dollar deal with BAMTech. It is the most considerable broadcasting rights deal in the history of Esports to date—not just because of its sheer size of at least $350 million, but also because it closely weaves together Esports and traditional sports business.”

Still find it hard to accept?

If you still want further proof of the legitimacy of Esports then how about this – Esports will be included in the official sporting programme of the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou China and is under serious consideration to be included in the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.

Believe it or not but some US colleges are including e-scholarships alongside their existing traditional sports scholarships; it’s a whole new world…

Personally, its hard for me the accept the legitimacy of Esports. It still frustrates me that Rhett will bunker down in his room for hours on end, happily oblivious to everyone else around him completely immersed in the screen in front of him.

But I keep thinking, what did Jimmy Hendrix parents think as he bashed away on his left-handed guitar in his teens?

Or the parents of Tony Hawk who was seen by many as having had a misspent youth riding skateboards before he revolutionised the fringe sport and created a personal net wealth of some $140mUSD. (link https://moneyinc.com/tony-hawk-net-worth/)

My point is that we need to learn from history. The Luddites smashed all the milling machines they could in an effort to restrict the advancement of mankind.

It is thought that Aristotle once said “When I look at the younger generation, I despair of the future of civilisation.”

Maybe we need not jump to conclusions so quickly here; let’s not be limited in our thinking and see the opportunities as they develop.

The commercialisation of Esports is just another example of the jobs of the future that we haven’t thought of. The logistics, catering, hard and software development not to mention betting on the outcomes.

Millions will continue to be spent creating personalities, teams and an entire culture of Esport enthusiasts that will be completely besotted with such tournaments as World Series Fortnite.

Photo by Sean Do on Unsplash

But always remember where the commercial value and financial outcome culminate. As Esports continue their spectacular growth it will feed back into the land cycle.

Don’t believe me? Well I’m still the one collecting the Economic Rent on the land where Rhett’s chair, table and Xbox reside!

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2019-04-26T17:05:31+10:00

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