Singapore just held its World Cyber Games competition from 10 August to 13 August at Suntec City. World Cyber Games is Olympics equvialent in the gaming world. Singapore, being a small country, is trying to produce its army of gamers to compete with the top notch gamers from countries such as the United States, South Korea and Japan.
This year World Cyber Games features 6 PC games and 2 Xbox 360 games, Counter Strike 1.6, Need for Speed Most Wanted, Warcraft III : Frozen Throne, Starcraft : Broodwar, Dawn of War : Winter Assualt and FIFA 2006 are the PC games, while Dead or Alive 4 and Project Gotham Racing 3 are the 2 Xbox 360 games.
The Singapore phase of the competition featured previous defending champions from last year’s competition, such as Team Titans, last year’s CS 1.6 champion.
Upsets came after upsets. Team Titans were ousted out of the competition when they lost to Bestmadewarriors, a new team. Team Titans was without the leader, Prasad Paramajothi, due to his commitment for National Service (NS). However, Wilson Chia and Dennis Ooi defended their title for Dead or Alive 4 and Dawn of War : Winter Assault respective. 8 out of 10 defending champions failed in their attempt to retain the title.
Prasad Paramajothi failed to attend the competition due to depletion of his annual leave of 14 days used in the past for various trainings and competition. Moreover his military unit declined to grant him time off to attend such a prestigious event in the gaming arena, although he is a Singapore respresentative for World Cyber Games. Many organisations do not recognised gaming as a sports equivalent games like soccer, badminton and swimming. In contrary, Singapore is trying to promote itself to be a digital hub for digital media such as cybergaming, which is on the rise for the past few years. Why are sport athletes such as swimmers and soccer players granted off to train and take part in competition while gamers (considered as cyberathletes) are not allowed to follow the same rule? Why can’t he granted off to take part in training and competition? Are gamers not representing Singapore as a representative of the country? Gamers do bring glory to the nation too. Last year, Wilson won the 2nd place for Dead or Alive in the international World Cyber Games competition. Isn’t that cool?
On the contrary, another gamer in the Cyber Team Singapore who is serving his National Service was granted a week off for his competition.
In the past, gaming has been restricted to personal circle of friends. However, developments of Internet technologies and computer hardwares have bring gamers together from around the world. In this rapidly growing community, Singapore government is starting to provide local gamers to have the chance to compete with foreign players by bringing competition such as the Cyberathlete Professional League (CPL), to local stage only recently. Gamers are no longer children or teenagers who skipped schools or do poorly in examinations. In the past, parents and teachers always warned children from playing too much computer games, as it is a “waste time” activity, but this is no longer the case. Gaming does bring in money, a source of income. A number of gaming clans are being sponsored by big companies. Gamers are provided with good equipment to train and play.
The gaming industry is raking in millions of dollars each year to the economy, and the figure is increasing tirelessly. Gamers should be given the same platform as any sportmen or sportwomen in the sporting arena.
Recognise the gamers, recognise us.