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Vietmanes Culture/American Culture
Vietnamese Culture/ American Culture Being a Vietnamese-American is very tough on me, because I have to deal with two different cultures and traditions. My parents were brought up in a.
Vietnamese Culture/ American Culture Being a Vietnamese-American is very tough on me, because I have to deal with two different cultures and traditions. My parents were brought up in a different culture therefore it is hard for them to adapt to a new one. I live and I am influenced by the American culture. My friends, my school, the television, the radio, and the Internet are some examples of the everyday things that influence me. On the other hand, my parents try very hard to raise me the best way they can and they do that by raising me the only way they know how. They bring me up the same way they were brought up. I understand that it is very difficult to adopt a new way and style of teaching but it is also very difficult and frustrating for me to try and understand their teaching style when I am taught otherwise at school. The Vietnamese tradition is that parents are always correct no matter what. My opinions and ideas would not matter to them. If they believe I did something wrong I would not have a chance to explain, I must apologize immediately and except the punishment. Nevertheless the children will have very much respect towards their parents. Obedience is everything to the Vietnamese people and heart to heart talks are seldom brought about. Parents would hardly ever talk to their children and punishments are most likely enforced with the whip. Advice is rarely given and overall it is a very strict culture. Parents would select the marriage. From whom it is going to be to whom is going to attend. Bringing honor to the family is the most important thing. All Vietnamese families compete for good reputation. To the Vietnamese tradition parents own their children. They can do whatever they please to their children and the public would not care. However, the American traditions are rather different. Children have their rights of speech. Parents would often want to get involved in their children�s lives. Frequent talks about drugs, sex, and violence help American children go about life more easily. They know the danger that lies ahead and have a chance to prepare and avoid it. Trust is also practiced in American homes.
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Little Victories Saturday nights usually involve some sort of stress relief for most college students. One Saturday, like many others involved some drinking to cope with college life. But, unlike other Saturdays this one ended with my roommate, Jeff, in the hospital and me with a two hundred a
We all have some vision of what the good life should look like. Days filled with reading and strolls through museums, retirement to a tropical island, unlimited amounts of time for video games…. Whatever they may be, our concepts tend toward fantasy of the grass is greener variety. But what would it mean to live the good life in the here and now, in the life we’re given, with all its warts, routines, and daily obligations? Though the work of philosophers for the past hundred years or so may seem divorced from mundane concerns and desires, this was not always so. Thinkers like Plato. Aristotle. Immanuel Kant. and Friedrich Nietzsche once made the question of the good life central to their philosophy. In the videos here, University of New Orleans philosophy professor Chris Surprenant surveys these four philosophers’ views on that most consequential subject.
The view we’re likely most familiar with comes from Socrates (as imagined by Plato), who, while on trial for corrupting the youth, tells his inquisitors, “the unexamined life is not worth living.” Pithy enough for a Twitter bio, the statement itself may too often go unexamined. Socrates does not endorse a life of private self-reflection; he means that “an individual become a master of himself,” says Surprenant,”using his reason to reign in his passions, as well as doing what he can to help promote the stability of his community.” In typical ancient Greek fashion, Plato and his mentor Socrates define the good life in terms of reasonable restraint and civic duty.
The Platonic version of the good life comes in for a thorough drubbing at the hands of Friedrich Nietzsche, as do Aristotelian, Kantian, and Judeo-Christian ideals. Nietzsche’s declaration that “God is dead,” and in particular the Christian god, “allows us the possibility of living more meaningful and fulfilling lives,” Surprenant says. Nietzsche, who describes himself as an “amoralist,” uses the proposed death of god—a metaphor for the loss of religious and metaphysical authority governing human behavior—to stage what he calls a “revaluation of values.” His critique of conventional morality pits what he calls life-denying values of self-restraint, democracy, and compassion (“slave morality”) against life-affirming values.
For Nietzsche, life is best affirmed by a striving for individual excellence that he identified with an idealized aristocracy. But before we begin thinking that his definition of the good life might accord well with, say, Ayn Rand’s, we should attend to the thread of skepticism that runs throughout all his work. Despite his contempt for traditional morality, Nietzsche did not seek to replace it with universal prescriptions, but rather to undermine our confidence in all such notions of universality. As Surprenant points out, “Nietzsche is not looking for followers,” but rather attempting to “disrupt old conceptual schemes,” in order to encourage us to think for ourselves and, as much as it’s possible, embrace the hand we’re dealt in life.
For contrast and comparison, see Surprenant’s summaries of Aristotle and Kant’s views above and below. This series of animated videos comes to us from Wireless Philosophy (Wi-Phi for short), a project jointly created by Yale and MIT in 2013. We’ve previously featured video series on metaphysical problems like free will and the existence of god and logical problems like common cognitive biases. The series here on the good life should give you plenty to reflect on, and to study should you decide to take up the challenge and read some of the philosophical arguments about the good life for yourself, if only to refute them and come up with your own. But as the short videos here should make clear, thinking rigorously about the question will likely force us to seriously re-examine our comfortable illusions.
For many more open access philosophy videos, check out the Wi Phi Youtube channel. You can also find complete courses by Prof. Surprenant in our collection of Free Online Philosophy Courses .
105 Animated Philosophy Videos from Wireless Philosophy. A Project Sponsored by Yale, MIT, Duke & More
Learn Right From Wrong with Oxford’s Free Course A Romp Through Ethics for Complete Beginners
Josh Jonesis a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness
December 28, 2015 / 11:17 am
I’ve always identified with Aristotle’s views much more than with Socrates. It seems to me that Aristotle is saying that individual virtues are the one path to the good life and that path come from within, while Plato posits the path to the good life needs exterior influences for the person to achieve success.
Chandran Methil says.
December 28, 2015 / 7:20 pm
All these philosophers assume that the human condition starts with a clean slate. We know that this assumption is incorrect. Heredity and Environment play significant roles in character and temperament. Heredity influences go back to the beginning of our species. A cat which learns a new trick transfers this knowledge to successive generations. Environment is conditioned by parentage,race,religion,education,social status and a host of other factors. A human is therefore heavily conditioned by factors which are not in his control. Some of these have been enunciated by some of these philosophers and it was Socrates famous dictum “Know Thyself” that was central to his philosophy. Happiness is when one has deconditioned oneself and knows who he really is.
Jon M Scott says.
December 28, 2015 / 9:45 pm
Emeka Valentine says.
December 29, 2015 / 8:27 am
Self knowledge is the begining of all wisdom.It is when we allow our reason to control our emotions that wisdom comes.
December 29, 2015 / 12:18 pm
good life for me is time spend smiling as often as I could. not for a just a joke or yarn but for time that occupy. reading. observing. traveling, meeting new people and cultures have opened my mind …and then I also agree environment in which we live in play mammoth role in shaping our Ives. when we do understand all these variables … our road to good life. begins finally :) Happy new year.
December 30, 2015 / 4:30 am
I am grateful for this post. Since I have been currently dealing with a loss in my family, I found myself to be trying to answer this complicated question. How to live a good life is very simple to ask and very difficult to answer. From my point of view, it is a combination of all the stuff that was presented in each one of these videos. I agree with the on the Kantian imperative with him, but can’t agree with him about his claims about God, where I feel more united with Nietzsche, and so on. What I know is that the suffering and pain are both real and my goal should be to help others to avoid them as much as possible – which makes it clear where I stand in this current refugee crisis. We have to be able to accept our own mortality and behave in a way that is in accordance with the nature, society, and other individuals. I truly hope that one day, we will all understand that the war and violence are futile, and that fighting against any injustice would be our main source of happiness.
January 24, 2016 / 8:14 am
In many ways, the opposite is true. Aristotle claimed that the good life cannot be lived without a variety of external goods. Without the luck of being born to a good family and with a good temperament, the good life is hard to achieve. Material comfort, luck, good breeding, a youth filled with proper education, and friends are all requirements of the good life for Aristotle, and the average person has little control over such factors.
Howard Hughes says.
January 24, 2016 / 1:18 pm
Hi Chris, thank you very much for these digestible videos and taking the time write and post. I love that truth is universal, that it is collaborated regardless of time, distance, ethnicity and social standing. Listening to Socates analogy of the chariot for mastery of the self reminded me of this piece from the Upanishads, one of the Hindu holy books written some 3,000-5,000 years ago.
“Know the Atman (Self) as the lord of the chariot, and the
body as the chariot. Know also the intellect to be the
driver and mind the reins.
The senses are called the horses; the sense objects are
the roads; when the Atman is united with body, senses
and mind, then the wise call Him the enjoyer.”
FEATURING: IAN BOGOST - LEIGH ALEXANDER - ZOE QUINN - ANITA SARKEESIAN & KATHERINE CROSS - IAN SHANAHAN - ANNA ANTHROPY - EVAN NARCISSE - HUSSEIN IBRAHIM - CARA ELLISON & BRENDAN KEOGH - DAN GOLDING - DAVID JOHNSTON - WILLIAM KNOBLAUCH -More FEATURING: IAN BOGOST - LEIGH ALEXANDER - ZOE QUINN - ANITA SARKEESIAN & KATHERINE CROSS - IAN SHANAHAN - ANNA ANTHROPY - EVAN NARCISSE - HUSSEIN IBRAHIM - CARA ELLISON & BRENDAN KEOGH - DAN GOLDING - DAVID JOHNSTON - WILLIAM KNOBLAUCH - MERRITT KOPAS - OLA WIKANDER
The State of Play is a call to consider the high stakes of video game culture and how our digital and real lives collide. Here, video games are not hobbies or pure recreation; they are vehicles for art, sex, and race and class politics.
The sixteen contributors are entrenched—they are the video game creators themselves, media critics, and Internet celebrities. They share one thing: they are all players at heart, handpicked to form a superstar roster by Daniel Goldberg and Linus Larsson, the authors of the bestselling Minecraft: The Unlikely Tale of Markus "Notch" Persson and the Game that Changed Everything.
The State of Play is essential reading for anyone interested in what may well be the defining form of cultural expression of our time. LessGet a copy Friends’ Reviews
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Iset rated it really liked it
This is a collection of essays from various gamers, game critics, and game makers – sometimes, all three – on the state of gaming as a worldwide hobby today, the culture of it, and the community surrounding it. First off, let me praise the premise of this book. I’m a life. Read full review
Jericha rated it really liked it
This is an incredibly uneven collection. 4 stars because I'm glad it exists; also because the pieces that are worth reading are EXTREMELY worth reading, and some of the not-so-great essays still presents valuable thoughts & ideas. Several of the pieces collected here. Read full review
Jonathan rated it really liked it
State of Play is a collection of a bunch of different essays from notable video game and culture critics, such as Anita Sarkeesian, Ian Bogost, Zoe Quinn, and a handful more. Ultimately, I feel that this collection does a really nice job addressing a variety of issues tha. Read full review
Bryan Mitchell rated it it was amazing
I played video games growing up and I'll say this: Books like this need to be more of a thing in the industry.
Goldberg and Larsson curated some of the most prominent voices in games criticism from Anita Sarkeesian and Katherine Cross to Zoe Quinn, Ian Bogost, Evan Narcis. Read full review
Nick Jones rated it it was ok
While State of Play purports to be an examination of "video game culture," to a far greater extent its essays are about the contributors themselves. It's largely an unfortunate assortment of self-congratulation, self-pity, and self-promotion, with video games being discu. Read full review
Aimeé Rodríguez rated it it was amazing
As a video game enthusiast and recent presenter at a gender and women's studies class, the chapters of this book that deal with the subject matter are dead on and enlightening. If you don't approach these essays with an open mind you will miss the point of the narrarive. Read full review
morbidflight rated it liked it
I have mixed feelings about this volume. First, it's a pretty good primer on essays on games and culture (though not academic). Second, it feels like I've read most of these online before and I feel a bit put out because I expected this to be an edited volume of new contr. Read full review
Pierre Gabriel Dumoulin rated it liked it
I've read it out of curiosity, as a way to get to know what is happening in the video game culture outside what the traditional media tells us.
These 16 contributors all have given their opinions on different subjects; some of them are looking back to the 2014 GamerGate a. Read full review
Jennifer Shaiman rated it really liked it
A nice collection of essays by some of the most prominent voices in the field. Some of these essays are revised and republished from online versions (and it was, in fact, the revised Dan Golding essay that I acquired the book to read).
The collection hits the major notes. Read full review
Nelson Zagalo rated it it was ok
A book on videogame culture for people outside the domain. We could say that it serves as a good entry point for people trying to understand the game scene, mainly not games but its actors, the culture creators, with their worries and concerns.
To be clear the book is more. Read full review
Autor: katiebug917 • September 15, 2013 • Essay • 683 Words (3 Pages) • 195 Views
"If there are 12 million people with our stuff, let's have them be 12 million 18 year olds." Says Dave Burwick vice president of marketing for Pepsi-Cola(Hey Kids Buy This pg. 98), and why not, child spending has risen from $122 billion to $172 billion in the past 5 years(familyed.org). In a time when advertising agencies are trying to get the most for their buck, and who isn't, the smartest thing to do is target the ever growing population of children. In today's society children's average weekly allowance is just $5(Children and Money pg. 1), amounting over $260 a year, if you multiply this number by the number of children in the US today, it is outrageous, close to $5 billion. Seeing as children only save about half a billion dollars a year(Children and Money pg. 1), that's a lot of money being spent on clothes, video games, toys, soda and candy. The funny thing is, marketers that had long ignored children, now systematically pursue them. Today, as well as clothing and toys, it's also computers, airlines, hotels and banks(Hey Kids Buy This pg. 97).
Pepsi, being one of the major soft drink companies in the United States today, has the right idea. By using a different pop icon, such as Brittany Spears, Christina Agulara
and Beyonce Knowles in each new advertisement, they are guaranteed to have the attention of the younger generations, and probably some older men too. In fact, the first thing you see when you open their web site is a perfect picture of Beyonce smiling and enjoying a Pepsi. You, as a consumer, are suppose to think if she is so perfect and she drinks Pepsi then maybe I should too. It's an ingenious idea, using such beautiful people in your advertisements. Coke, Pepsi's number one competitor, has a web site that is just the opposite the first thing you see is a standard informative page, once again proving that their market strategies are diversified. Coke markets to mainstream adult America, probably because of Coke's popular alcohol mixing capabilities and because they are a more "classic" and withstanding company.
Stock quotes and market research shows that over the past 5 years while Coca-Cola has been at a plateau(except in 2000, when they took a huge hit, most likely due to Pepsi's new marketing strategy), Pepsi-Cola is on a steady incline(quotemarningstar.com). This proves that their marketing scheme is working. Coke who markets to mainstream adult America just isn't getting the new customers that Pepsi is, perhaps they should start targeting the younger generation as well as the adults, or they will end up dying out with their loyal consumers.
Besides the fact that children today have deep pockets, there are other reasons to target a younger crowd, one of them being Brand Loyalty. Six out of ten times, a consumer will buy a familiar brand, over a new brand. Brand Loyalty is the key to all
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From its inception, Marx's base and superstructure distinction has vexed theorists. The continued development of production technology and ever-expanding space of consumer products and services has made it difficult to differentiate which human activities constitute base and which make up the superstructure. Marx in his original context used the distinction pessimistically to show how certain supposedly cultural behaviors and institutions whose autonomy was taken for granted were in fact involved in the perpetuation of an economic base whose success and enlargement everyone toiled to achieve but benefitted only a small section of society, whom he called the bourgeoisie. These days the base and superstructure distinction no longer carries the weight of class antagonism but instead is most often deployed as a statement as to how even our most mundane and non-economic activities are conditioned by the ideologies and imperatives of trans-national capitalism. It is in this context that I will explore the relationship between economic necessities and the remarkable phenomenon of electronic gaming competition, through the prism of the competitive Starcraft scene.
Marx was so positioned in the history of ideas that he needed to resolve the intellectual schism between idealism and materialism. Marx's response was a Hegelian synthesis that culminated in his concept of a living praxis that was neither idealist nor materialist. Rather praxis was the nigh-on instantaneous response of the individual both to his own physical necessities and his practical will. Marx used his concept of practice to highlight the importance of man's labor in shaping his world. For Dupre, Marx advances a theory of praxis as social change that is neither a pure materialism nor a pure idealism. The result is that pure contemplation that is distanced from practical concerns like physical needs is impossible. Dupre however believes that in order for theory to maintain its human dimension, that is, for humans to maintain a level of control that betrays more mechanistic views of human activity, there must be something like a pure theoretical, distanced, objective space in which humans can plan action without the interference of immediate physical needs. Dupre modifies praxis in this way to restore a more Hegelian conception of ideology that, while not totally idealist, is also not totally dominated by practical concerns.
Along with Dupre's remarks on Marx's theory of praxis, we have the related concept of cultural superstructure found in Terry Eagleton. Eagleton argues that although practical matters set the tone for cultural activity, this activity always transcends practical concerns. Humans have always acted to satisfy their practical needs through rituals that expand the realm of human needs to create 'synthetic', cultural needs that can only be satisfied through the practice of such rituals. Indeed, that our cultural practices are necessitated by some kind of material production on some basic level is neither surprising nor revolutionary. As Eagleton puts it, material pursuits are "both supremely important and utterly banal" (232). Yet the object concerning us with the base and superstructure distinction is whether and in what ways material production (or, modern capitalism) necessitate that cultural practices take the particular forms that they do. Some definitions of culture are wide enough to include all human activity, but here we will limit ourselves to a definition of culture that includes those human behaviors that are not strictly necessary from the standpoint of human survival. Now, with the complexity of modern society it is difficult (and perhaps this holds true only for rich countries, and for the rich sections of poor countries as well) to delineate exactly which activities are necessary for our collective survival and which are, in this mode, superfluous. One might simplify the matter by designating the collective factories in China as being the sector of humanity that is strictly concerned with human material well-being, while the rest of human economic activity is only tenuously so, concerned as it is with flighty notions of 'service', 'science', or 'progress'. Yet even these more flighty pursuits have some pretension to improving human material well-being. Culture, then, is defined as those activities that lack this pretension. Art, sport, philosophy are obvious examples that satisfy non-economic criteria. Yet what do we make of the 'foodie' movement which is certainly a cultural phenomenon, based as it is around our very basic material need for nourishment?
The point of this is that culture is rarely if ever isolated from material pursuits. But this does not mean that there is no such thing as culture at all. Vulgar Marxists hold the antiquated view that economic imperatives directly condition cultural expression. But a softer argument is that our material situation sets boundaries for cultural pursuits which, oftentimes, express a desire to escape their particular material situation! In this way, economics and culture are distinct while at the same time intimately related. As Eagleton says, we are presented with more and more complex forms of culture, that is, seemingly autonomous culture, only when we are presented also with a situation of material surplus (235).
If we define culture, as does Eagleton, as those pursuits that do not have an ultimate economic goal, then we can begin to situate our current dilemma. In the following I will examine Marx's base and superstructure trope with respect to the burgeoning field of electronic sports (e-sports). E-sports are based on computer and console video games. E-sports competitors use these video games to test their in-game skill against each other in competition resembling that of more traditional sports. Young as it is, e-sports has taken up relatively recent commercial ties through sponsorships, etc. These sponsorships allow gaming teams to send their players to star-studded international competitions. The PC strategy game Starcraft II, released late in 2010, has had a meteoric rise in terms of the enlargement of its competitive scene and also in the casual fan base that supports it. So how does the importance of sponsorships affect the way that e-sports has developed and will continue to develop in the future?
The success of the original Starcraft game in South Korea is something of a phenomenon. Prominent teams in Korea are sponsored by big name corporations in that country such as global media company Gretech and food manufacturer CJ corp. These mainstream corporations have banded together to form a regulating umbrella for the Starcraft 'industry' which stipulates how players are to be paid and under what conditions they must train, etc. Korean 'progamers' are well-known for their grueling practice schedules of 12 hours per day or more. Korean Starcraft competitions are broadcast on two dedicated television channels, and Starcraft competition is recognized in mainstream Korean society, although it has the prestige level of a niche pursuit not unlike that of American-style pro-wrestling.
Of course Starcraft originated as a game played in the home individually for entertainment purposes only. Only after the game had been on the market for upwards of five years did the competitive scene in Korea reach something like the developed state that it is in today. With the release of Starcraft II, competitors based outside of Korea (called 'foreigners' within the Korean scene) have begun to emulate their more skilled Korean counterparts in seriousness and form. Foreign teams are multiplying, and the richer teams are signing contracts with hot players much like professional sports organizations have done for decades.
Together the Korean and foreign scenes combine both in international and 'online' tournaments to compete for cash-prize pools. The largest tournaments typically have substantial corporate backing, and this backing supplies the prize pools for which players compete. One of the largest tournaments is the Intel Extreme Masters, which is a global brand which sponsors numerous tournaments in large cities centered primarily in Europe. The United States analogue to the Intel Extreme Masters tournament is hosted by the tournament organizing company Major League Gaming, based in New York City. Major League Gaming draws on sponsorships from snack food and soft drink brands like Pepsi-Cola and Hot Pockets.
So from its roots as a niche game played by individuals for fun, Starcraft is making a play to become serious business. Recently there was a controversy involving a frequent 'commentator' of Starcraft II matches. The commentator, who goes by the screen name 'orb', was accused of making racist remarks during one of his personal ladder matches. Orb had been recently contracted to commentate a series of Starcraft II team league matches that were to be broadcast as part of the team Evil Geniuses-organized tournament. Evil Geniuses is an e-sports team with wide involvement not just in the Starcraft II e-sports scene, but also in a number of other hugely popular console-based scenes. As such, Evil Geniuses has a large public following with a number of contracted, salaried star players and big sponsors including the computer chip maker Intel. In the aftermath of the controversy involving Orb, Evil Geniuses CEO Alex Garfield issued a statement on a prominent e-sports community website detailing his decision to cancel Orb's contract to cast games for the organization. In his post, Garfield cites his collegiate studies in 'Sociology and Social Justice' as reasons for his sensitivity to racism. At the end of his post, Garfield urges fans who had gone out of their way to contact Evil Geniuses sponsors to voice their dissatisfaction to re-consider in light of his statements and indicate their satisfaction at his handling of the situation. Garfield ended his post by saying, "It's hard enough to bring sponsors into e-sports as it is - we as an industry don't need angry. mobs making that task any more difficult :)." (Garfield).
As a team CEO in the thick of the business of e-sports, Garfield's statements represent the meeting of what was once a niche hobbyist pursuit with a business sensibility intent on 'bringing the nerds into the light' so to speak. The disconnect involved in this racial incident is one involving, to use the antiquated terms, two consciousnesses which to now were operating independently of one another. Use of language considered by mainstream bourgeois to be racist, sexist, and homophobic is rampant by Starcraft II players, professional and casual alike. These factors illustrate how real and perceived commercial pressures are poised to shape the Starcraft II e-sports community going forward.
In an interview conducted after a major gaming tournament, Garfield emphasized the difficulty of gaining and keeping sponsors. For revenue the team relies not only on sponsorship money, but also on revenue gained from advertising on player internet streams. These streams consist of well-known competitors publicly displaying their practice games via internet streaming sites. One such site, Twitch TV, has been formed specifically for the purpose of showcasing e-sports matches in the west. Twitch TV itself is an offshoot of the wildly successful video streaming site, Justin.TV. Players earn money for their teams by 'running' advertisements (much like television ads) between their matches and after a streaming session. Yet the income earned is very small and is only significant when a stream has multiple thousands of viewers. Teams earn a much greater margin on team branded merchandise such as T-shirts and the like.
In his "Base and Superstructure Revisited", Terry Eagleton writes, "perhaps. culture is itself superfluity; that which is surplus to biological need" (236). Before its impending commercialization, e-sports was a model of superfluity. It is true that players could expect cash prizes if they were to win big tournaments, but these payouts were hardly enough to sustain any kind of modern lifestyle on their own, even for the serial winner. Yet after e-sports had developed in Korea, complete with massive corporate investment, players were able to survive off of their salaries and winnings alone, if they were good enough at the game. It seems that in order to classify the current e-sports scene under the heading 'culture', we might alter our definition of culture to include 'that which is superfluous yet still integrated into material exchange'. As players and teams continue to find creative ways to charge people for their 'services', that is, the entertainment value of their instructive playing of the game, the more the pursuit of e-sports resembles all of the old services on offer at your local megastore, yet in ethereal form. As a player transitions from someone who plays the game out of sheer enjoyment to someone whose livelihood depends on his success at the game, the nature of his endeavor also changes. On its own, the performance of the game is materially superfluous, in the sense that the game in and of itself does not provide for anyone's material well-being. Yet once a commercial value has been placed on such a performance, the game is all of a sudden capable of acting as economic base after all. What was once superfluous, niche, 'delight in sensuous powers for their own sake', has become integral to the system of exchange and is thus a direct mode of the economic base.
Such a shift in the significance of a particular human activity is paradigmatic of what Fredric Jameson and other neo-Marxist-Hegelians call 'dialectic'. The performance of Starcraft matches began its life as pure superfluity and enjoyment, and has established itself to an extent as to be integral to the web of economic activity. What, in other words, began as a contradiction between base and superstructure, namely, how to survive materially while at the same time devoting all one's effort towards developing skill at a useless art, has become a case of cultural superstructure taking on the outward appearance of economic base. Jameson quotes Marx, "the further development of the commodity does not abolish the [base and superstructure] contradiction, but rather provides the form within which it has room to move" (42). Indeed, players are very much made aware of their obligations to generate revenue for their teams; when granting interviews, all contracted players are required to thank sponsors. As well, players are responsible for choosing to run advertisements during their streams, thus providing funds for their team through direct ad revenue and also through self-exposure and the enlargement of their personal reputation or brand.
The pursuit of commercial viability has already begun to shape the behavior of all those who participate in Starcraft related e-sports. Evil Geniuses CEO Alex Garfield has highlighted the ways in which e-sports organizations are aggressively pursuing the old market tropes of 'monetization' and 'commercial viability'. In short, the future of e-sports seems inextricably linked from its prospects as a legitimate business. There is a group of perhaps 100 foreign Starcraft II players internationally who subsist completely on their e-sports related earnings. We have seen that, far from illustrating the independence of economic base and cultural superstructure, the competitive Starcraft scene is an example of the fluidity of meaning inherent in these concepts. The current Starcraft scene perhaps resembles the example of the famed Russian conservatories of music, whose participants were left to toil endlessly toward musical perfection without having to bother with their material needs. The difference is that Starcraft progamers are acutely aware of their status as not only expert gamers but also as community figures, with the incumbent responsibility to 'grow e-sports', that is to say, to earn cash.
Louis Dupré (1980). "Marx's Critique of Culture and Its Interpretations." The Review of Metaphysics 34 (1):91 - 121. Jameson, Fredric. Valences of the Dialectic.
Eagleton, Terry. "Base and Superstructure Revisited." New Literary History. 31(2). Garfield, Alexander, perf. Kingston HyperX at MLG Orlando: Ten Minutes with EG CEO Alex Garfield.
Garfield, Alexander. "Orb Dismissed from Evil Geniuses Broadcasts." ottersareneat, Online Posting.
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