Decathlon of Gaming

Last week I watched the championship match for Pokemon just to check it out. While I was at it I decided to watch the match for 2012 as well as I never saw that one either. I gotta say it was kind of interesting to watch professional players go at it like that. I’ve also watched a little Twitch, but much when it comes to competitions. But this whole championship thing got me thinking… Why isn’t there some sort of competition for best all around gamer?

If you think about it, it makes sense. I remember when Fatal1ty was in his prime and was touting all the time that he was the best gamer. And then you get some people who claim it just because. But really there isn’t a way to establish it. Fatal1ty thought he was just because he won a bunch of FPS tourneys in his day… but realistically FPS is such a small portion of the games out there.1 How good was Fatal1ty at the latest Mario? Or Tetris? Or in today’s terms… Angry Birds? My guess is he sucked at those games but those games are pretty easy to figure out…

This made me look into the scene as a whole and really the main one that came to mind was the Nintendo World Championship back in 1990, which they held basically to copy a part of the movie The Wizard because people really liked the concept of a Championship.2 I really liked what they did though… they played Super Mario Bros, Tetris and Rad Racer. All were special versions of the game meant to take 6 minutes each.3 They then take the score each player had in those games, ran it through an equation and then crowned a winner.

This was a really good method. All those games worked of numbers for points that could then be used to garner which person was best at all 3 combined. As long as you made sure weighting was equivalent so that someone who was outstanding at one could suck at the other two and still win. I am fine with that. I mean clearly you will have people better at one than the others, but it should never end up with a situation where one game is weighted in such a way that the person who is good at the 1 will win it even if someone else won the other two outright. This method actually is the same method that the Olympics uses when deciding a winner of the decathlon.

And as the winner of the decathlon is known for being the World’s Greatest athlete… maybe we in the gamer community needs a competition that will decide the World’s Greatest Gamer. There are a few “Pro” gaming leagues out there, why aren’t they doing more to find such a competition rather than do their 1 game competitions?  A competition that takes a sampling from each major genre and has players go head to head in it. What about a competition that brings people together to play Starcraft II, Pokemon, Angry Birds – Star Wars Edition,  Call of Duty and Mark of the Ninja as just an example of a Pentathlon that could be made. It provides an indie-platformer, an RTS, an RPG, a mobile game and an FPS game… really it is a very good mix of games and if someone was declared a winner of that, I would definitely take that fairly seriously.

Show 3 footnotes

  1. To be fair, at the time FPS games were a lot more highly touted than they are today as being the core of games. Now Action-RPG seems to be it where every FPS seems to be calling themselves Action-RPG… yeah I’m looking at you Bioshock and Fallout 3.
  2. Interestingly, that World Championship was only open for Americans.
  3. Rad Racer actually had a special track unavailable to the public which is kind of cool and unlikely to be fully duplicated.