Yesterday, while going about my normal business of gaming and watching my various email and Twitter feeds, I received a Tweet that really got me thinking:
Come to Vegas and leave a winner! Pick up epic loot by attending the Americas Championship.
What was being advertised here is, of course, the Heroes of the Storm Americas Championship. I have never attended an event like this - never been to Blizzcon, or Pax; never gone to any of the League of Legends events; not once plugged in in person to the community of people I am trying to reach out to by blogging about gaming. And here's the thing about this upcoming event - admittance to the event is free. Blizzard is really working hard to get the word out about their entry into the world of eSports. And this, of course, got me speculating about attending...is there any way I could go?
Then, of course, reality sinks in. Sure, I could go to Vegas. I would have to hitchhike to Vegas and back, sleep in a tent in a park, and forage around in dumpsters for food - but, hey, at least I could get in to the event for free! Just not something that is really going to happen. My discussions with Lor confirmed this - there is a list of family members I could ask for help with paying for this, but I guess I would be wiser to wait to draw water from that well when the car breaks or the roof caves in or something. Not exactly an emergency, wanting to attending a gaming championship/convention in Vegas.
There is, however, another avenue available. Several of the people in the gaming community not only blog, but run Twitch streams on a daily basis, letting the Internet watch them as they game. These channels are then supported by people who subscribe to the channel and/or donate. This requires quite a bit of setup - it isn't something that I could do in time to get me to this year's HotS event in Vegas next month. Also, I am not a professional gamer, so I would have no appeal in that respect. But I do have the one thing that all those who run successful Twitch feeds agree that you need: I already talk to myself constantly while gaming. Providing content would not be a problem.
It is merely an idea at this point - I would need to get some streaming software and learn how to use it, scrounge up a dirt-cheap webcam and second monitor, and commit myself to several months of sitting in my office talking to myself on a daily basis while no one was listening. But to be able to plug in at a higher level would be really cool. It is something I will be thinking about in the days to come.