I find myself once again changing my stance and opinions on e-sports. I am constantly sifting through ideas and have switched to something I think, in an ethnographic sense applies more to this subject and enables me to share my opinions more freely. As an autoethnographer it is important to note and be aware of the multiple resources you have lying around .We live connected to social networks that include friends and relatives, partners and children, co-workers and students, and we work in universities and research facilities. (Ellis, Adams & Bochner 2011)
My background is Turkish. Although I was born here , we relocated when I was younger so its safe to say that I have aspects of both cultures within me . The concept of ‘sports’ has changed dramatically over the years and to my surprise it has so in Turkey as well.
A country I believed was very much old school, where the average young man enjoys his freedom till his 18th birthday , then shipped off to the military so he can fight someone else’s war.
However with the rise of e-sports I think that the cultural understanding and acceptance of sports in Turkey is changing .
When I was 10 , all I knew was a ball. Cans and bottles would do fine as long as we could kick it. The Internet cafe was a treat. Tech-heads in Turkey , despite their own follower base would be labelled as nerds and antisocials by the large majority of the older generation.
Despite this labelling tons of kids would would go to these cafes simply because personal computers were expensive and LAN gaming was possible. Soon after around 2005 , Ankara where I lived experienced a massive boom in Internet and Playstation Cafes . They were popping up everywhere and kids would partake in Counter Strike tournaments in their local net cafes and I think that this was the first step of Turkey’s transition into the online era.
Sports are very important in Turkey. Fans are passionate and this passion has often led to violence and potential bans for Turkey participating in world events especially after the fatal stabbings of 2 Leeds United supporters in April 2000.
Besiktas otherwise known as BJK , known for its strong old school approach have done the unthinkable and picked up an e-sports team which indicates that the Turks want to move on and explore new avenues outside their comfort zone. It has been 2 years since BJK have made their team Fenerbahce, also a giant in Turkish football have made the transition. This movement from reputable Turkish football team are good pushers for the catching on of e-sport in Turkey and I think Turkey can expect some good performances in this field. Perhaps with the correct attitude and training the young Turkish teams can be as good as the Koreans .
My research will shift from my previous post based on RTS gaming and the Military to The role of E-sports and how it is slowly changing the traditional understanding of sport in a very traditional and old school country.
I have begun by viewing another documentary film “All Work All Play” . It is very similar to State of Play but focuses on League of Legends rather than SC. How e-sports started and where it has come today.
I have also asked my mates and cousins from Turkey to see what the general public thinks of e-sports as well as my younger cousins who are the first generation to start e-sports over traditional sports.
Prominent Universities in Turkey such as Bilkent and Middle Eastern Technical University have started putting together e-sport societies and stage tournaments in search of gifted players.
I want to focus on the benefits of e-sports in terms of financials and how it applies in Turkey because I believe that it is a big incentive for Turkish kids who live far below the standards we have in Australia. Well some of them .