My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: The E-Sport Phenomenon and Amazon's Twitch Aquisition - How Amazon’s Twitch creates Video Gaming Celebrities and jumpstarts Jamaican Game Development

Sunday, October 12, 2014

The E-Sport Phenomenon and Amazon's Twitch Aquisition - How Amazon’s Twitch creates Video Gaming Celebrities and jumpstarts Jamaican Game Development

Streaming Video Games on Twitch is becoming a really big thing ever since Amazon purchased Twitch for some US$970 million on Monday August 25th 2014 as stated in the article “Amazon to buy live-stream Gaming site Twitch for $970M”, published August 25, 2014 11:55 AM PDT by Donna Tam, CNET News.

In fact Streaming in general is getting a boost as 4G LTE Networks and Fiber Optic Networks roll out across America and become more commonplace thanks mainly to Google Fiber as concluded in my blog article entitled “Gig.U Third Annual Report - Google Fiber's American Gigabit Internet Revolution as Jamaica starts Broadband Internet Revolution”.

Streaming for Video Games also falls into an old prediction I made on the Geezam blog back in 2011 where I predicted that Console Gaming in the future would only survive by going Streaming Platforms as detailed in my Geezam blog article entitled “Console Gaming’s Downfall – Future is up in the Clouds”.

The reasons are clear though; Amazon has Steaming TV Platform called Amazon Fire TV that they launched on Wednesday April 2nd 2014 as explained in my blog article entitled “Amazon launches Amazon Fire TV Set Top and Gaming Console - Amazon Prime Delight challenges Apple iTV, enflames Cord-Cutter's Nirvana portending Console Gaming Renaissance”.

As a double-treat for their Amazon Prime Customers who purchased the US$99, for an extra US$40, they can purchase a Gaming Controller and play Console and Handheld Quality Games online. It sold off pretty quickly according to their accounts as noted in my blog article entitled “Amazon Fire TV is a bonafide hit and is out-of-stock according to Amazon - The Bamboo powered smartphone running Amazon apps cometh”.

Amazon Purchased Twitch – Have Streaming Video Gaming Console, Get Twitch for Social Gaming Element

Thus by purchasing Twitch some four month later suggests Amazon is focusing on Gaming as a revenue stream, taking focus on the Social side of Gaming that I like to call Social Gaming. This is a mixture of Social Media, in this case Streaming online that add the thrill of having a following that likes to watch you play Video Games.

A strong indication that for Amazon, this push into Gaming via the development of their Amazon Fire TV is very serious as noted in “Amazon proves it's serious about Gaming with Twitch buy”, published August 26, 2014 8:45 AM PDT by Donna Tam, CNET News.

Others have already taken note, such a Microsoft, who’ve recently purchased Minecraft for some US$2.5 billion as stated in my blog article entitled “US$2.5 billion purchase of Mojang by Microsoft - How Minecraft will help Microsoft Reaching Future Teenage Gamers to build on Xbox Success”.

Already Microsoft might be benefitting, as Minecraft might give them an edge in selling the Xbox One in China, being as it’s acceptable to the Chinese Authority as it’s a non violent educational Game as noted in the article “Microsoft pips Sony to launch Xbox One in China” published 29 September 2014 Last updated at 11:40 GMTBy Dave Lee Technology reporter, BBC News.

It can also be a bonding experience, as a single player can connect with his followers during a Live stream to explain parts of his Game play or a family can play Console together as a show of family unity and further bond and get to know each other better as noted in the article “Gamers get paid to play on website with huge following”, published October 10, 2014, 8:50 AM, CBS NEWS, something many audiences that like watching Live Streaming Game play may enjoy.

Aside from being a spectator Sport, its Social Media dimension means that followers get to log in and watch a live, sometimes personalized Gameplay, often just for the fun of exhibitionism or sometimes to figure out strategies on how to beat a particularly tough level in a popular Video Game.

The very good gamers become Social Media Celebrities thanks to the iCarly Effect in a manner similar to YouTube Celebrities as described in my blog article entitled “Variety Survey says YouTubers more popular than Hollywood Celebrities – Popularity driven by Teenage Fandoms and iCarly Effect”, and like them, may go on to make millions from Gaming Tournaments and Exhibition Matches.

How to set up a Gaming Stream – Amazon’s Twitch will make you a Video Gaming Celebrity

The Video Gaming Crowd is close knit grouping mainly made up of Millennials (ages 18 to 28) and Teenagers (ages 13 to 18). Getting in on the action is a simple as getting the required OBS (Open Broadcast Software), the Game you plan to play and stream and a webcam as explained in the article “The beginner's guide to Game streaming with Twitch”, published Oct 10, 2014 3:00 AM by Alex Castle, PCWorld.

Some people play professionally, earning money from Advertising or sponsorships while others play for the thrill of being a Star. Streaming your game plays on Twitch Gaming in one of the easiest spectator Sports for the athletically challenged to get into by playing such Games as League of Legends as noted in the article “Behind League of Legends, E-Sports’s Main Attraction”, published OCT. 10, 2014 By DAVID SEGAL, The New York Times.

There is even some debate about whether or not Video Gaming is really a Sport and thus deserves equal billing on channels such as, say, ESPN as noted in the article “Can Video Games be Sports?”, published July 11, 2014 01:30 pm By Verge Staff, The Verge.

Already, one University, the University of Chicago, offers  a scholarship in Video Gaming as stated in “Chicago university becomes first to recognize Video Gaming as a varsity Sport... and even offers scholarships”, published 6 October 2014 16:23 GMT By SEAN O'HARE, Daily Mail UK.

Video Gaming in the Caribbean – How E-Sports in Jamaica can jumpstart Video Game Development

It won’t be long before Telecom Provider Digicel owned SportsMax here in the Caribbean starts broadcasting Video Gaming Tournaments using their newly acquired and currently-being-set-up Submarine Fiber Optic Network that’s being set up purposely for Streaming Sports Content as noted in my blog article entitled “Digicel purchases SportsMax – Why No Games, Just Sports on Digicel's Streaming Cable TV over Bigger, Better Network 4G LTE and FTTH”.

Television Jamaica, which is slated to launch their Streaming TVJ Everywhere Streaming Platform in October 2014  as explained in my blog article entitledRJR Communications Group Launching TVJ Everywhere - How Streaming TVJ Everywhere will boost Advertising Revenue as Digicel and LIME TV coming” may also be looking into the idea of Streaming Live Video Game playing, initially among Celebrities and then eventually among regular Jamaicans in competitive Game Tournaments.

Heck, I’ve done my fair share of making suggestions, even suggesting a Video Game tournament in an article on the U9000 Series of UHDTV (Ultra High Definition Television) Smart TV, effectively a Cured 4K Television set as stated in my Geezam blog article entitled “Samsung unveils their First Curved Ultra High Definition TV, the U9000 Series at Mona Visitors Lodge”.

After all, if we’re already developing Gaming Apps for smartphones as in the case of Stephen Williams, a one-man Developer for Pandosoft who developed a Game called TapKat Fiesta as stated in my blog article entitled “Stephen Williams' Android Game TapKat Fiesta - Social Media Marketing even as VoIP for Corporate and Enterprise untapped Telecoms Opportunity”, then it stands to reason that we also need to tap into the Video Gaming Sub-culture that exists in Jamaica as well.

It would inspire other Independent Video Game Developers in Jamaica to get into Video Game Development and earn some of that US$82 billion that the Video Gaming and Casual Gaming Industry has been racking up since the start of 2014 as stated in my blog article entitled “Netzoo's 2014 Global Games Market Report - Developed World idle time Opportunity for Jamaicans in Video Gaming Design”.

With the trend now going towards Streaming Video Game plays, it’s imperative that Jamaica not only develop its 4G LTE and FTTH (Fiber to the Home) Infrastructure but also make VC (Venture Capital) funding available for Video Game Development as they currently do for Animation as noted in my blog article entitled “Jamaica's World Bank's US$105 million Loan – All My Children Animation, SME VC's and Public Sector get Second Chance at Economic Redemption

So Amazon’s purchase of Twitch feeds into this E-Sports Euphoria and Global Video Gaming Sub-culture that’s becoming harder and harder for Sports Network to ignore and is slowly going mainstream.

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