Cultural Interference

After watching State of Play, and recounting my initial findings and thoughts as field notes, I had some time to do some further thinking and research to understand my findings. I first noticed some large cultural differences between our eSporting community, and their eSporting community.

I researched into how these eSport players would carry around their own keyboards. I watched as many interviews and documentaries about famous athletes and sports players, and noticed how many of them would bring and wear their ‘lucky boots’, or would do some sort of routine out of superstition that would give them luck. So the idea that eSport players would carry around their keyboards to every event is pretty normal!

I then looked into the cultural understanding of eSports and how to get into them professionally. I found that a lot of the South Korean communities see eSports as either a huge business and opportunity, or completely opposite and seeing it as a huge problem and not a realistic job opportunity. This understanding of eSports and making a career out of it reflects our views of the industry here in Australia and America. Everyone is split about their views of it because simply don’t understand how people could make money or make a career out of playing games.

My final reaction to ‘State of Play’ was how many fan girls they had! I had gone into the film with my own ideas about fans, and especially the gender of the fans. From my own experience, the fan base of many gamers are dominated by males, and I had assumed that this would translate across borders. Well I found that this wasn’t the case, and that in South Korea, a lot of the fans are actually female, and I don’t understand it completely because of my own cultural experiences with eSports in Australia and America.

I found that my initial reactions and thoughts about the movie, while attempting to be impartial and not making assumptions, I let my own cultural understandings influence what I thought was interesting or weird, or even backwards. This kind of thinking I found can be both supportive and destructive to Autoethnographic, because without our own cultural understanding of issues and topics, nothing would stand out for us to analyse and realise that there is in fact a cultural difference, but without this self-awareness of our own culture interfering with our interpretations, what we analyse will forever be foreign or wrong.

Sources:

Serzberger, 2016, ‘South Korea has been doing this for a while’, ESPN, January 23 2016, viewed August 20th, <http://www.espn.com/esports/story/_/id/14628446/south-korean-esports-lifestyle&gt;

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