Sunday, November 17, 2013

Team Ben: A Year as a Professional Gamer

An old school Melee player, Wife (or Chris Fabiszak), a peach main and one of the best team players in the history of the game, chronicled his stories as a progamer during the era of when Super Smash Brothers Melee got a spot on the highly touted and respectable MLG pro circuit back in 2006-2007. He outlines his competitive spirit, and the tragic circumstances that forever changed his life. The book is a modest size, 92 pages, but Wife is an amazingly eloquent writer. This free e-book might be oneof the most fascinating reads I have ever read, in regards about competitive gaming. Even as someone who has known about this side of competitive gaming, the insight of someone who saw it in its fledgling birthright is incredibly enlightening. And in that same vein, the writer writes it in a narrative that even people who have never touched the game, can still understand the intricacies and the feats these people trained for. Just how he writes the story, it is something that gamers, and these nerdy sub-cultures, often gloss over in telling stories. It is very human, not just robots or impressionable sponges absorbing information, but a person, going through adversity.

The story is introduced with an epilogue, about "Ben," the name that the title of the book is referring to. He was the author's friend who he was extra close during high school. Funny, intelligent, caring, the man was a force of positivity. He had a sweetheart too, her name was Caroline. Together they were fine, but she also had a big heart, as she felt bad for Ryan, a person in their grade, who was the loner type. She befriended Ryan, but what she didn't know that Ryan had a deep attraction to her. However, Ben was the one not to be petty about something  like that, and they allowed him to hang around them. Chris, or Wife, explains this dynamic, and how one day, just like any other day, he founds his friend, Ben, poisoned with Cyanide, by Ryan.  His close friend suffered from the poison, and while they did found in time what was wrong to save his beating heart, his brain already suffered irrecoverable action. At 17 years young, Ben was murdered.
You learn about the struggles of the author, and how his depression of his life, became a looming beast in his day to day life. He looked for escape and solice, and he found it, in competitive gaming, or more specifically in the Children's party game Super Smash Brothers Melee.

It is such a captivating read, some things of note with this amazing E-book-

The way he describes "tags" or "ID" is really nice, he introduces the idea of rappers, and how they all have monikers that they relate to in the rap world, then he segways about gamer IDs, and how serves as a similar function.

Explaining the video game, and the things that make it beautiful, literally poetry in motion, is said so eloquently.

How he treated the game "professionally," he wanted to do this full time, to quote his inner logic, being a progamer is fun, regular life is not, how he is honest about these things, that we have not heard from E-sport athletes being honest about.

It is nice to see passion people grow and develop this passionate community for a great video game. 

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