Cyber Athletes

Athletes?! Nowadays, everyone’s exercising it seems. I’m moving my thumb and typing this. I’m actually an athlete too?

The media has over glorified as to one reader recently wrote to a local papers mentioning about the over glorification of computer gaming guys (and gals) who won money, going for some bigger competition (they call it the Championship). It’s like USD$30k for each player for their year long contract. A dream job for some but how many “fatal1ty” do we have? How many actually makes it for long with this as their full time job with more and more product endorsement that makes people actually stays away from the product. Surely the products sell with the endorsement?

Kids, stay in school, play your games, yes please do, but stop dreaming to go “pro”. Truth be told. Who’ll be impressed you wasting a year of your life playing “professionally”? Depending what you’ll be interviewing for. A computer engineering kind of job? Something in the financial market? I think you’ll fit in best selling computer gaming gears but if that your dream job? Maybe Mr. Salesman.

If companies are serious about endorsing their players, the contract would not be allowing the players to continue studying or working while they meet their commitments to the contract. It’s as good as throwing the money away.

Gaming in Singapore local context is over rated. pro or not, studies first. How many “Fatal1ty” are there or will there be in Singapore and for the matter, the world?

The recent media coverage of local gaming as a sports is of poor taste. Yes, many singapore and overseas companies wanna tap into this billion dollar industry but with the media covering every little gaming convention, competition, news, snippets even, it is overwhelming and parents who grew up not knowing what the hell a mouse if for do not and may not know the actual dollars/ cents value versus future of their kids to any form of gaming.

The media local and international must not over glorify the players as athletes. Computer Gaming is not a sport! What sports has so much obese and unhealthy with caffine filled brain, lack of sleep and puffy eyes “athletes”? What sports will allow you to play non stop and eventually DIE FROM IT? Have the people who dream of going “pro” forgotten the guy who died from over laying?

A recent article in Wired offered a glimpse into the real life of sponsored full time gamers from non other than world renowned Korea. It’s much like National Service on whole new level. No online messaging, practice, practice practice! You sleep together, eat together and i suppose shit and bath together even. It’s regimental and harsh with little than expected returns.

Going “Pro” is what i have heard a lot recently due to the holidays, kids are all around eateries, public transport fiddling on their PSP with their love ones/ parents/whoever close by. What’s the point of leaving home then when you want to play games wherever and whenver on your PSP? I counted 7 PSP players in a single MRT cabin on my way home today. That’s only the PSP, there’s the other camp of NDS players. How many of such Pro turn peasants can survive later after their “glory days”? When the sponsors and companies stop sponsoring them? Yes, you can game till you’re 60, 80 years old at what cost or pay?

Real Pro athletes goes into coaching the next generation of medal winners. Can gamers go down that same path?

I bet every single dollar that even Fatal1ty will end sometime. Do you think he does not think of his future? No pain no gain. Forbes article http://www.forbes.com/technology/200…2provideo.html

No pressure?! and relax when he plays. Do the math. Will an army who do not train under pressure and are relax all the time win wars? NO they will not! Bring that down to a more individual level, you don’t jog or train and you take your yearly IPPT, do you pass? Of course no.

So the crux of the whole discussion. Put off a year to game than studies. O Levels. Wendel was in DeVry University in Kansas City before he quit. Compare him to his peers 5 years from now. Who will have a steady income, ability to provide should his peers choose to start a family? At around 26 years of ago, 5 years time will be his 31 birthday and if then he woke up, with his million dollar dried up, endorsement of products gone, the coming of the next “Fatal1ty” whose younger by then compared to him, faster, better and earning and winning more. He’ll be with nothing to fall back on and oh, no Degree either, he quit DeVry Uni remember?

So not even a O level to pursue further studies, it is possible. I personally do not even have a N level cert, let alone a O but it has made me know as compared to my peers, my career advancement is hindered and I have already hit the real upper ceiling of my pay scale that even a degree holder will not hit after working for the same number of years. I was lucky but in reality, how many times lucky can you get?

Till the next Wendel comes along in Singapore with a backup degree to fall back on, forget going Pro and don’t consider yourself “sporty” from doing electronic games.

Vpost Woes…

Payment after payment, I really feel like giving up on my books from Amazon.com

19 Oct 2007 – Books Order – Total cost $69.34USD

19 Oct 2007 – Send Invoice to Vpost USA

23 Oct 2007 – No reply from Vpost USA, reminder mail sent

2 Nov 2007 07.30am – Amazon.com confirmed item shipped.

8 Nov 2007 07.04am – VPost asking for payment – – SGD$44.78, paid.

8 Nov 2007 10.08pm – “Items received at vPOSTUSA Shipping Centre” invusa@vpost.com.sg again, saying parcel received for shipping but

“Due to insufficient information, we are not able to match your package(s) against your invoice(s) you had submitted to us (please refer to the above table). We need the following assistance from you:1. Email us your invoice at invusa@vpost.com.sg or fax at 68413982, if you have not done so

2. Reply to us which of the above package(s) is associated with the invoice(s) you have submitted to us. For example, Package Box No (F9999) is associated with Invoice No: 123456789

3. If your merchant has provided you with the tracking number for sending your package to the US Shipping Centre, please email us the tracking number of each package to faciliate the matching of your package(s).

4. Please ignore this email if you had already emailed us your invoice. We shall have your invoice updated soon to match to your indicated package”

god damn it! i resend the invoice again on 9 Nov 2007 12.19am, exactly the same!!!

12 Nov 2007 9.01pm – “vPOSTUSA Invoices received and entered, We wish to inform you that we have successfully updated the following invoice(s) into our system on 12/11/2007″

12 Nov 2007 – More payments?! WTF, whatever, SGD$10.63 paid

If I ordered from Amazon.com and paid everything, it’ll be “Shipping and Handling: USD$24.95

25usd_shipping_savingsno.jpg

Vpost has since charged me SGD$44.78 + SGD$10.63 = $55.41

It actually cost more, takes longer and VPOST interface sucks big time! Payment after payment, I had a hard time tracking my items I eventually gave up!

Don’t use Vpost unless you really ordering things from some online store that refuses to ship to Singapore!

17 Nov 2007 – 1st book received…where’s the rest?

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20 Nov 2007 – 2nd book received! darn, one more book waiting….
5 Dec 2007 10.10pm – Item recieved at vpost again but they want me to sent the invoice again!8 Dec 2007 – Item matched mail from vpost. Pay SGD$12 to ship me my last book…

12 Dec 2007 – Last book arrived…

Google anything?

Just when I thought Google can do anything! well maybe soon…i wanted to add 127 minutes to 9.40pm…a show running’s time so I may catch 2 shows at once! First thing, always fire up Google to calculate such stuffs, it did not work. I mean, you can mix and match like “20% of 399USD in SGD”, you get

20% of (399 U.S. dollars) = 115.087578 Singapore dollars

But not time calculations (yet).