Dreams. Some say it’s a naive way to look at things, some say it’s the sort of vision we need in today’s grim world. I come from the latter camp, and I wish to see one come true.
Around 2013-2015 I had a mental breakdown of sorts which have spun my whole life trajectory into the ground.. if you compare it to the ideal life flow one should be having- graduate, get a decent job, get married, have a family, etc. But the circumstances I land in now have opened a new path- a path of realising one childhood dream:
Making Malaysia have a proper gaming scene and industry.
Step 1- Spreading The Word
While the rest of the world are questioning the need of video games journalism, I believe strongly we still need one in Malaysia, at least for the time being.
Our communities are scattered. We have people working in the games industry here but not many know of their existence and how to you get yourself into it. We have plenty of talented e-sports worthy players that lack the infrastructure to get them on another level, and the exposure that they should be receiving.
So when this blog garnered the attention of two up and coming games sites, I knew the right decision was to jump in and contribute.
So what do these sites can do? Having a local voice reporting on the games coming via news pieces and reviews have its significance. Is the game launching the same day as in Asia? What’s the price for the new console over here? There is a need to report specific details that needs to be addressed for the local gamers.
And having proper exposure for gaming with dedicated gaming sites should be a better way to spread the word rather than the general tech sites that cover games occasionally. We can have proper writers capable of covering the news with better finesse and better understanding of the current gaming climate.
Step 2- Uniting The Communities
As mentioned earlier, we have a lot of gaming communities, but are all scattered. There are various clans and communities that wanted to get bigger but most exist in different pockets of Malaysia.
There are dedicated gamers here that are educated enough to actually discuss about games more than just “this game is best” and “this game tak best”. Some may have the same problem as me- living around with no one to talk about games. Facebook groups and online games being more mainstream nowadays are good solutions but not totally strong enough to build a community.
Why need a community? To make the presence of gamers larger. You know there’s plenty of gearheads when they do convoys- but how do you know gamers? Just hanging out in cyber cafes? Sitting in their mother’s home and play games all day?
Plus, for e-sports to really grow, we need more crowd that appreciates it. Don’t expect the mainstream audience to be there first, it’s us gamers who have to support the initiatives. Especially if you actually play that game. And to do that, we need to get these gamers band together- doesn’t matter if they’re supporting a rival site or whatnot, what matters is making our presence heard- which will also instill confidence to brands, sponsors and game publishers to cater more to our needs.
Twtupgamers is a pretty good initiative, but as I evangalised before, we need more. If we want the dream to have our own gaming convention, we need these gamers to talk more to each other and make them realise it’s possible. Maybe inspire a few volunteers to start more events. Not to say that we don’t have any, we have currently, but we need to make them something more significant.
We also need to ensure one more thing to get a gaming industry going:
Step 3- Bring Gaming The Positive Light It Needs
Gaming is still unacceptable in our society. I can’t blame them, I see with my eyes plenty of irresponsible practices that do ruin a person’s life. Game responsibly!
But that’s another issue altogether.
What I see that needs to be done currently is highlighting the good stuff we gamers gained from our hobby. It’s not entirely a waste of time!
We need role models, figures the mainstream can respect to. Not just a celeb who happens to game sometimes, but gaming celebs. I see a surge of popularity with certain local youtubers and streamers nowadays, and I hope these great people can press on be the figure of example we all need.
And we also need to make more communal efforts to contribute to society. Look at the West and their various charity events (like AGDQ and Extra-Life streams) and sales (Humble Bundle). Sure, not everyone will agree on doing charity while indulging in entertainment is something worth calling charity work, but they are doing something.
We should contribute back. The Gamers Give Back initiative started from the man behind Jomm Main is a decent example. Though we could do other kinds of contribution in the future.
Other than that, I see the importance of how gaming isn’t just a waste of money, but a way to make one.
Step 4- Money
Video content makes money nowadays, and will probably phase out normal writeups in the far flung future.
I want to highlight that gaming endeavours can earn you a living- helping other gamers find the games they like. For that I have to make my own work worth a living. I barely get paid doing my current contributions, but I’m not complaining. I’ll take one for the team and bare the burden of a hard life to make doing this worth living.
Yes, I know that other avenues could have scored me more pay, but I’m here for the long run. Much of my reading on how games journalist in the West don’t have the best pay in the world has prepared me for the worst. I’m here to make Malaysian gamers happy, with a great scene and an industry for more talented people to contribute in the development side.
Takahashi Ryosuke took a calculated plan to achieve his dreams. I might not have that yet set in stone, but all these steps are guiding what I am doing currently.
I help out at Gamer Malaya pumping out news stories, with the extra effort of offering local-related info. I reached out to the local FGC to try get them all chanting “WE E-SPORTS NOW” one day. I dabbled with YouTube and joined the loose coalition of Teamasam to get me in touch of the struggles of up and coming content creators (as well as practicing doing my own content). In the interviews I handled with content creators, I focused on how gaming helped them being who they are. I am also pushing to get in touch with more local dev studios to further promote their presence and contribution to the gaming scene.
One day, I’ll just do only one of these things, and many other, more talented people are capable of doing all of this. And at that point, at least in my own book, we have a proper gaming scene in Malaysia.
By that time, I should be living the dream, satisfied what I could do to help this nation.
And then worry about debts and money lol.