— Executive summary —
- Curiosity by the analog generation
- No English books that highlight the Asian esports history with the right narrative
- I got personal, unique, yet relatable stories all happened in South Korea during the esports birth period
- I currently do esports advisory for living based in Japan, a mystical esports territory where even the esports community has unheard of, but with one of the biggest gaming markets in the world
After all the fuss, I believe there is a general curiosity on esports from the “analog” generation, i.e., folks who have their feet deeply grounded on the pre-digital (or pre-web) era, demographically perhaps around their 40s and above. These are the people who may have a vague image of what esports is (“playing games, right?”) but they don’t really understand the hype. And this is not just a country specific phenomenon I believe. Depending on the country that they belong to, the generation that I am targeting may not have a solid gaming experience at all during their childhood while they may face their children or grand children being fanatic about some esports team — but they don’t really understand why.
Esports may have a very Western cultural image on the surface, but if you look into the history, it is extremely Asian. There are people who are curious to know more about the esports history, but how many books do we have it out there? While it is a huge market in North America and Europe now, it’s a sports that has an origin in Asia. The history is not as far as the ancient Olympians, rather only about two decades ago, and the people that I am targeting, i.e., the analog generation, has a genuine curiosity towards the story behind how it is originated or the history, I believe. And I think the curiosity is strong over in the Western world regarding this digital culture originated from an oriental origin.
If I were to write a book about “my Premiere League experience as a fanboy during the 90s” I don’t think people will buy because 1. most of the people know what professional soccer leagues are (the very target is nothing new), 2. they may already have their own precious experience (relatable but why bother knowing the other experience?) and 3. there may already be many similar books in the market (why yours?). If it were to sell, the narratives better be extremely entertaining and supported by great marketing to stand out. All in all, I think it’s a hard topic to be stood out unique in the market.
However for esports, 1. Most of the people don’t understand what esports is, 2. Because most of the people don’t have any experience with esports as it’s only been two decades since it was born in Asia, and 3. There is no English book in the market that highlights the very beginning of the esports history.
I love this book “Kitchen Confidential” by Anthony Bourdain — The narrative is too entertaining that you can’t stop engaging (especially if you have seen his TV shows, reading his book feels like he is telling a verbal story right next to you), and at the end of the day you feel like you know something about the chef world and you may even feel that you are already a part of it, despite the fact that you have never entered the kitchen at a restaurant. That’s how I felt it — although the only cooking I do is ramen noodles.
If I ever to write a book, my very hope is that it becomes the esports version of the Kitchen Confidential.