The instinctive answer to this is of course, ‘no.’ How can endless hours of sitting in front of a computer in a grimy t-shirt, practicing your skills until your fingers hurt and slagging off your homies, get you anywhere near sexually attractive?
But let’s not be hasty. All of these attributes bar the computer can also be applied to musicians and they are coveted the world over. So what’s the difference? The difference is that musicians are broadcast across our televisions and other media outlets, whilst gamers are not… not yet.
The Rise of Popularity = A Rise in Admiration
From the late 2000s until now, there has been a surge in gaming participation and viewing. In South Korea, there are several established organisations full of professional gamers known as cyber athletes, and some World Championships gather over 40,000 physical attendees. Europe, North America and China are not too far behind, all hosting acclaimed competitions with cash prizes and broadcasting.
In 2014, Redbull announced that 71.5 million people watched eSports the previous year. That’s more than the population of the UK or France, and twice the population of Canada! Streaming platforms such as Twitch.tv have made way for major competitions to be watched live, complete with camera close ups and sponsored game chairs. Pro-gamers and videogame vloggers now have credibility and influence – and this will soon extend beyond the gaming industry and into mainstream culture.
When gaming is not seen as a dirty secret but a professional sport, it follows that anyone with some skill in that domain will become instantly more beguiling.
At present, males are much more likely to tune into watch gaming than females, but this this figure is on the rise, doubling from 15% to 30% between 2012 and 2013. (Wikipedia eSports page) It’s only a matter of time before both sexes are watching, and then any gamer will be able to switch their camera on and wink at their admirers… as if you’re not already doing it, you saucy minx.