An inside look at the rivalries, big money, and dirty business of competitive videogaming Yankees vs. Red Sox. Lakers vs. Celtics. And now . . . Team 3D vs. CompLexity. That would be America’s next celebrated rivalry if the men in Game Boys had their way. 3D and CompLexity are two of the top professional “e-sports” teams in the U.S. Their battle for dominance, as juicy as any feud in “real” sports, leads the action in Michael Kane’s engaging and lively chronicle of the lifestyle and business of gaming. We’ve come a long way since Pac-Man. Today’s games are more elaborate, popular, and addictive than ever. For the elite players, gaming is a full-fledged career that pays big money in prizes and corporate sponsorships. Gamers win, lose, strategize, fight, sign with rival teams, get berated by sideline-pacing coaches. Some use performance-enhancing drugs. And now they’re going on TV. Are they really the “athletes” of tomorrow? They act like they are. Game Boys is a pioneering narrative of the rivalries, quirks, and dramas of a subculture on the cusp of big things. At its most personal, it’s a classic sports tale of victory and defeat, punched up for the millennial generation. It’s also an engrossing business-meets-popculture narrative that reveals the entrepreneurial ingenuity involved in bringing gaming onto broadcast TV, in the vein of the X-Games or televised poker. Game Boys is an engrossing read for technophiles, gamers, parents, and anyone interested in the business of sports and trends in pop culture.
A look at the darker side of the competitive video-game industry traces the rivalries between companies, describes the world of professional elite players, and evaluates gaming as a big-money intersection between business and pop culture.