Is the Olympics affecting your gaming?


Hellfire Peninsula with new shader models… (OK, OK, it’s Mars.)

Anyone finding that people are busy watching the sports (or, heaven forfend, the Mars Rover) so online games are getting a bit sparse at the moment? I’m not really sure it’s affected any of the games I have been playing.

However, there was one moment this week that reminded me of the outside world whilst in a game. On Euro servers, there is a long tradition of eastern european raid leaders – I don’t know quite why this is, and I have had British and Irish raid leaders as well but a lot of the active raid leaders do seem to come from eastern europe.  It was only last week that I found out precisely where in Eastern Europe my raid leader actually comes from, it just had never come up in conversation. So we’re raiding,  and the he typed afk (that’s ‘away from keyboard’ if you’re not familiar with raid abbreviations). He came back a couple of minutes later and announced on voice chat, “Sorry, that was my friend jumping around and yelling. Poland just won a gold medal Smile Smile” (There was another brief pause when they got a second later that night.)

Now the BBC coverage is pretty good, but even so they tend to focus on the British athletes. So I guess this was a wake up call to me that all around the world, sports fans (and people who aren’t really sports fans but tune into the Olympics every four years) are getting just as excited about their countrymen’s efforts as we do. I’m also reminded that in many ways it’s a privilege to be able to play alongside gamers from all round the world and share in some of these excitements vicariously, while killing internet dragons and giant robots.

So, has the Olympics (or the mars lander) impinged at all on your gaming?

10 thoughts on “Is the Olympics affecting your gaming?

  1. I have the luxury of two monitors, so I game on one, and watch live stream on the other. I do have to stop gaming for the pony events though, so we can watch it on my bigger monitor. We don’t have a TV…

  2. I have a web stream running on my notebook next to my main screen, and can typically choose between 5 or 6 streams of different sports. Sadly, the coverage is still sometimes along the lines of “and now let’s quickly interrupt our coverage of the finals for sport A, instead let’s look at how our German athlete loses in the preliminary round for sport B. Whoops. Oh, and by the way, sorry, but we missed the A finals”. (I’m exaggerating, but it still feels like that sometimes.)

    The one thing I really liked was Athens 2004. Digital channels were still a novelty, so the two public service broadcasters set aside their four digital channels and sent 96 hours of sports every day. I really liked getting insights into sports I’ve never seen before with full-length coverages of all events. (Even if some of them ran non-live during the night. What did I have a digital recorder software on my computer for?) Sadly, they’ve never done that since. Now, you just get to see what they choose, even if they nominally have more “web channels”.

    Back to your original question though: I’ve been “playing” EVE quite a bit recently. That is, sitting docked, waiting for calls for a Quick Response Fleet to repel war targets out of our systems. That can get boring if you have nothing else to do, but it goes really well with watching sports on the side.

  3. Tha’s awesome. It can be kinda surreal sometimes to realize that these digital people can be a world away IRL. Back in Vanilla/TBC I think half the guild was from Austrailia.

  4. Likewise I was up late the other night and logged on to fish myself to sleep. A guildie started to give a live blow-by-blow of the Mars mission as it landed, including very amusing commentary about the mission control team.

    I had totally missed that it was happening that night and I had my very own pocket space geek giving me expert commentary!

    Another unique MMO experience.

  5. If I cared one whit about the Olympics anymore it might, but as it is I do all my TV watching via Hulu, Netflix, or torrent, so it’s always on my schedule, never on theirs. And since i don’t care about the Olympics at all. . . . not watching it in any form, so. . . there ya go.

  6. I’d bet money that the BBC at least gives more face time to other countries than NBC does. The joke here in the States is that Curiosity is quicker at getting data to the U.S. than NBC is with their 8 hour tape delay.

    We’ve got the Olympics running on the television while I work, so that we can pop out of something and watch if a game gets really interesting, like Japan vs. China in women’s volleyball the other day or Hungary vs. Iceland in handball today.

    I was up most of the night when Curiosity landed, putzing around on MMOs while waiting for the exciting moments on the NASA Channel. It brings back lots of fun times back in college, when a bunch of us would crowd around a television to watch something during a shuttle mission.

    Honestly, the most fun has been Gen Chat these days. For example, when Lochte beat Phelps in their first swim event, discussion about that (and what’s up with the Aussies and why they’ve slipped over the last 8 years) dominated discussion on Gen Chat for an hour or two on Belsavius. That sort of thing would normally be found in Guild Chat, but when it leaks over to Gen Chat in a non-assholish manner, you know that the Olympics are big.

  7. Olympics most definitely affecting my gaming since I had the good fortune to have tickets. That I do have it always on and keep getting distracted by it. Not as distracting as baby daughter, but between the two my gaming definitely is reduced 🙂

  8. They’ve been a fantastic counterpart to DayZ; they’re both extremely tense, but in completely different ways, and they really do work very well together, especially on solo missions.

    Apart from my pessimism being completely unfounded, there’s three things I’ve really taken away from DayZ:

    1) Male footballers are even biggers arseholes than I thought they were. Seeing the passion, the excitement, in people who do their sport just for the enjoyment and get paid nothing for it was amazing. At first I thought it might be endemic in highly paid athletes, but Bolt, Ennis and the like are still fantastic, as are F1 and rugby players.

    I mean, I really am in awe of how scummy footballers are now.

    2) Continuing on the football point, I really hope someone animates the women’s final and then asks people to choose who they think played it when you can’t see the gender; a lot of people go “durr women’s sports are bad” but the quality of play was fantastic in that final (bar Japan’s near own goal).

    3) Greater London transport links have held up phenomenally well. Why can’t they perform so admirably on my daily commute?

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