6-2 | Raising the Stakes: E-Sports and the Professionalization of Computer Gaming

Book Review

Raising the Stakes: E-Sports and the Professionalization of Computer Gaming

T. L. Taylor
Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2012. Appendix, notes, bibliography, index. 304 pp. $29.95 cloth. ISBN: 9780262017374

by Steve Jacobs

First Paragraph:

In Raising the Stakes: E-Sports and the Professionalization of Computer Gaming, author T. L. Taylor examines the ups and downs of a slowly emerging industry, e-sports (electronic sports). The e-sports industry aims to turn real-time video game competition into the next major professional sport—complete with franchises, broadcast tournaments, superstar players, and mogul team and league managers. Those who would make e-sports a success point to South Korea, the only country so far in which the industry has taken hold. Taylor tells us that tournaments like the World Cyber Games draw sponsors like Coca-Cola, Microsoft, and Samsung and that Korean Telecom companies, and even the Korean Navy have—or sponsor—teams. Outside of the promised land of South Korea, however, e-sports have struggled and exist as a generally small, niche industry.