Here at The Meta, we spend a lot of time writing about esports that exist. But what about the ones that don’t? In honor of venerable esports entity Team Liquid attempting to drag the Civilization series from the latter category to the former, we now present a list of five games that we wish were played competitively. Hit Twitter with the tag #GamesThatShouldBeEsports420BlazeItDoritos if you agree.
We pride ourselves on the way esports test ingenuity, creativity, and competitive drive, but in reality there are other qualities that are even more heroic, such as the ability to stave off mind-flattening boredom for hours at a time. As David Foster Wallace writes in The Pale King, “If you are immune to boredom, there is literally nothing you cannot accomplish.” Enter Desert Bus, a game that invites you to drive a bus from Tucson to Las Vegas in real time, at forty-five miles an hour, which amounts to an eight hour trip. Once you get there, you turn around and drive back. Each completed trip is worth one point. I see two options here for an esports event: either force contestants to square off with no food (or, for “hard core” mode, water) until one of them gives up, or allow teams of five—just like in League of Legends!—to create a competition that might go on for years, if the prize pool were big enough. (I suspect we would require a vigorous crowdfunding effort.)
Hatoful Boyfriend is a tricky one, because once you’ve played the game a few times you know exactly what will happen, but this dating sim with an avian twist could be excellent in an esports decathlon, perhaps sandwiched between more-rigorous events like Street Fighter V and StarCraft: Brood War. The win condition could be, like, who could achieve the happiest ending, or bone the most birds, or something. We’ll get back to you on this one.
There were videogames in existence long before Pong, but nobody cares, because Pong chewed them up and spat their pixelated chunks all over the beer-sticky floor of the tavern it debuted in. The recent trends of “retro” design and “de-makes,” which I have not been following in detail because I am not a real games journalist, illustrate an appetite for old stuff, and what’s older than Pong? (Rhetorical question. The answer, were I to provide an answer, would again be “who cares?”) Consider the facts. It’s a multiplayer game. We could call competitors “Pongers.” Do you really need more convincing?
E.T. gets a bad rap. “Worst game of all time,” people say. “Game so bad it single-handedly torpedoed the videogame industry and had to be dumped by the truckload in a desolate New Mexico landfill that was subsequently sealed with concrete to ensure that no copies would ever escape,” they continue. Let’s prove ‘em wrong. Make E.T. the international, nay, Extra-Terrestrial esport we’ve all been waiting for.
Okay, the rest of these ideas kind of suck, but this—I would absolutely watch this.