Alongside many of the great speakers appearing live at Pocket Gamer Connects London 2023 this week was Kalvin Chung the CEO of MNM Gaming who shared his thoughts in his talk; 'Esports: A communication of culture'. MNM Gaming are an Esports and gaming brand that also places itself as a way of sharing UK and Chinese culture. He gave an overview on the ecosystem of eSports, the variety of companies involved with it, and how franchises function similar to larger traditional sporting leagues.
Kalvin also spoke on the way Esports serves as a prime example of communicating culture. He pointed to how various games had begun incorporating elements of culture from Asia, where Esports have been massively popular. Examples such as League of Legend's creation of the fictional pop-group K/DA and accompanying song, made as a tribute to K-pop, which of course originates in Korea. He points to this as an example of a broader interest from players in cultures outside their own and how companies incorporate that.
The Culture of Mobile
As Kalvin pointed out, 59% of younger people like to actively explore cultures other than their own. With Esports becoming a major factor in gaming, it becomes inevitable that culture is communicated through it. After all, it was only a couple of decades ago that the idea of just talking to someone across the world was considered cutting-edge. Being able to socialise and play as one would in real life brings a whole new potential for human connection.
He also pointed to how culture affects styles of play. Such as in Hong Kong, one of the world's most expensive cities, where free time is often limited. In Hong Kong, mobile gaming is favoured as it allows an extremely low barrier for entry, and quick play sessions. Despite this it still saw a strong Esports culture. One which leads to equal representation of players from Hong Kong across the esports world.
The overall point, as Kalvin noted, is that today people want new things, to explore outside their own world. Esports offers competition, socialisation and most importantly, communication. With the potential further growth of Esports in Asia made possible with outside investment, that communication is sure to grow.