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Monday, October 17, 2016

OTP 2016 Oct 17: Politics, Sports, and the ‘League of Legends’ World Championship

The closer eSports comes to mirroring real world sports, the more we’ll see the truly political components of eSports. Traditional sports have long and complex ties with politics of all sorts, and you can already see these strands in their digital counterparts.

Baseball, perhaps the most American sport, traces close connections to the US military—at least going back as far as World War II. The home plate has also been the home of culture wars. If you’ve been to any baseball games that sung “God Bless America” during the seventh-inning stretch (most common on Sundays and during Yankee’s games), you experienced the lingering cultural repercussions of post-9/11 America. After the attacks, baseball as an American pastime became a cultural representation of our nation in relation to global terrorism.

This isn’t an attack on the expression of national pride and honor at sporting events, but it’s silly to think that sports (and by extension eSports) can ever be politics free. Even the very makeup of our “American” baseball teams are political in nature. It’s always deliciously ironic when you hear the national anthem at baseball games when well over a quarter of athletes are foreign born (27.5 percent in 2016).


Bitter Mouse, Space Tyrant Posted: October 17, 2016 at 07:59 AM | 2095 comment(s)
  Beats: politics, video games, yankees



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