CNY is like a double-edge sword for gamers; on one hand you get angpows and yummy food. And then you get headshots with these…
“Play game can earn money meh?”
“Every day on computer can find wife ar?”
“Why don’t you get a real job?”
“Pay so much money to study but now play game…”
“Every day sit at home only… how to meet girl? Ah Poh want grandchildren!”
“You win in game can win in real life meh?”
These are just some of the common questions that most gamers go through during the dreaded reunion dinners and open houses.
While other people usually get Qs like:
a) Getting BF/GF
b) Getting married
c) Getting first child/second/third etc.
d) Getting better job
Gamers get these as well as other headaches.
While there are no cheats to avoiding your families (got but we rather not say), we decided to speak to some local players to learn how they explain that they game for a living to their Poh-pohs, Kong-kongs, Ku Che, Yee Lai, Sam Kung and pet gold fish.
We asked them two questions:
a) What sort of questions do you normally get during CNY?
b) How do you explain gaming/esports to families/friends?
1) Nara Gaming CS:GO Team
Hoc Wah Chong aka Fayde (Captain)
Gamers like me tend to receive questions such as why am I playing computer games every day instead of going overseas to further my studies. It’s pretty normal to receive questions like these even from our peers because other people are still studying for their degree or masters at my age (21).
They will ask questions like why don’t you just study instead of playing so much games. They say it’s a waste of time but that’s not what I think about esports. People have to adapt to all these changes that are happening around the world and eSports happened to be one of them.
How do I explain gaming to my family? I just have to make them understand that we’re not playing computer games for fun. esports is now being recognised as a professional sport and it’s something to be taken seriously.
I always take my time to explain to my friends or relatives about what am I doing in eSports, most of them now already understand that this is the start of something great for the coming decades.
Jeremy Mah aka JRM
As a semi-pro esports player, I have always faced many interesting questions about my career. The most common questions that my relatives will ask is the amount of time spent in front of the computer, and usually after listening to my reply they will give me a short lecture on the negative effects of sitting in front of the computer screen for too long.
The other question that I face countless times is on how we practice and the concept of a gaming boot camp as their mentality of practice for esports is just by playing 24/7. Then I have to break down our team’s practice schedule and our practice system to them which most of the time, they wouldn’t understand.
It’s pretty hard to explain to my relatives that I game full time as they do not understand how pro gamers earn their income. Usually I try to explain to them that the income for pro gamers is very wide. They can come from sponsors, streaming, endorsement campaigns and so on.
To them, gaming is just a hobby that you can spend your time playing for fun. On the bright side, after debuting under Orange E-sports, my relatives slowly started supporting me. Instead of asking questions about how much I play, they are more concern about me as a player in the scene and the growth of the gaming community.
I think most adults and elder opinion leaders do not accept gaming as a professional job. Luckily for me, my family and relatives are supporting me in every way they can.
Jerry Lai aka Vynix
Aside from the usual CNY questions (mentioned above in beginning of this article), there’s always this one question – “What is that gaming thing you’re doing?” My relatives would ask me about how much do I make or how long do I plan to spend my time in gaming. I’d try to convince my family to give me patience. That I wouldn’t want to grow up having to regret not doing the things that I love.
It’s a little difficult to explain to others who aren’t in the industry. But my family is supportive enough to give me the chance to do this. They even offered to come and watch me at LAN events even though they don’t understand the game. My sister even, is influenced by me and she watches tournaments.
Vei Ler Sia aka ValoR
My parents would always ask why are you playing so much games or why am I wasting my time instead of putting it into my studies.
My family is not very receptive towards the whole gaming thing. I try to explain via documentaries about gaming, example: DOTA 2’s Free to Play. They’re still very sceptical about it but if I could prove myself and show results then they’d believe and support me.
2) Fire Dragoon
Lim Boon Shin aka Shige (FIFA 18)
Normally during CNY, relatives and families will update each other on what kind of jobs they’re doing and so on, but the most awkward part is when I say I work as a gamer. It really shocks them!
After the initial shock, I have to explain my achievements, tournaments won, prize money earned and once they see it, their shock turns to amazement and they’re impressed. I’m thankful my families and relatives are very supportive on this. I encourage other gamers not to be discourage by this.
Kan Hau Yin aka FDGxNiamaGa1 (FIFA Online 3)
At first it was kinda hard for me to explain it to my parents, especially my beloved mother. I have always dreamed of becoming a FIFA Professional Player. And to make it happen, I explained to my parents of my decision in committing my all into gaming competitively. In the beginning, they were a bit overwhelmed by my decision, but after a series of good performances and successful achievements, they finally began to acknowledge, welcome and even support my passion.
Fire Kam, owner of Fire Dragoon
The most common question I get is “what does an esports organisation do? Your teams just play video games only?” My answer is always “ABUDEN”.
On a serious note I’m always happy to explain to them about our industry. About regular gaming and pro gaming. It’s my passion and it’s my life’s mission so I am happy to talk about it.
I’m very fortunate that my family is supportive of me forming The Fire Nation, and they believe esports will grow to another level.
3) Geek Fam
The boys from Geek Fam’s LOL team have an easy-to-understand analogy on explaining their career:
“It’s like basketball team, there are 5 players in a game of basketball and there are 5 players in a professional match of LOL. You can substitute your players along the way. Professional gaming is a game of wits, strategy and skills instead of an addiction to video games. It’s also a sport but instead of the court, we play online. We are also athletes.”
3A) Cola, Head Coach of Nirvana Gaming
Easiest way to explain to the older generation is to tell them that you are earning money by playing games. Assure them it’s not illegal and you can support yourself. Professional players are like sports athletes, esports tournaments are similar in nature to sporting events like the Olympics.
5) Fantastic Gaming
Deuce: “It’s already CNY, why haven’t you gotten a haircut?” So that’s usually their main concern he laughs. He also shared that since gaming isn’t affecting his studies, and he’s able to earn money by playing – it’s not a bad thing.
Eyebrows told his family that since he’s not good at a lot of things, if he can make something out of gaming then it’ll be good. As long as he’s able to support himself.