Why do pro gamers resemble boy bands?


Professional video gaming has an image issue. The best known pro-gamer is Jonathan "Fatal1ty" Wendell, but he's really not getting any Sports Illustrated covers or receiving much mention in gaming mags, which focus more on games than professional gaming. Then we've got the fully-manufactured FragDolls. They bring on the sex with the T&A quotient, but don't get respect (although they are very capable gamers) due to their Spice Girls/ Pussycat Dolls status. It's time to find the image for the masses.

Wonderland wonders how pro gaming, which is getting increased television time, will translate and market itself. The picture above encapsulates everything wrong about pro-gaming's image. Even when it tries to be serious, it comes off looking like a boy band. It's the type of image that looks like it's meant to appeal to 12-year-old girls, and frankly, they aren't the demographic. And as far as sex appeal goes, other than pedophiles, it only works on gay 13- to 17-year-old-boys comfortable with their sexuality, and that's not really a big demo either. The image just doesn't work to any adult demographic -- well, the aforementioned pedophile demo, but they're even smaller than the other stated demos.

So, how does pro gaming market itself? Talent, image, sexuality, envy and money all play a roll in professional sports. How can companies market pro gaming to gamers without making male, female, gay, straight and everyone else over the age of 18 not cringe at the sight of pro gaming team photos?

This article was originally published on Joystiq.