Major League Gaming – major enough to warrant a book?

As much skepticism that I often have for the merit of the term “professional gamer” I can deny neither the scope of the professional gaming scene nor the seriousness in which gamers approach it.

And neither can Michael Kane, entertainment writer for the New York Post and author of the book Gameboys: Professional Videogaming’s Rise from the Basement to the Big Time (Viking: 2008). In his book, Kane, a former sports writer for the Denver Post, examines the changing scope of the professional videogame scene, following Team 3D and Team CompLexity, two Counter-Strike clans vying for the number one spot. Their tale is one that shares striking similarities with more popular major league sports – bitter rivalries, impassioned athletes, and big cash all prevail in this story of the dueling groups of keyboard-and-mouse athletes.

Kane’s book looks like a rousing tale, and I am actually more than a bit curious about how it reads. It’s existence marks (at least) a changing attitude towards gaming and those that partake in it. Indeed, the book does seem to share some similarities with The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters, which follows junior high school teacher Steve Wiebe as he attempts to steal the world high score for Donkey Kong from the record holder Billy Mitchel.

Michael Kane’s Gameboys: Professional Videogaming’s Rise from the Basement to the Big Time, from Viking, will be on shelves 19 July. 320 pages. $24.95.

Be on the lookout for a review of the title later on this month.