Opinion: We Need More Gaming Events In Malaysia

There’s something magical that happened during the latest #TwtupGamersMy event, the 2nd, now annual event for gamers to mingle around, hang out, and have fun with some video games. Everyone walked away in with a good time, sure, but there’s something in the back of most of the participants’ (and committee’s) mind:

Why not have more of events such as this in the future?

With gaming being more of a communal thing by the day with online features loaded to most AAA games, we spend a lot more time hanging out with our gaming friends online. But having a communal event such as #TwtupGamersMy have the potential of doing something big. In a national scale even.

Here’s why I believe that we need more gaming events in Malaysia.


Uniting the Malaysian Gaming Scene, and Its Many Sub-Groups

While technology such as social media has made it easier to link up with more gamers by the day, there’s something inherently lacking with relying just on the Internet to create relationships and getting to know people: the lack of human touch.

Being in the presence and communicating face-to-face can help make a stronger connection with others, and helps remove the ambiguity from just reading a post. Like how it can take a while to understand if someone is writing something sarcastically.

Aside from the stronger friendships forged when meeting in person, it can also facilitate the act of uniting the smaller sub-groups of gamers. Say, a Destiny clan. Or the Fighting Game Community. Or the Smash Bros. Fighting Game Community (FGC). Or Xbox One users in Malaysia. Or even the huge Dota community.

There’s plenty of sub-groups that can grow bigger if they can reach out those who just couldn’t find such groups, or realise its existence. At the meetup, I met a gamer who happens to follow the FGC, specifically the Smash scene. Apparently, most of his gamer cliques have stopped playing games, so it’s hard to find a scene to hang around with. Plus,there’s not much of a Smash scene around here to the point he has to look at the Singapore scene.

Now imagine if we can gather the many lone wolfs who have yet to find their niche groups of gamer friends, we can get a scene to grow. What better way to reach out to them by having meetups.

Plus, it helps the Malaysian gaming community to be more visible. And why having us being visible is something we need? Well..


Getting Game Publishers & Developers Serious About The Malaysian Market

Come, get serious!

Horrible Terry Bogard quotes aside, we need to make the game makers, both developers and publishers, to see how sizeable the market demand for games in Malaysia. We need a way to show how many the crowd size for a gaming event, so that the right people would see such events can help boost their sales if they can market to them there.

There’s a Street Fighter V launch party in KL last February. It was a hit and helped bring the buzz and hype level for the game here. So why not have more of the same? Let gamers get hyped, meet with others, AND get to buy the games early?

The media can have a helping hand in making sure gaming events such as meetups and gatherings get decent coverage. Some already have a strong audience and following. Some can get the attention of the big-name publishers and developers. Both can lead to the success of gaming events that can catch the attention of any game maker, even the small local studios.

Speaking of which, the local gaming studios that exist right now can also benefit with some more exposure through these events as well. Like how indies benefited by having booths in smaller games convention- which don’t charge as much to enter as an exhibitor- the studios here can use that opportunity in gaming meetups and gatherings as well.


Getting the Creatives to Collaborate and Work Together

Gaming is huge on YouTube and Twitch. Livestreams and Let’s Play is still growing in appeal, but where are the Malaysian folks of the scene? There are there, but not getting the views from us.

Trying to get the exposure is not as easy, as it’s getting a bit competitive nowadays. But one way to solidify and improve the Malaysian creative scene is with collaborations. Cross-promotion does wonders for any YouTube channel or stream, and to get those deals done it’s better to go and seal them in person. Meetups can be an opportunity to network and get tips on how to improve each other’s craft. For example, I’ve got a hot tip for how to get videos uploaded to YouTube easier, and gave some tips on what sort of gaming laptops to look for in the recent #TwtupGamersMy.

At the moment, these creatives must not consider each other as competitors. The audience for local videos and content is not that big yet, and instead of trying to get a slice of an already small pie, we need to bake a bigger one. In order to get the local audience to invest in our local-made content, we need to figure out how to make better content. Sharing experience, learning from others, and cross-promotions can go a long way to get more Malaysians on board with support local creatives.

And now let’s look at it in a bigger picture.


It Helps The Country’s Economy

Thinking on a larger scale, the influx of gaming interest can benefit our country as a whole.

With more meetups, and possibly games conventions, there’s going to be even more interest in gaming than it has ever been in the country. With more gamers on board the demand for game copies increases, boosting our game store businesses and inspire new ones to open.

If the trend of more meetups continue to the point we can organise conventions, with support from big-name publishers and indies alike, it can become a source of tourism. People both local and international congregating for a convention will help out any business in the nearby vicinity.

In addition, having a strong and vibrant gaming scene can inspire other interesting opportunities to happen. More gaming events hosted in Malaysia. Gaming Studios branching out more in Malaysia and grabbing more local talent. More games marketing, ads on billboards and TVs. Tons of opportunities that all will help boost our economy.

We are still ways behind in terms of economic strength, with the current situation, anything that can help with the economy can benefit us in the long run. Like having a strong Ringgit value, so that we don’t have to pay up to three times the standard $60 equivalent for a game.

Yes, a stronger economy can potentially lead back to us getting cheaper games!

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Some had asked about #TwtupGamersMy, why only in KL? Why not in Kuching or JB? Why not make it a free entry? Truth is, those can be done, but it needs effort. The lovely committee of this year’s event (who I happened to be close with, full disclosure) have done a tremendous effort in making the event happen within their capacity and limitations.

So, why wait for them when you can organise your own? If you have the know-how and the crew to organise one in your local area, go for it!

There’s certainly a lot to gain for having more gaming events as mentioned, and what we need right now is more events in other parts of the country. Spread the word, make it and make it happen. Slowly and surely, we can see the Malaysian gaming scene flourishing, giving us another reason to unite: our passion for gaming.

And what a time to be alive when that happens. I’m all in for supporting such efforts.

Would you do the same?

[Pictures are all from the latest #TwtupGamersMy, courtesy of GamerMalaya]

[This article originally appeared on the author’s personal site, meckronos.wordpress.com]

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