StarCraft II Seventh Anniversary

It’s hard to believe that StarCraft II has been out seven years. Yet, here we are, seven years later, with an esports prize pool that is the highest ever in gaming history for one winner, for one contest. It’s amazing how far StarCraft II has come in those short years. Aside from the huge effect StarCraft II has had on the esports world, let’s take a peek at some of the other areas that this game has touched.

To Boldly Go Where No Game Has Gone

Who didn’t want to be an astronaut when they were a kid? Well, even though StarCraft is set in a sci-fi genre, it wasn’t truly out of this world until 1999. NASA astronaut, Daniel Barry, took his personal copy of StarCraft with him on the STS-96 Discovery. The mission itself was historical because it was the first time a ship had docked with the International Space Station. His choice to bring a personal copy of StarCraft into orbit cemented the game’s sci-fi genre in more ways than one.

Barry has stated that he thinks StarCraft has resonated with gamers for so long because the game is easy to learn, but extremely hard to master. He also believes that the efforts put in by both the developers and the gamers makes the game as a whole one that will survive for decades to come. Another reason he thinks that the game will stick around: the storyline in StarCraft II.

StarCraft II and AI

Google DeepMind project is a scientific AI mission to push the boundaries of what artificial intelligence can do. Since games are a perfect way to test AI, DeepMind is working with Blizzard to push this science into the future of gaming – meaning that future StarCraft expansions and games may end up truly kicking everyone’s rears.

Training Brains

Many people who play StarCraft II consider it to be this generation’s chess. It takes a lot of skill and discipline to learn and attempt to master the game. Along that line, many educators today are beginning to see how games can help us learn. In fact, some schools, such as the Tisch School of the Arts, actually teach Intro to StarCraft courses to help stimulate student’s brains and boost their flexibility.

Research is also showing that games like StarCraft II helps brains deal with certain types of problems. This research is leading to new types of treatments for people with ADHD and brain injuries. What could be cooler than that – badass games that help your brain heal and learn.

The Office Loves StarCraft

Even if you don’t watch The Office, you’ve seen memes and heard tales of the show. On one Halloween episode, one of the characters, Dwight Schrute (played by Rainn Wilson), comes to work dressed up as The Queen of Blades. Some of us gaming nerds got this right away… and it was epic.

Twitch Is Born

Justin.tv was a streaming site where Emmett Shear, the CEO, and co-founder of Twitch, was curious what to do next with the site. He had been waiting somewhat patiently for StarCraft II to come out along with millions of other gamers. When the game finally released, Emmett watched so many gamers streaming it on Justin.Tv and he hatched the idea to create a streaming site just for gamers.

What Else Has Changed?

These aren’t the only things that StarCraft and StarCraft II have changed over the decades. So many different esports levels and championships have been created, insane amounts of prize money have been won and brought gamers and their families together in play. Blizzard has truly been able to create some of the most epic games that the world has seen and continues to develop these games and new games into powerhouses that do more than entertain.

Trying not to melt away in the heat of Oklahoma, MD Weems has been a writer and artist for over 20 years. Her written works over all types of gaming have been used in college level game design textbooks as well as in US Patents over virtual character design. She has worked with gaming companies all over the world and is even cool enough to have her own Korean cartoon character.
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