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Rainbow 6 Siege Professional Gamer on Utopia in Gaming

We interviewed Singaporean professional gamer Lunarmetal, Glen Suryaspautra on the future of game concepts and what playing in a utopian world is like.

The full feature on 'Utopian Worlds in Gaming' will be coming out this month in print.

Read Lunarmetals ‘Rapid Fire’ Series on Music and Games here.

Interview by Paradigm Haus

(Image Courtesy of Glen Suryaspaultra)

Paradigm Haus: How did you get started in professional gaming and why?

Glen: Like many others who are in esports, I've had a passion for games since I was really young. The advent of broadband opened my eyes to the world of online gaming where I found a place that breeds competition, forges friendships, and engages me like nothing else ever did.

The allure of participating in esports for me has always been competition and glory. The feeling of representing your country or region in front of a crowd, facing off against the best in the world is indescribable. While I spent a large portion of my youth closely following and watching Dota 2 players chase their dreams, I was never 'actively' pursuing a career in esports because I never thought I'd ever been good enough to be competing at such a high level. I fantasized about playing on stage many times but it had always felt more like a 'dream' than an actual 'goal'. Of course, the world works in mysterious ways and so when I was presented with the opportunity to go pro with Rainbow 6 Siege in 2017, I grabbed on tight and haven't let go since.

(Image Courtesy of Glen Suryaspaultra)

PH: What does 'utopia' mean to you?

G: To me, a utopia would be a place where my values and ideals can be reflected, accepted and shared by everyone inside. A dystopia would be just the reverse.

As pleasant as it sounds, I also think 'utopia' always carries with it a somewhat negative connotation because the ideals it envisions is juxtaposed with our reality, and it often feels very far-off and impractical. I am also of the mindset that a utopia for one can be a dystopia for another and as long as individuality exists between people, a utopia will always remain in the realm of the unachievable because we can never have one world that is perfect for everyone.

PH: How is the concept of Utopia embedded in gaming, now and historically?

G: Both art and gaming are similar in that it is a depiction of a creator's world. Just like how different artists illustrate different themes in their art, games have different genres and settings that are distinguished by their creators. Where art can be a form of expression which allows an artist to share their vision of a utopia, games can deliver a more immersive experience allowing gamers to virtually live in a world envisioned by its creator.

(Image Courtesy of Glen Suryaspaultra)

PH: Why is it important to get lost in these games?

G: Until we develop the ability to traverse different dimensions, games might be the closest thing which allows us to 'live' in a different reality away from our own.

PH: What do they do to help people?

G: I think that at the root of everything, gaming today exists first as an escape from reality. Whether you're playing through a single-player story-based game in an RPG (Role-playing game) or squading up with friends in an FPS (first-person shooter), there are many different types of games to choose from that I'm sure you can find anything you're in the mood for.

Not to mention that there are also other tangible benefits to gaming! Several studies have shown that playing games improves cognitive function, reaction times and helps to develop better social skills too.

PH: How can we learn from these worlds?

G: Just... play the game really. Game developers put in a lot of effort so experience their world in the way they would want you to! Engage with the community, make new friends and just keep an open-mind.

(Image Courtesy of Glen Suryaspaultra)

PH: Where do you see the future of gaming going? (In Concepts and Technology)

G: I think that game developers will continue to innovate and explore new genres that will keep people engaged in ways they wouldn't think about today. As for technology, I'm always really excited for anything VR (virtual reality) that comes out. As time passes we look for ways to immerse ourselves more and more so VR just seems like the next step for a truly immersive experience. Who knows, in the future we might even be engaged through our other senses outside of just visual or auditory. I can't wait to be able to taste food virtually.

PH: Are we living in a dystopian or utopian society now, or are we heading in that direction?

G: I think that humans are very progressive creatures. Albeit slowly at times, we strive to improve civilization while tackling challenges presented to us and so I'd like to think that we are progressing towards a utopian society. But then again, the world changes so quickly that even as we progress our definition of a utopia will inevitably change. The existence of a smartphone or a satellite would be unexplainable just 150 years ago, yet I'm sure in 150 years time we'd have solved problems that we didn't think we could today. In short, I guess we are headed in the direction of a utopian society but I doubt we'll ever reach it.


Follow Glen on Instagram @glensuperpapaya

All Photographs Courtesy of Glen Suryaspaultra


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