Esports is becoming immensely popular in just about every region of the world. However, this doesn’t always have to be gaming related, does it?
In Japan, an e-Construction Machinery Challenge Competition was held in Roppongi, Tokyo that saw five teams compete remotely to pilot construction equipment from around 70 kilometers away at a training ground of the Chiba Boso Technical Center in Ichihara City, Chiba Prefecture.
Each team consisted of two operators with one supervisor as they work to pilot excavators and dump trucks to move large amounts of soil as fast as possible. The teams were made up of individuals with experience operating such equipment, eSports competitors, and even university students.
And although the Chiba Fire Rescue team went home with the grand prize, the organizers at the Transportation Digital Business Conference (TDBC) were even more interested in the fact that eSports contestants were included.
While the tournament was ongoing, tests were carried out to see how well typical gamepads or joysticks that are used in gaming could be adapted and be used to operate real-life heavy machineries like excavators and cranes. These results seemed positive that the transition to using gamepads could work.
Japan Today reported that Individuals online commented with both positive and negative feedback on the idea of merging gaming and construction:
“I wonder if you can work internationally as well and make a killing in an Australian mine.”
“And they let you use your own controller?!”
“That’s good because I think if you put a gamer on an actual construction site there might be problems.”
“That’s a neat bridge between eSports and construction.”
“I think I remember the construction industry thinking about adopting the PS gamepad a while back.”
“I wonder how effective it can be online. You really have to be able to see all your surroundings to be effective.”
“Heavy machinery is very dangerous and shouldn’t be treated like a game. People can die out there.”
The TDBC is also hoping that the attraction of eSports talent to the construction industry which already has a reputation of being a dirty, hard, and dangerous occupation can be replaced and seen as a cooler and more sophisticated line of work.