Stuff co.nz 11 August 2017Family First Comment: Good decision. Imagine the form. “What gender do you ‘identify’ with?” And then there would be possibly more that 60 options – and even then somebody would say they’ve been left out!Imagine the trees needed to print the forms big enough to list all options! #malefemalesaysitallQuestions on New Zealanders’ sexuality and gender diversity will be left out of next year’s census because statisticians could not make them work.The country’s census, held every five years, always includes a mandatory male/female question, but has never addressed gender diversity or sexuality.Government statistician Liz MacPherson said they were disappointed that after public trials, they could not find questions that would lead to accurate, consistent and useable data.The topics were among those on a range of issues suggested for the census by members of the public and groups.Statistics New Zealand was “unable to guarantee the quality of the information that we could gather through a self-completed survey such as the census”, she said.Instead, gender and sexuality questions will be included in the department’s general social survey next year, which is the country’s biggest survey of well-being. The department considered that because the survey was conducted by interviewers who could add context, the survey would give more accurate data.READ MORE: https://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/95692743/gender-issues-left-out-of-new-zealands-next-census
The men’s volleyball team has had a rough last couple of matches. USC (9-4, 8-4 MPSF) dropped from No. 3 to No. 7 nationally. Hence, having a week off could not have come at a better time for the Trojans. They look to come back from their week off with back-to-back wins at home against No. 3 UC Irvine (16-3, 11-2) and UC San Diego (2-15, 0-12 MPSF) Tuesday and Wednesday.The Trojans have been practicing hard during their week off, honing fundamentals and focusing on their serving and passing skills that have been struggling recently. It should have served as a nice break for the Trojans, who have been constantly traveling and played the full five sets in three of their last six games.Following the team’s loss to UC Santa Barbara, head coach Bill Ferguson noted that it is critical in future matches that the Trojans focus on one point at a time while on court.UC Irvine will prove to be a tough match for the Trojans. In their last match in Irvine, the teams battled out to a full five sets (28-30, 25-17, 21-25, 25-23, 15-13). Both teams were undefeated in conference and USC was undefeated overall, and the Trojans went into the match as the underdogs. Pulling out the win in Irvine propelled the Trojans back onto the national stage. The UC Irvine match served as a test for the Trojans, and they passed with flying colors.Coming into the match as the underdogs once again should motivate the Trojans to regain their victorious mentality and readjust their technique, so they can beat the Anteaters once again.Junior opposite Josh Kirchner dominated the net for USC with a team-high 15 kills against UCI. Senior setter Micah Christenson and Kirchner both had a team-high two aces. Similar production from the USC offense and service line should translate into slew of points for the Trojans, pushing them to a victory at home.The two teams have had a vastly different last couple of weeks: UCI has won their last seven matches, while USC has gone 3-4. Hopefully, the Trojans can make a complete 180-degree switch and turn their play into high gear.If the Trojans can limit sophomore opposite hitters Tamir Hershko and senior Zack La Cavera, they should be able to slow down UC Irvine’s dominant offense. Both make up the teams 13.77 kills per set average and .355 hitting percentage.USC’s match tomorrow night is against UC San Diego. In their previous match, USC won easily in three-straight sets (25-14, 25-16, 25-19). UCSD has lost in three sets against all conference opponents except two this season (UCI and Stanford). If the Trojans can get back to their fundamentals tonight, then they should ride that momentum for back-to-back wins at home.A decisive set of wins for the Trojans will help put the team back on the right track as they head into the back end of their schedule with their eyes set on the MPSF and NCAA Tournaments.See the Trojans take the court at 6 p.m. Tuesday against UC Irvine and Wednesday at 7 p.m. against UC San Diego.
Not really spectator friendly— Niall Mclawrence (@NiallMclawrence) July 26, 2017Then there’s Matt who sits perched beautifully on the fence:… Can it be shown as a game with an incredible beyond-reach-of-most skill level to enjoy? I think squads yes, not sure about individuals— Matt Andrews (@Matt_Andrews) July 26, 2017 PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS (“PUBG”) has had unprecedented success since its early-access release. The game has now sold over 6,000,000 copies and is immensely popular on Twitch amongst streamers and viewers alike. Spend an evening on Twitter and countless images of chicken dinners will appear.ESL and PUBG announced the PUBG Gamescom Invitational which will take place late August in Cologne. There’s set to be $350,000 on the line and PUBG has revealed a monetised cosmetic crate where proceeds would go towards the esports event and excess to charity and the best PUBG players competing.Ignoring the debate around whether an early-access game should be monetising crates, PUBG certainly presents an interesting prospect as an esports title. At the moment, with the game in early access there’s still glitches that need to be ironed out, server stability remains an issue but we still see even the most established of games in full release (cough, FIFA, cough) experiencing all aforementioned issues.There’s been certain esports initiatives already — although they’ve more been as fun initiatives. Dota 2 studio Moonduck have run small invitationals, inviting players and talent to compete and be cast and it’s gone down a treat.I decided to cast the question out to the community and find out just whether or not people believe that PUBG will make it as a competitive esports title.My two cents: Initially going into the conversation, my opinion was simply that games such as H1Z1 and PUBG don’t particularly make compelling spectator esports. From my perspective I’ve watched countless hours of streamers playing PUBG and it’s always fun to watch streamers hunt for kills and play the game in the most active manner possible.The more competitive you get, the more conservative gameplay becomes. Having read about the recent competitive H1Z1 at DreamHack, one player from a squad sat in a police car for a good 10/15 minutes without moving to secure higher placement. That’s the kind of gameplay that is not particularly fun to watch but I can understand from a strategic perspective that it’s wholly necessary at times. Not every esport has to be frenetic in play, and there’s a lot of games where things aren’t the most exciting for patches so that’s more of a by-the-by point. Also the spectator tool and sheer size of map makes it tough to get on board with. Then again, the developers have time to try and create the best possible tool to broadcast the game. It’s still very early on in as the game is still in early access. To those claiming it’s too based on RNG, many consider Hearthstone an esport so I don’t really buy the “luck factor” as a big issue here. Without further ado, here’s some of the opinions gathered from folk on Twitter: Yes, it will make it: Steve “Toffees” Pierce – Caster and talk-show hostCredit: Steve “Toffees” PierceI think it has potential as an esport but much of that potential rides on his presentation. If it’s treated like just another shooter I don’t think it can work as there’s simply not enough action and too much RNG.I see it as a sort of a crossover. It’s not just a shooter there’s a farming phase, a positioning phase and a pushing phase. There’s loadouts that are ideal, and some not ideal but within PUBG you still have traditional FPS roles — i.e. sniper, AR, Scout, pusher that you might see in a traditional shooter.I believe sports benefit from storylines. They create viewer buy-in and foster an interest and a loyalty that extends beyond just a highlight play. The format of a PUBG game provides the perfect opportunity to juxtapose storyline and action gameplay into a seamless and engaging viewer experience.Luke Cotton – Code Red EsportsWe are very bullish about PUBG’s potential as an esport, and through our talent agency, Code Red, are actively looking to represent PUBG commentators, which is unusual for a new title in its formative stages. Firstly, PUBG has gained a huge and dedicated playerbase, which is a prerequisite. However, of equal importance is that when a casual player watches a highly skilled player, they can both appreciate the difference in ability and style but also feel like they are learning something from watching. This will keep players engaged and watching professional matches.“The most difficult thing will be to ensure broadcasters and commentators do not miss key looting moments.”In a PUBG match, every moment is critical. This is why games like CS:GO work so well as esports: if you are a hardcore fan, you can feel the importance of what would appear to casual viewers as minor plays, but it also has its “wow” moments. PUBG has this too, as a player being spotted puts the viewer on edge, as they realise that should mean “game over” shortly, but a single player can also take down a four-man squad – but it is difficult and rare enough to be impressive when it does happen.PUBG can be a slow paced, yet tense, game to play, but that won’t be problematic from a broadcast POV given that there only needs to be a single interesting moment going on at a particular time on the map: and there always is. Observing will be critical and possibly even more important than commentary.“What is unique about PUBG (and other battle royale games) is the potential for multiple storylines throughout a match.”The most difficult thing will be to ensure broadcasters and commentators do not miss key looting moments (sniper rifles, 8x’s and suppressors) and thus miss players who are likely to have a significant impact on the end game. It is a concern that someone could win a major tournament but viewers might not see much – if anything – of how they do it. However, this is something that could be built into the spectator client or fed into a second screen in production through an API, if the developer, Bluehole, wants to.The main issue that PUBG will face is its randomness. Luck in looting and in the zone contractions will play a hugely significant role in matches between players on a professional level, more-so than any minor differences in skill. What is unique about PUBG (and other battle royale games) is the potential for multiple storylines throughout a match.It also helps that in Bluehole, PUBG has a developer which appears to be dedicated to making people enjoy their game. I expect that they will do everything possible within the game to give it every chance of success – which is not always the case.QuicksilvaMy 3 day old opinion on PUBG is that if this many people are playing it in Alpha, I feel like it is here to stay. That being said very lacklustre spectator wise at the moment but in the age of Twitch you can watch the best players. David Duffy – Feature Writer, exceL EsportsPersonally, I think it will, but it will more than likely be a niche esport along the lines. There’s definitely a space for an esport title that is not the typical moba/fps type. And what I love about watching PUBG is that it is absolutely watchable, and that each round creates its own storylines. Form is essentially irrelevant, being at the mercy of the map and the loot spawns, but there’s more than enough strategy in team games for it to be dynamic.I think their biggest challenge is the format – I do like what they did with the Invitational, and what they will do with the Gamescom event – having different types of rounds then a points ranking system, but also how many teams (assuming 4 players) will form a round. It’s certainly an interesting time, and I do think the viewership will translate into the esports side – especially if it continues to attract personalities rather than just players (if you get what I mean).Against: Wouldn’t survive as an eSport. Too much relies on luck, etc. Not EVERY popular game has to be come an eSport— Reginald Halstrom (@RegHalstrom) July 27, 2017 Battlefield all over again, a competitive esport will not resemble the game everyone plays and loves. It has its place on twitch though— Mark Balch (@gg_Herry) July 26, 2017