Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Thursday, April 02, 2021

They’ve had their Red Bull and their Starbucks double-whipped-dripped-venti-coffee-whatevers. Now the Silicon Valley wunderkinds have moved on to tea as the stimulating beverage of choice:

Tea is the new coffee — the tipple of choice for the Twitteratti. The culture that brought us pizza as a food group and $20,000 coffeemakers has now discovered tea. And its internet-savvy boosters like [Digg founder Kevin] Rose and [Web entrepreneur Tim] Ferriss are leading a movement in the United States to promote the leafy beverage as a trendy drink for new-age geeks who are as obsessed with having energetic bodies as they are with fast computers.

“It’s the new social lubricant,” said Jesse Jacobs, owner of Samovar Tea Lounge, a popular mini-chain of high-end tea rooms in San Francisco. “You’re never hung over and you can never drink too much.”

The unsaid motivator: Guys like Rose and Ferriss aren’t 21 anymore, and they’ve felt the physiological toll of a steady intake of sugary-sweet carbonated energy drinks. Tea provides that boost in less-extreme form.

Since I’ve been chugging cupfuls of the leaf-brew since my early 20s (I’ve never acquired a taste for coffee), I’m well ahead of the curve for once, and welcome everyone else as Johnny-come-latelys to my tea-drinking party. Although I unapologetically show my preference for regular old oolong black tea, straight without sugar, milk or any other additive (although every so often, I will indulge in black tea with mint, lemon spice, or other flavorings). In fact, I have no use for caffeine-free herbal blends — it’s got to provide a caffeinated blast for me to bother to drink it.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 04/02/2021 08:05:39 PM
Category: Food, Internet, Society
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If you ask me, the reason why the professional videogame league circuit is tanking is because of embarassingly geeky-goony team names like “Chicago Chimera” and “LA Complexity”.

But actually, the official reason is The Economy, Stupid:

Major companies have pulled sponsorships and several tournaments have folded. And in November, News Corporation and DirecTV unexpectedly shut down the Championship Gaming Series…

For years, video gamers sharpened their skills for fun wherever they could find competition — in basements, dorm rooms and even big-box stores. Companies recognized the potential of marketing products to this vast informal community, and a sport began to grow. Tournaments were created and existing ones expanded. Events appeared on cable television and on the Internet. Leagues formed, and players received exclusive contracts. But the recession has left only one significant competitive circuit in North America, Major League Gaming.

I still question just how effective a sponsorship channel this is. Pro-level videogame tournaments as spectator sport? To me, the effectiveness of this medium as a marketing platform is the in-game advertising play — and that works best when you’re playing the game yourself, versus watching someone else playing it. At best, league and tournament events are an indirect way to get the eyeballs onto the screen, where the action (both gameplay and ad placement) is.

Interesting coda for the defunct CGS: Its URL, along with those of each of its former franchises, come up completely blank in the browser — no error message, no redirects, just an untitled white blank page. A total wipe-through. You’d think the corporate overlords would be sports about it, and plaster a big “GAME OVER” message…

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 04/02/2021 10:58:52 AM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Business, Videogames
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