I’ll never forget screaming in my school computer lab as I played a skating flash game on the no-longer-existent ESPN Arcade. As I continued to fall off of my virtual skateboard and annoy the everloving daylights out of everyone around me, I kept thinking, “People do this in real life?”
Not only are there real life people who ride real life skateboards and do real life tricks that can result in real life injuries, those people have recently found an ally that, just like them, didn’t start mainstream: the gaming community.
One can’t mention skateboarding without bringing up Tony Hawk, the celebrity that brought skateboarding into the mainstream. Everyone was shocked when he first entered the world of video games and became an esports icon in the process, but in today’s gaming climate, his success is hardly a surprise.
Pro Skater and its sequel went on to massive commercial and critical success, with both ending up in the top-10 selling games in their respective years. This prompted a remaster to be released in September of this year, which also garnered massive success.
This shake-up of the video game industry led to even more Pro Skater sequels, the invention of the skateboarding video game as a genre, and a huge community following. As both gaming and skateboarding have risen in popularity, the crossover between the two has been even more prevalent. It makes a lot of sense when considering the many similarities between the two communities, including the jaw-dropping amount of streamers who are skateboarding fans.
For an example of streamers who not only love the games but the community, look no further than musician and friend of the site Rozei.
“It’s crazy how many of my friends who game also skateboard,” he said. “They both have the same addicting qualities to them. The adrenaline rush when you land a trick is comparable to when you win that match, that tournament, the skill gap, the grind, everything.”
This connection isn’t new, and esports organizations have bridged this connection in the past. In 2015, FaZe Clan teamed up with pro skateboarders like Nyjah Huston for that year’s X-Games.
This crossover was just the beginning. Huston has collaborated with FaZe numerous times since, premiering in numerous videos and appearing on their social media.
This crossover cemented Rozei’s connection between the two seemingly different but strikingly similar worlds of skateboarding and gaming.
“Once I saw Nyjah was chilling with the FaZe guys it kinda clicked in my head,” said Rozei. “It’s crazy how they go hand in hand.”
Hawk and Huston are not the only skateboarders to dip their hands in the world of gaming; some created content before they even knew they’d enter that world. Rapper-turned-streamer Logic went viral in the skateboarding community when he played SKATE with fellow rapper YG way before Logic started his streaming career. In 2015, Logic brought his skateboarding talents to FaZe Temperrr.
As of today there are over 50 mainstream gaming titles dedicated to skateboarding. As the gaming and skating communities converge, we’re sure to only see these numbers shoot up. Skateboard gaming’s come a long way since flash games in the computer lab, and us at Stropse can’t wait to see where it goes next.