There are many films that deal with the ubiquitous 'what if ' situations of what would have been if a person had never been born.
But, what about the 'what if' the MSSA had never been constituted.
Well let us see....
Back in the 1980's without the MSSA (then known as the South African Wargames Union), gaming (then mainly board and figure gaming) would have been relegated to yet another pastime as the Springbok Colours Board and COSAS (the Confederation of South African Sport) would have only applied their minds to the physical sports.
Yes, not even chess was considered to be a sport in those dark days. Those in power had a firm idea of what constituted a sport and what did not...
Thus without the existence of the MSSA banging on doors, there is no doubt that nothing would have changed in the 1980's.
That would have indeed impacted on the 1990's.
It was in 1991 that the MSSA was adopted into membership of NOCSA and COSAS. As a result of this membership, the roadwas paved for accreditation of gaming as a full sport and membership of the South African Sports Commission (SASC) and even as a founder member of SASCOC.
Without the MSSA, Springbok Colours would not have been awarded to gamers in 1991.
It is almost hard to believe that the MSSA had Springbok Colours awarded to its teams before even chess received the right.Well do I remember the looks on the faces of the 1991 Chess Team when they saw that the MSSA's team had such Springbok Colours.
Thus there was an almost seamless transition between the award of Springbok Colours to that of Protea Colours in 1994. However, without the MSSA, that would not have been done.
So, without the MSSA, there is no doubt in my mind that all of gaming would have remained in the doldrums.
With the advent of computer gaming, there is no doubt either in my mind that without the MSSA, there would certainly not be any form of official gaming scene.
Without the MSSA there probably would not even be the DGL Gaming League.
Very few gamers today are even aware that the MSSA was the first to establish a gaming league in 2005. The league was of course administered by the MSSA's eSports Board of Control under the chairmanship of Johann von Backström. The league was discontinued in 2009 due to issues surrounding unsavoury behaviour by some of the participating teams.
Johann von Backström convinced TELKOM to continue with the league in 2009.
However, without the existence of the MSSA, the league would never have started, and certyainly, there is no doubt in my mind that TELKOM would never have continued with the league.
Not only that, without the MSSA, there would have been no offocial body that would have negotiated deferred exams for at least 12 gamers to enable such gamers to participate in overseas events.
Not only that, but over 100 gamers would have been denied the opportunity of receiving national colours and over a further 50 gamers would have been denied Protea Colours.
In short gaming would have been a mess where there would have been no real benefit to anyone.
Even those who are antagonistic towards the MSSA cannot deny that much of what they have done is built on the foundations of the MSSA.
Whether their feelings towards the MSSA has inspired them to greater heights, or whether it has created articles which has attracted readers to their blogs, the MSSA has had the greatest impact on South African gaming than any other organization.
Thus without doubt, without the MSSA, gaming in South Africa would have stagnated. It is only through the MSSA (currently sponsored y MWEB) that national teams have competed on a regular basis in international competition.
We all have much for which we must thank the MSSA!