An inside view of Notre Dame alum Patrick Creadon’s new film, All Work All Play, and his view on the value of a liberal arts education

Sports are a big deal at Notre Dame.  Even if one is not directly involved in them, everyone is in some way affected by the athletic “culture,” a culture made up of work ethic and the serious discipline required to perform well.  But how does the life of a cyber athlete fit into the world of professional sports?  What does playing video games as a profession, as a serious commitment and competition, even entail?

Patrick Creadon, a Notre Dame alumnus from the Class of 1989, produced the documentary All Work All Play: The Pursuit of Esports Glory (2015), which explores the world of cyber athletes across the globe.  This documentary, screened at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center on September 4, gives its audience an inside view of the world of eSports (also known as a form of professional competitive computer gaming), in particular, following the teams with the IEM Season IX competition who play games such as League of Legends and Dota 2.

This unique documentary not only highlights famous eSports athletes but also tells the story of those organizing the competition, those close to eSports athletes, and the overall process of how the games actually work.  The macro view of eSports provides a thorough explanation of competitive gaming and gives an alternative view of what many may consider a lonely addiction.  The film gives a face to the aliases of professional online gamers and dwells on the actual people in front of the screen.  All Work All Play mentions that eSports professional gaming promotes positive usage of the Internet by shaming cyberbullying and other forms of internet abuse that are unfortunately ever more frequent in today’s society.

Creadon is a renowned documentarian known especially for his film, Wordplay, which explores the world of the New York Times crossword editor, Will Shortz, and other figures deeply involved in the world of crossword puzzles.  This documentary premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2006, becoming the second-highest grossing documentary released that year.  Creadon and his wife Christine O’Malley are at the helm of O’Malley Creadon Productions, which specializes in nonfiction storytelling.

Creadon told the Rover, “I was an International Relations major, which is now called Political Science, but it was an overall classic liberal arts education.  That kind of education is as important today as it ever has been.  Despite the fact that we live in an ever increasing digital age, that doesn’t mean that traditional liberal arts academic pursuits are any less important than they have been.”

When it came to specific majors, Creadon continued, “I think of them [FTT majors] as the Swiss army knife of a liberal arts education because storytelling is a liberal arts pursuit and is an important part that happens at FTT, along with the technical skills learned within the major.”

The Rover asked Creadon how his overall experience at Notre Dame helped him achieve his renowned accomplishments.

“My education here was profoundly impactful in what I do today,” he said.  “Notre Dame values people’s talents, their diversity and respects our differences.  That’s a great environment to be educated within.  The older I get the more and more I appreciate it.”

Why did he choose to tell a story about professional gaming?  Creadon answered, “It felt like a follow to our first film (Wordplay).  The world of professional video game players simply love video games, the competition involved, and the community they build together.  That is what our story is about.  Our story showcases the burning desire of people to be the best at what they do.  That to me felt like an interesting idea.”

Crystal Avila is a junior studying Film and Television.  She is not a huge video gamer but she does enjoy a competitive game of Just Dance.  Contact her if you are interested in a playing a friendly game of the dance at