The Sci-Fi channel has apparently taken the leap into game spectating. From what I've read, though, their WCG Ultimate Gamer show is as much reality TV as spectating. I don't like that idea, but it raises the question of what sort of show could make game battles popular on TV.
What elements make for compelling game spectatorship?
As I try to answer that question, it would help if we could identify games which already appeal to spectators. What games have you played that your fellow gamers and even non-gamers have enjoyed watching you play?
The most obvious example in my own experience is LOTR: Battle for Middle Earth 2. Non-gamers young and old have hovered over me, fascinated, as I play that game. A semi-gamer cousin remarked, "I could watch you play that all day".
Mario Kart is another one. In that case, it's as much the social atmosphere that it encourages as the game itself.
The more games we can identify that appeal to spectators, the easier it will be for me to identify traits that make those fun to watch. What do you think?