Should Video Games Be Considered a Sport?

Willian Petitt, Staff Writer

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A few months ago, I turned on the TV to ESPN and was surprised when I saw video games on. I don’t know what game it was, but couldn’t help notice how out of place it looked on ESPN(which stands for Entertainment and Sports Programming Network if you did not know), a network usually focused on popular American sports like Football, Basketball, Baseball, and sometimes Soccer. This left me to ponder the question if video games are a sport or not.

While most of us enjoy playing a video game every once in a while, others are crazy about it. Gamers that argue that video games are a sport often cite these arguments. ESports, or professional gaming, has millions of fans worldwide and packed out tournaments. Lots of people are obviously interested in video games, giving them a fan base. Esports also has some gamers with seven-figure salaries. Esports is also growing at a rapid pace. The fan base has grown from 204 million people to 292 million people in the last two years. Additionally, Global revenue in the Esports industry has also dramatically increased in the last two years, going from $194 million in 2014 to $463 million this year.

However, to determine if video games are a sport, we have to define what a sport is to see if video games fall under these qualifications. Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines “sport” as “a contest or game in which people do certain physical activities according to a specific set of rules and compete against each other.” For the past few years, video games have become increasingly more popular as technology advances. Lots of gamers say that video games can be competitive and have teams, making it a sport. However, many people disagree because video games do not have the central component of all sports: physical exertion. All popular sports around the world and in the United States are physically taxing and require a fit body to excel in, thus deeming video games not a sport.

I have determined that although video games and Esports might have millions of fans worldwide and impressive numbers, this does not make them a sport. They lack the one thing that makes a sport a sport, and that is exercise. Moving your thumbs and staring at a screen all day does not make you an athlete, and isn’t a sport.

 

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Should Video Games Be Considered a Sport?