Are Video Games Sports?

The short version:

What separates a game from a sport is, to me, the connectivity — the interaction with people.

The long version:

Are video games sports?

That’s a controversial question to which, it seems, no one has a definitive answer.

So, in the spirit of wholesome debate, I will share my opinion on this subject:

Video games are not a sport. And here is why, ultimately, I think that: Connectivity. I’ll explain: Sports are, if nothing else, a social activity. You can’t play a game of soccer or baseball all by yourself.

With e-sports, though you will always be playing against other people, people will be commentating, and people will be watching, what is stopping the player themselves from secluding themselves in their room? After all, people who want to watch, comment on, or even play in, an e-sports tournament don’t necessarily all have to be in the exact same place. This is not the case with something like, say, the Super Bowl: Though people all over the world watch it, you’ve got your two teams, your fans, and your announcers all in one stadium.

Video games have the potential to take the social aspect — being around other living, breathing human beings — out of sports.

If sports are defined by being around others, than you could just change the definition of sports to allow video games to be considered sports. And to that I would say: Now video games are sports, but they are sports unlike anything we, humanity, have known before.

On a philosophical note: Human beings weren’t made to live their life behind screens. Our very physiology seems to cry out against it — pain from sitting hunched over in one place for too long, heart failure because of lack of activity, eye strain, etc. Of course, sports like football and soccer carry their own mental and physical strain as well, but it is the kind of strain that, I believe, a human being is ultimately suited for: Human beings are made to sweat, fight, and struggle by the sweat of their brow. My point being: Human beings aren’t built for E-sports.


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