Considering E Sport And Video Games As A Competitive Sport

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What is E-sport? E-sport is a type of sport competition that uses video games instead of using physical activity. It is believed that there are many people who have a different view on what E-sport is; whether if it is considered as a real sport or not. Within the article, ‘Triad Trickery’, Meier and Suits debate over what defines play, sport and games through the complex areas they cover. At present, a similar argument has come arise as E-sports has become a controversial topic on its categorization within sports. Using Suits definition, “A game, G, is a sport if (1) G is a game of skill, (2) that skill is physical, (3) G has a wide following, and (4) the following achieves a certain level of stability,”’ (The Elements of Sports), it is believed that esports is not a real sport, due to the lack of physicality and risk of neurological damage to players. However, it is also believed that esports is a real sport from having a similar atmosphere as real sports and variety of other similar attributes. Although many people believe that esports can be defined as a real sport, it is evident that several people still do not consider it to be a sport. This is due to many controversial opinions based on this topic. However, esports have many similarities to traditional sports. For example, this electronic sport event has the same environment like real sports such as, having a live audience, similar concepts of competition and also having referees to monitor for cheating. The esport industry offers an organization called the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE), for secondary schools, universities and master gamers. The industry also offers the same organization for lower classes, which is sorted out online for gamers at any level of skill (ViewSonic). NACE is similar towards the National Collegiate Athletic Association, as the NCAA allows students to compete annually in sport events. Comparing the NCAA with the NACE proves that esports can be a real sport considering that it is identical with the same atmosphere of competition, crowd, and referees. In addition, esports can also resemble the amount of training as other sports such as basketball, football, soccer, and hockey. Esport training consist of playing video games, practicing, staying motivated and perfecting popular gaming techniques. However, the training is mostly focused on the gamer’s fingers and perfecting techniques because that will allow to become successful with gaming, which can lead them to high end competitions. Along with real sports, it also has the same training concept because it is all about perfecting a sort of new skills that will allow them to develop into a professional athlete. “Due to its incredibly large competitive format, physical strain, and set of required skills, gaming in esports is just as much of a sport as playing in a game of football,” (The Telescope). In conclusion, esports has the same type of training concept as any regular sports. Many people will not agree with the fact that esports can be considered to be a real sport due to different point of views. Whenever one is asked about sports, what comes to their minds are traditional sports such as basketball, soccer and etcetera. Electronic sports aren’t considered a sport because of the lack of physical activity. Often in traditional sports, athleticism is the main focus, where as the players in esports only exercise their fingers and brain power. Many participating in electronic sports have low exercise compared to traditional sports such as Ringette. Using Suits definition of sports, “A game, G, is a sport if (1) G is a game of skill, (2) that skill is physical, …” (Elements of Sport). Suit refers to sports as a game of skill, although that skill must be a physical action. Sports such as football have athletes put their bodies on the line, as they go through physical extremes to succeed in the game. When playing video games, many of its players are in sitting sedentary for hours upon hours looking upon a screen which can have lasting health effects that are still unknown to many. As esports are suddenly increasing in popularity, it’s still in the rudimentary stages. 

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Health risks are still unknown and there are studies currently investigating the effects of video games on Esport ‘athletes’. As esport is not considered traditional, there’s more concern in the low levels of physical activity compared to traditional sports where as athletes are known for their athleticism. Most common injuries in real sports are strained muscles. However, players of electronic sports are sitting in sedentary positions for long periods of time, which can result in serious back, joint and wrist issues after years of constant abuse (“The Rise Of Esports…”The Gamer). Clinical research is starting to show there’s an abundance of risks for the minds of Esport players, especially the minors wanting to become professional in this upcoming industry. “Brain imaging research findings show that stimulating the brain via screens and gaming is as dopaminergic (dopamine activating) as sex, gambling and addictive substances, by flooding the brain’s pleasure centre with multiple stimuli.” (Esports: Children, stimulants and video‐gaming‐induced inactivity). 

Overstimulating screen use and large amounts of gaming exposure can lead to neurological damage to developing brains. In conclusion, from various opinions on whether esports are considered as a real sport, it is believed that with the amount of research and knowledge to detect similarities and differences, esports is still known to not be a real sport. Esports is not a real sport due to not being on the same levels as any other normal sports. For example, playing video games is a hobby, gamers maintain a poor diet and no sort of full body exercise. However, it is mainly focused on the lack of physicality and the dangerous effects of all gamer’s health. Even though Suits explains that games can be classified as a sport because of having the same characteristics; sports does not reciprocate the same attributes as games, (Triad Trickery, 24). Overall, electronic sports are not recognized to be a regular sport due to not having the same characteristics and having the same recreational purposes as real sports. 

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