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January 7, 2016 / KingsIsle Community

Is Competitive Gaming a Sport?

Is gaming a sport? Some say it is, some say it isn’t. Let’s take a look at both sides of the argument!

It totally is!

Earlier this year, MarketWatch called competitive gaming a worldwide phenomenon that’s “well on its way to becoming the next major professional sport alongside the likes of football and baseball.” In case you didn’t know, there are championships centered on gaming professionals—and people are watching them in numbers that rival the viewership of major sporting events like the World Series and NBA games.

“[Competitors] study strategy, technique and opponents,” pointed out e-sports event organizer Michal Blicharz in an interview with the BBC. “All the elements are there—the excitement, the adrenalin, players crying tears of sorrow and joy.”

What’s more, since 2013, the United States government has granted professional athlete visas to players traveling to the country to compete in electronic sports (or “e-sports”) tournaments, effectively recognizing the sport of gaming.

“Eventually it got to the point where they were like ‘We have no reason to say no…. OK, this is legitimate,’” Nick Allen, e-sports manager at Riot Games, told Forbes.

But what if you don’t play at a professional level? Kicking a football around the backyard may not be the same as participating in the Super Bowl, but it still counts as playing sports, and for many people, the same logic applies when gaming on the couch.

Photo from Xiant

Photo from Xiant

It totally isn’t!

Sports take many shapes and forms, but the vast majority tend to be associated with physical exertion. That’s something gaming lacks, although after a long session your thumbs and wrists may beg to differ!

“Sitting down for hours in a darkened room playing computer games doesn’t strike me as sport,” Tim Warwood, former British snowboarding champion, told the BBC. “When I was a kid, sport was all about getting outside, getting wet, muddy, out of breath—you’re not going to get out of breath smashing your thumbs on a controller.”

The technological aspect is another sticking point for people who think the term “the sport of gaming” is an oxymoron, and that playing video games should never be considered an athletic pursuit.

As PC Magazine pointed out, “Even sports defined by their man-made tools, like fencing and archery, do not feature mechanized or computer-aided technologies.”

So, when it comes down to it, is gaming a sport? What do you think and why?


Leave a Comment
  1. Dilshan Kelsen / Jan 7 2016 4:22 pm

    If chess is considered a sport, I don’t see why competitve gaming can’t be.

  2. Avalade / Jan 7 2016 9:50 pm

    Nascar has mechanized technologies. As does drag car racing.

  3. Natalie / Jan 7 2016 10:11 pm

    I think it’s a sport more in the sense like how chess is considered a
    sport; it’s more intellectual, and maybe not very physical, but it can exercise your brain quite a bit :>

  4. Dante / Jan 8 2016 5:41 pm

    I think video gaming is a sport because if you think about it the game league of legends is mainly a mind game in the picking phase were players pick there champion that they will play in the game so it is a part based on the mind and tricking your opponents just like in chess. Also the actuall game you have to always be thinking on what you are going to do next and you have to watch and think from multiple angles even try and put your mind in the viewpoint of the player. That is just like chess so if that could be considered a sport I believe that this is as well.

  5. Katikas / Jan 17 2016 6:49 am

    I think that gaming can be considered a sport. Chess is a sport, so why can’t gaming be one? It doesn’t have to be physical – it can be mental too. Gaming helps with things like multitasking for example so you can complete tasks quicker, it also may help with memory and other things. Overall it does help with a lot of things that will benefit you later in life.

  6. Anonymous / Jan 20 2016 5:26 pm

    competitive physical activity: an individual or group competitive activity involving physical exertion or skill, governed by rules, and sometimes engaged in professionally

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