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Opinion: Why gaming is not a sport


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Apparently, nowadays, sitting on your backside, twiddling your thumbs counts as a sport. 

BBC Three's new programme broadcasting an e-sports league, sees gamers compete in Street Fighter, Counter Strike, and Rocket League, with all the action streamed into the comfort of your own home. 

What a marvellous use of the license fee that is. 

If you are lucky enough to hold a BT Sports subscription, you can watch a FIFA game.

I don't mean the FIFA World Cup or any professional football game, I mean the Electronic Arts video game. 

I do not see how e-sports can be classified as sports and as a result be shown on a sports channel. 

The definition of sport is:

"an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment."

Playing PlayStation is not physically exerting, it's something people often do as downtime after doing something physically exerting.

But we all know it's not physically exerting, the go to response for parents who are told by their children that they plan on playing Xbox all day is to "stop being lazy".

Studies have shown that playing video games can increase your chances of becoming overweight or obese. It encourages increased snacking and you're not going to burn any calories whilst lying on a sofa or bed, are you?

A sport that makes you fat is kind of counter-productive.

Yes, playing video games requires a great deal skill, you have to think and react fast and have to nimble and on the ball. 

But so does chess, nobody says chess is a sport and no chess player would ever claim it was one. It involves no physical work whatsoever, so then, it cannot be considered a genuine sport. Neither can F1 for that matter, by the way.

Which then brings into question just who the hell thought it was a good idea to have e-sports on BT Sport and BBC Three?!

The obvious answer is that it brings them money, and is a decent investment, but ignoring the fact that BT, in particular, is recognising this is a sport by broadcasting on a sports channel, this doesn't make sense.

I don't see the attraction of watching hours of other people play video games, it's not even real, it's based on an artificial computer simulation, at least with chess and football everything you see before you are in the control of human beings. 

And surely there are better things to do if you have the time and money to watch it? 

Like you know playing an actual sport? Or even actually playing the video game. You're essentially watching someone do a hobby. 

Yes, playing video games requires skill, but none of it is physical, it's purely mental and even then there are far more intellectually stimulating alternatives.

E-sports definitely aren't real sports and shouldn't even be called e-sports.

The name is a lie. What ever happened to just referring to them as video and computer games? They're not electronic sports, maybe if you could use parts of your body to make movements in-game then they may, perhaps, be sports, but FIFA, Rocket League and co, do not.

Image Credit - Wikipedia Commons. Flickr Commons - UCI UC Irvine

Images depict two separate e-sports gaming events. 

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