Competitive Gaming Isn't A Sport, But It's Still Legitimate
This is going to be a thorny topic for gamers, simply because they're conditioned to defend their much-maligned hobby against mainstream detractors.
During HBO's "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel" (as cited at GameSpot), panelists poked a little fun at competitive gaming; most agreed that it should not be labeled a sport.
Sportscaster and former pro tennis player Mary Carillo didn't even know eSports existed and added- "It's still not a sport. It's a game." Fox News correspondent Bernard Golderg and Frank Deford mentioned "Star Trek" conventions and said those who watched eSports are just "crazy." Well, there's no denying that despite what some people think, video games are not - and perhaps never will be - on the same level as other forms of "accepted" entertainment. The bottom line is that the mainstream media still accepts - and promotes - the age-old stereotypes that are, by this time, so archaic, they're embarrassing.
However, let's be real: Competitive gaming isn't really a sport. It depends on your definition of "sport," of course, but I say it has to involve more than just reflexes and some strategy. My contention is that if it doesn't involve any form of physical prowess, if you don't have to be physically conditioned to do it, it's not really a sport. In other words, if you've got a big ol' beer gut and you'd keel over trying to run a mile, and you can still be one of the best in the world at a competition, you're not an athlete.
Yes, for the record, this is why I say things like billiards and darts aren't necessarily sports. And by the way, if those sports experts are going to laugh at the idea of competitive gaming being a sport, they have to do the exact same thing for something like pool. Both are very similar, really; they both require fantastic hand-eye coordination, dexterity, precision, and lots and lots of practice. They're both games. I'm not sure they're sports because you don't need to be an athlete to compete at a high level. On the other hand, if you say any form of competition is a "sport," then I guess everything is a sport. Scrabble is a sport at that point.
Now, I accept that competitive gaming maybe shouldn't be dubbed a sport. As always, though, I don't appreciate the little jabs the mainstream media can never resist taking when video games are in question. It's just getting really tiring. Do some research, please.
12/18/2013 9:55:52 PM Ben Dutka