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Should Video Games Be Considered as a Sport and Why

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Have you ever heard people around you accusing that playing online games is just a waste of time? This is the accusation that many people (mostly parents) who do not or only have a little knowledge about online gaming usually have when seeing other people playing it. But, is it really a waste of time or can it be considered as a sport? According to Stevenson University, Esport is described as gaming with competitive experience far from just casual games. In which each team consists of 5-6 players, and functions like regular sports in which each team for each specific game is competing against each other Yet it is still not being considered as a sport by many people(including my parents). Oxford English Dictionary stated that sport is: “activity that you do for pleasure and that needs physical effort or skill, usually done in a special area and according to fixed rules” . For that matter, this essay is focused on why should sSport be viewed as a proper type of sport since it has the same elements as which regular type of sport have; such that it is competitive between participators, eSports’s players’s skills are also required when participate, and furthermore, its pro players get paid just like every other sport’s professional players too. Should video games be considered a sport? 

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The first comparison is about the competitiveness between eSport players. According to Jay Schulkin, a type of game in which it is competitive, has rules and always has winners and losers, can be considered as a sport. In online gaming, the players are always competing with each other in order to win the match which ensures the competitiveness of the game between its players. And this form of competition can be participated between friends or friends versus other players on the internet. People can use online gaming as a tool to show off their skills with their friends or even other people across the country. In addition, many online gaming has its own ranking system where players can spend their time and effort in order to climb up to a higher division. This ranking system stimulates players’ self esteem in which they try harder in order to win because their rank is visible to other players and it reflects the player’s skills. Even more, there are many high schools in the United States that are providing their students with eSport clubs where students can be able to show off their skills and have a scrimmage schedule with each other. Furthermore, an online league platform called High School Esports League who held tournaments that allows teams from different clubs to participate announce that it has 15,000 students and it also represents 800 schools in the nation (Gamers Are the New).

Secondly, eSports’s players also require skills like any other traditional sport. Since eSport is competitive, not trying to improve will leave the players in the dust, far behind from other competitors. For professional players, or players who are trying to climb up the ranking system and even players who just simply want to have improvement on their gameplay, all have to improve on their skills. According to Daniel Kane and Brandon D. Spradley’s article, there are many skills that can be obtained from playing action video games. Just like traditional sport, people who want to win either have to have talent or have to spend enough time to practice new skills and strategies. Since with the disadvantages of having less skills, players who play for fun can easily be managed and dominated by skilled players (Daniel Kane). In addition to this, with the improvement of technology and the creativity of game developers, online gaming will keep changing how it operates. For example, the same character and the same strategy you play today might not be as strong as it is right now in the future after just an update from the game’s developers. Because of that reason, eSport players not only need to have gaming skill but also need to have adapting skills where the players need to adapt with the ever changing gameplay and strategies. With this reason, it is fair to say that eSport fulfilled the aspect of skill required that regular sports have.

Last but not least, the third aspect, eSports’s players also get paid just like traditional sports’s players. Nowaday, being an eSport player can be considered as a career where players can get a reasonable amount of money when they participate and win in the tournament. More and more overtime, the eSport industry keeps increasing their pool prize. For demonstration, according to PR Newswire, The International tournament from Dota 2 has increased by 8 millions USD in its prize pool in just one year compared to its The International 2018 tournament’s prize pool of 25.53 millions USD. And also from the same article,it also reported that Kyle ‘Bugha’ Giersdorf (16 years old) took with him 3 million USD when he won the grand prize of solo category from the Fortnite Cup in which its prize pool is 30 millions USD.

Works Cited

  1. Stevenson University. “Esports at Stevenson University.” Esports | Stevenson University, 27 Mar. 2019, www.stevenson.edu/student-life/student-activities/clubs-organizations/esports/.
  2. Oxford English Dictionaries. (n.d.). Sport. Retrieved from https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/sport
  3. Pizzo, Anthony D., et al. “ESport vs. Sport: A Comparison of Spectator Motives.” Sport Marketing Quarterly, vol. 27, no. 2, June 2018, pp. 108–123. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=buh&AN=130519559&site=ehost-live&scope=site.
  4. Schulkin, Jay. Sport : A Biological, Philosophical, and Cultural Perspective. Columbia University Press, 2016. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=e000xna&AN=1341918&site=ehost-live&scope=site.
  5. “Gamers Are the New High School Athletes: The Rise of Esports.” Education Week, vol. 37, no. 32, May 2018, p. 19. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=129941655&site=ehost-live&scope=site.
  6. “Multiplayer Online Battle Arena.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 13 Feb. 2020, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiplayer_online_battle_arena.
  7. Kane, Daniel, and Brandon D. Spradley. “Recognizing ESports as a Sport.” The Sport Journal, 3 Apr. 2017, thesportjournal.org/article/recognizing-esports-as-a-sport/.
  8. PR Newswire. “ESports Competitions Are Becoming a Popular Phenomenon as Cash Prizes Grow.” PR Newswire US, 28 Aug. 2019. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=bwh&AN=201908280900PR.NEWS.USPR.IO54350&site=ehost-live&scope=site. 
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