we declare Your Perfection above and beyond all: we have no knowledge whatsoever except what You have taught us. No doubt it is You, and You alone that is all Knowledgeable and all Wise. (al-Baqarah, 32)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Video Games, Sport?

"Is video game not a sport?"

Somehow or another, that was the question that had been in my mind since I got back from a game of badminton yesterday. And thus, began my quest for the truth.

The by the book definition of sports is "games and other competitive activities which need physical effort and skill". Obviously, the words in bold are its defining characteristics according to the dictionary. So let's cross reference those elements with video games and see if they match up.

Competitive: Games, as of late has been getting more competitive than ever. Gears of War and Modern Warfare are the best examples. Nowadays, it is even a standard for MMOs to include competitive Player vs Player matches. Checked!

Physical effort: This
picture taken from http://professionalprocrastinators.com/

That's probably taking it a little too far though, so I'm going to call it a no.

Skill: There's definitely an element of skill involved in video games. This is especially true in fighting games. That's why some players are better than others. Checked!

That's two for three, but the bit that it doesn't involve much physical effort is a really big factor. Of course, this wouldn't be a credible argument with just one source. The following is the the first paragraph of the Sports entry in Wikipedia (though, not that Wikipedia is the most credible source either).
Sport is an activity that is governed by a set of rules or customs and often engaged in competitively. Sports commonly refer to activities where the physical capabilities of the competitor are the sole or primary determinant of the outcome (winning or losing), but the term is also used to include activities such as mind sports (a common name for some card games and board games with little to no element of chance) and motor sports where mental acuity or equipment quality are major factors. Sport is commonly defined as an organized, competitive and skillful physical activity requiring commitment and fair play. Some view sports as differing from games based on the fact that there are usually higher levels of organization and profit (not always monetary) involved in sports. Accurate records are kept and updated for most sports at the highest levels, while failures and accomplishments are widely announced in sport news.
Mental acuity, equipment quality, commitment, fair play, and an accurate tracking of records. Every one of these things are present in video games. And from that lengthy description, the part that strikes me the most is that card games and board games are considered as sports as well.

Frickin' board games!!

Given these facts, how can video games not be considered as sports.

Ladies and gentlemen, I rest my case.

2 free comments:

ah^kam_koko' said...

There's just no sweat-factor in video gaming or board gaming.
The physical effort is minimal at most.
I will never consider them a sport.
Recreational activity = yes.

najibu said...

sure, you might not consider them as one, but by definition, they really can be considered as one.

not to mention that there's even a dedicated program on ESPN about games recently. world championship gaming is also broadcasted on the network. I'd argue that it's a sport, albeit a really niche one.

irregardless, it really matter whether it is, or isnt. i still love em.

 
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