According to the Oxford Dictionary, the definition of sport is an activity that involves physical exertion and skill, and it requires an individual or a team to compete against another or others for entertainment purposes. With that being said, there are many debates over the topic of whether gaming should be recognised as a sport. Many compare athletes with competitive gamers, saying that one should be more valued than the other. Truth is, top tier skills are needed for competitions. It would not be fair to put competitive gamers out of the sports category, especially when they have such a large audience and has such a huge influence. So, is gaming a sport? And if so, what are the reasons that made gaming a sport?
The United States was the first country to acknowledge players as sportsmen. These competitive gamers are entitled to obtain the P1 visa. It is a type of visa that is meant for athletes that are internationally recognized or part of an athletic team, to enable them to participate in international event hosted by the U.S. This officially classifies competitive gamers as athletes. So, yes, competitive gaming is now recognized globally as a sport.
In this post, we will be sharing some information on whether if gaming is a sport. Other than that, we will also be discussing about the reasons why competitive gaming is a sport and some more insight towards the growth of the gaming industry. Stay tuned to find out the answers!
Is Gaming A Sport?
Yes, gaming is a sport. Ever since Stanford University organised the earliest known video game competition and the first eSport tournament back in the year of 1972, it opened a pathway for gamers to meet many achievements and be successful in the gaming industry. As the growth of the gaming industry blooms, the United Stated expanded their visa category in 2013, providing eSport athletes a visa option that allows these gamers to compete for the country. I am sure that this change has brought many more opportunities to these gamers and I think they truly deserve these opportunities!
With that being said, e-tournaments are still held annually with the support of huge companies investing on these exciting gaming events. With the investments from different companies, eSport is able to advertise massively, dispersing their content and influencing the world in various ways. The world of video games will endlessly grow, because as long as there's technology and creativity, more new inventions will come up and the gaming industry will only grow bigger and better. So, why is gaming still not fully accepted to be categorized as a type of sport? Shouldn't the amount of audience justify that eSport is a sport? Is eSport even a sport?
Is eSport A Sport?
Yes, eSport is considered as a type of sports. Organized competition has been around video game culture for a long, long time. As mentioned above, the very first eSport tournament was back in 1972. How crazy is that! And now look at how Esport carries out their annual events. The tournaments are always filled with a sea of people. Some people are happy to pay for the entertainment and some may even gamble with the competition. This shows how big of an influence eSport has become and it has almost become a lifestyle for some of us.
Speaking of which, there are still people that wouldn't accept that these competitive gamers are sportsmen. I think they should be officially acknowledged as sportsmen for the training that they have to go through to get to the tournament. These sportsmen don't train physically and some might even note out that they physically don't look fit. But, the job of these competitive gamers is to be trained to play multiplayer online battle arena type games in an outstanding and professional level. That is why it is a one of a kind performance that many would pay to watch due to their personal interest. Plus, gaming has a much bigger audience than regular live sports. So, let's just start appreciating these sportsmen for their achievements and enjoy the events.
What Could Officially Make Gaming A Sport?
With the development of virtual reality technology, we can now play physically! We can move our body to control our body movements in the virtual world. Imagine including VR into Esport in the future. Players may be able to compete in multiplayer online battle arena type games. VR could make it a physical sport. As we all know, VR is already established invention and I think it will only get even better with more technological development in the future. I believe that VR will be able to build us a more physical playground and allow us to explore gaming in a whole different way. Let's hope more VR games would come out and more people will start playing it.
As of today, there are 665 titles of VR games for the Play Station VR headset. There are plenty of games that we can choose from and I would love to invest in VR games too. But, it is only the beginning of the virtual reality world, I believe that better games and technology is waiting ahead of us and it would be exciting to begin including VR as a commonly played console in our gaming community. Hopefully the technology of VR will be able to offer us a virtual world to play and train ourselves physically in different ways. The technology of VR can bring a lot to our world.
Esport Competitions And Its Influences
Fun fact: If we were to compare the number of people that watches sports and the number of people that watches eSport, here's what the numbers would look like. As of 2019, there are approximately 154.4 million viewers that frequently watches live sports in the United States. The number of eSport audience would blow your mind, because it blew mine. There are 245 million casual viewers and 198 enthusiasts, which totals up to 443 million viewers that watches eSport. The difference of those two numbers were unexpected for me and eSport definitely has an impressive amount of audience. It shows how huge an eSport event is and how well funded they are!
Esport competition brings in more audience from different age groups and communities when compared to regular live sports events. Esport brought in a large audience that are willing to pay to support the event and the gamers to watch them play. If you go to an eSport tournament, what you will see is a lot of customized merchandise being sold. Sponsors also takes the opportunity to make sponsorship deals to make profit out of the event. So, if you look at how eSport is planned, it seems like they have the ability to control future trends with whoever that invests in this entertainment type business. Esport will be able to make deals with brands they want, inviting a group of audience that enjoys those brands too. And lots of people within the audience will have the interest to purchase customized merchandise. This is what I meant when I say that eSport has become almost a lifestyle for some of their viewers, providing them exciting entertainment.
Anyways, eSport may not compete for the Olympics but that doesn't mean these competitive aren't worth their title of sportsmen. In fact, more and more companies are recruiting their own professional teams to compete in eSport. This means a huge opportunity for eSport and their investors to make more profit, because when there is sponsorship, there will be more advertising. Esport is an event that many investors are happy to invest in because of the win-win nature of their sponsorship deal. This is how eSport stays in the green while creating a huge event.
So, is gaming still a sport? It is undoubtedly a sport. The only different thing that is missing from competitive gamers to be officially categorized as sportsmen is movement. They don't swing bats, or run, or even catch balls. But as I have said above, virtual reality may make gaming more physical, which I am sure there will be a huge audience for that new type of gaming.
What many of us forget is that these competitive gamers have to go through some of the same process that athletes have to go through to get to the competitions. Some might think they may not have to work as hard or train as hard, but I disagree with that. We don't just magically acquire professional gaming skills by day. These gamers have to understand the game thoroughly and figure out a perfect response to combat their competitors.
In conclusion, these gamers are worthy of admiration and celebration as much as any sports athletes. We should just keep enjoying the content that is given to us and start appreciating these gamers for their hard work and performance. Competitive gaming should be acknowledged as a type of sport, because it is a sport. Even the US is issuing the P1 visa to these gamers as they are competing for the country. If there are worthy of the same type of visa athletes get, they are worthy of our appreciation as well. That is all of the information I have for today's article, I hope you learned something new today. Stay crazy and game on.