When someone says the word, “sport,” people typically imagine something that involves physical exercise. This includes soccer, track, basketball, and even, figure skating. However, video games are hardly ever associated with the word because they don’t consist of active movement throughout the entire body. But does this determine whether video games are sports or not?
Video games often require minimal movement if any. The most the body ever moves is when someone is extremely emotional as a result of a game. Other than that, the hands and eyes are the only parts of the body that are active. Sports like soccer and gymnastics exhaust the entire body when competing or practicing. The physical exertion that comes with playing sports is not very evident in video games.
But some say that the minimal movement is technically still movement. This is very true, but then would eating be considered a sport? It’s very similar to playing a video game; sitting down with minimal movement, concentrating on one task. Sounds absurd right? The same goes for video games. It’s simply mind baffling to even compare this with the fierce commitment that goes into playing a “real” sport.
Sports are usually played for enjoyment, competition, or exercise. Video games also come with both the enjoyment and competition, but does it help the physical body in any way? The answer is an absolute no. Some studies suggest that video games are actually damaging to our human physique. It isn’t hard to see why. How would staring at a screen for hours ever positively impact someone? Video games don’t involve going outside or standing up which is essential in maintaining a healthy body.
All things considered, video games should still be considered a sport. By definition, a sport is “an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.” Technically speaking, video games meet all the requirements listed, and yes, physical exertion is included. Even though the whole body isn’t moving as much as it would be when playing a demanding sport like soccer, it still is considered movement.
Moreover, video games require practice and skill like any other sport. A professional gamer isn’t born within a day. Coordination, reflexes, strategy, and many other factors are used when playing video games. This is all executed by using hands and thumbs to control what’s going on in the game. Simply because the full body isn’t in motion when playing doesn’t mean that there is no movement involved. Video games are as taxing on the mind as “real” sports are on the body.
Exhaustion is also inevitable, contrary to what others may think, because of the high concentration level and amount of brain power that is used during a game. Lots of physical movement isn’t the only thing that tires people out. A good amount of energy is needed in order to play even a short round.
In the end, video games should be considered a sport. With the many intense components in video games, it falls in line with sports rather than recreation. But there is no set answer to this controversial topic. So, what’s your take?
Graphic: Erin Kim