? The debate is over, Should Video Games be considered a Sport, is being talked about more and more every day to becoming reality. Sitting in front of a television playing a video game for hours while upsetting your parents because they think they are addictive and are making you lazy is no longer the way many people view them. Video games today actually require you to be extremely active while you compete against someone next to you or online. This type of activity and competition have allowed people to now get paid for their advanced skills in gaming. Today there are competitions worldwide and people are getting paid very well to play them. They say Sport is defined as an activity played competitively with set rules. The similarities between action sports and playing video games is higher than most people think. A Gamer, person who plays video games, should receive the title of an athlete because they put in a large amount of effort and practice to gain the skill required to play the games they play. Most gamers just like athletics practice hours every day for upcoming competitions and events. The better and bigger they get the better the chance to get picked up and sponsored by large companies. So, if exercise while practicing, getting paid while playing, and feeling that adrenaline from a competitive match is aspects of playing a sport then playing video games should be considered a sport.
While Gaming as a sport is being debated, it has caught the eye and interest of quite a few prominent companies. Just like in the NFL, NBA, and a few other sports these companies see eSports (electronic sports) as something that can prove profitable to everyone involved. In fact, according to the research firm Newzoo, “The eSports industry will grow from $278 million in revenue in 2015 into a $765 million industry by 2018. In fact, athletics all over are actually the ones playing in some of these tournaments. According to one article, 32 NFL teams will be competing in an online Madden Championship in which the winner will receive Super Bowl tickets. Even though the number of export players is significantly lower compared to professional teams They are competing and playing against other pros in these tournaments and making almost as much as the sports athletes. Its been proven that it can be extremely lucrative with the potential of a large payout for the gamer and the company that may sponsor them if they have the skills. For well-established gamers, total prize money can be in the millions. Also, for those established gamers major companies especially the ones that sell computer hardware or software and energy drinks are the leading sponsors. These sponsors have noticed the rapid growth of competing for gaming and the revenue that it generates and have invested a great deal in many of the tournaments throughout the country. Esport events are selling out stadiums and arenas worldwide. For example, In Korea, stadiums that use to sell out for soccer matches are now being sold out to watch gaming competitions compete and in the United States in 2014, 11,000 fans stuffed themselves into the old Seattle Supersonics basketball arena to watch gamers compete for 11 million in prize money. These sponsors are not just earning money from the gamers but also through advertisements, which is called advergames, advertising while they compete. It’s forecasted to make billions by 2022 through media rights, streaming advertisement, consumer contributions, and ticket sales. This is the same way professional sports earn their money. Companies hire well-known athletes to promote their products. In the video gaming world, they are doing the same. They look for the video gamers that are attracting large viewing audiences and recruit them to promote their company just by wearing a logo on their shirts just like we now see in the NBA. Both the gamer and athletic have perfected their craft, earned worldwide recognition, as well as a fans base, and are making millions of dollars doing so, so why not consider video game competitions as a sport.
Other aspects of the professional game are the exercise and training it takes to become a professional. Gamers must train to prepare for tournaments by honing their physical skills and training their minds. In 2006, Nintendo made it possible when they introduced a game console that included body movement making it possible for people to play games that were normally played outside, games like baseball, boxing, and bowling, all games that can now be played in front of the television. These active video games provided a way to increase physical activity. This physical activity that is now known as Exergaming, a new term describing the gamer that is physically active during their play by allowing it to stimulate a gamer mind as well as their bodies. Games are consoles like this started the revolution of competing for video games. Esports became the frontrunner in inventing games that allowed exercise as an unconscious benefit for playing games that were once frowned upon because many felt to much time was being spent in front of a television. Today, gamers put in a crazy amount of effort to gain the skill required to play the games they play. Most gamers practice hours every day to practice for upcoming competitions and events. They train to improve their mental and physical endurance just in case they are faced with long dueling matches. Getting ready for these competitions the gamer must learn different skills and techniques to get better. Not only do they focus on the physical aspect they also focus on mental fitness — focus, wakefulness, reaction time, and clear, strategic thinking. They spend hours each day perfecting their skills just as a pro athlete who spends the same amount of time practicing and exercising to get ready for their upcoming games.
While making money and practicing to perfect their skills there is also a sense of competition that gamers love. That adrenaline of competing is considered one of the best feeling ever. Adrenalin, also known as epinephrine, is the body’s response to stress. That type of stress ignites our competitive nature preparing us to either fight or flee, it’s a survival instinct that all athletes have achieved one time or another. We see this fight in basketball players, soccer players, and football players when they are competing in those game sevens. Just like when a gamer picks up his controller and start to play or compete it gives their brain cells a huge boost. This boost comes when they compete for these large purses and a shiny trophy, they are feeling that same survival instinct as those pro athletes. That’s the feeling of adrenaline and that feeling is being met through their physical exertion, the fear of losing, and the excitement of winning. This is the same type of adrenaline pro athletes feel when they are playing so why not think of a video competition as a sport.
Even though pro athletes and gamers have so many similarities, there are those who think that playing video games let alone getting paid to compete and is a waste of time. Video games have been proven to be addictive and in some cases, they have been known to make the player lazy. Not everyone who tries to be a programmer will succeed just like everyone did succeed in trying to make a career in sports. Video games are no longer something to dipiss. They have games in school, educators will use them as incentives if work is completed or if points were earned during class. Educators have also invented games that surround various subject matters to peak the student’s interest. Understanding the video gaming world is not for everyone. People are still going to think that it a waste of time, even though this paper has pointed out some positive point on how video games have changed over time. Nothing will change some people point until it them that the one that became a millionaire playing.
Competing in video games are the future. Video games now provide mental and physical activity and people are making big bucks doing it. Just like pro athletes, they are getting paid to play in from of large arenas and stadiums. Since playing video games are providing exercise, opportunities to make a lot of money, and providing the rush of competing why not classify it as a sport. I think video games should be considered a sport and I the near future it will be. The Olympics and the NCAA are both considering adding playing video games as a sport, so why not join the bandwagon and hop on and enjoy the ride. It’s worth every penny you spend on it.