Could video games ever be considered a sport?

  • theob

    Posts: 64

    May 12, 2014 5:34 AM GMT
    Starcraft is one of my favorite video games ever. It's not just a game of strategy, it requires you to pay attention to a ton of different things all going on at the same time. It forces you to redirect this information from multiple inputs into realtime decisions that affect the outcome of the game.

    There is only one other thing in my life that can honestly compare to it, and that's snowboarding. You have to know your surroundings, who is doing what and where, how fast you're going, and then you have to execute a strategy to do some awesome stunt out there in the real world where risks have real consequences.

    Video games occupy a strange place. The actions in those worlds have no real consequences, and yet we seem to have no problem taking them to be real. We actually get frustrated when things aren't going our way. We scream and cry and throw mouses across the room (at least I do) for no apparent reason at all.

    As someone who has actually done some fairly death-defying things, I can honestly say that the adrenaline rush from playing a good game of Starcraft is comparable to that of going off a huge jump. If that's the case, then why are we so hesitant to embrace video games as a sport? Is it because it's done indoors sitting down? Is it the image of the obese kid who never goes outside? Do we think we aren't encouraging the right life skills?

    It's fairly well known that obesity does not have a single cause. It's not the just the fast food. It's also the lack of exercise. It's a number of other things too like hormones and climate controlled living spaces. Your ability to sleep well at night also has an effect on how much weight you put on. If you have sleep apnea, you put on weight because you always feel tired and end up eating to compensate. Some people also just have good metabolism.

    A good game of Starcraft actually makes me sweat. My brain is on overdrive, I'm fidgeting like a madman, and I have to take a walk to calm down once it's all over with. That sounds like the exact opposite of laziness to me.

    So what are our thoughts on this? If you think video games shouldn't be considered a sport, what is it about them that prevents this from being the case? If you agree that video games should be considered a sport, what can we do to improve their image?
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    May 12, 2014 5:56 AM GMT
    What about video games whose control interface requires such physical exertion? Dance Dance Revolution, for instance--at the highest difficulty level, that game definitely qualifies as being physically strenuous, certainly more than golf. Not that I really care either way.
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    May 12, 2014 3:33 PM GMT
    Vid games not yet listed but...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sport

    ...a number of competitive, but non-physical, activities claim recognition as mind sports. The International Olympic Committee (through ARISF) recognises both chess and bridge as bona fide sports, and SportAccord, the international sports federation association, recognises five non-physical sports,[4][5] although limits the amount of mind games which can be admitted as sports.


    http://www.sportaccord.com/en/members/index.php?idContent=644&idIndex=32

    List of associated Members

    Mind Sports IMSA International Mind Sports Association


    http://www.imsaworld.com/wp/

    http://www.imsaworld.com/wp/about-imsa/presidents-message/

    The International Mind Sport Association (IMSA), was created in April 2005 in Berlin – Germany – under the aegis of SportAccord, with four founder members :

    Four international Federations
    Bridge
    Chess
    Draughts

    International_draughts.jpg
    Go
    FloorGoban.JPG


    ...so it is not inconceivable that given longevity and popularity some vid games might one day be officially recognized as sport.

    By that then I do believe that trolling and people treating others like shit on RJ is currently being considered sport. (Jock or not their sportsmanship, however, sucks.)
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    May 12, 2014 4:23 PM GMT
    My older brother believes the same as thing as you :p
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    May 12, 2014 5:33 PM GMT
    I don't consider video games a sport, because they don't function in my life as a sport. I think most people take up a sport because they want to take part in a physical challenge. That's not the same reason why I play video games. I play video games to keep my imagination occupied.

    Another thing is, sports fans may have idols and iconic sports figures who they look up to and aspire to be. All those pro-footballers and wrestlers and basketball players - these are guys who have become famous for excelling at their chosen sport. Is there a Skyrim player who's gaming skills I admire? Is there a world famous Resident Evil player everyone looks up to for beating all the games and getting all the highest scores? Not that I know of. I may appreciate the characters in the video game, same way I enjoy characters in a movie or TV series or book, but I certainly don't view video games and sports in the same light.
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    May 12, 2014 5:35 PM GMT
    I sure as hell hope not.

    But, in a realistic look towards the future? Probably, no matter how sat it may be.
  • theob

    Posts: 64

    May 12, 2014 6:04 PM GMT
    new_forest_guy saidI don't consider video games a sport, because they don't function in my life as a sport. I think most people take up a sport because they want to take part in a physical challenge. That's not the same reason why I play video games. I play video games to keep my imagination occupied.

    Another thing is, sports fans may have idols and iconic sports figures who they look up to and aspire to be. All those pro-footballers and wrestlers and basketball players - these are guys who have become famous for excelling at their chosen sport. Is there a Skyrim player who's gaming skills I admire? Is there a world famous Resident Evil player everyone looks up to for beating all the games and getting all the highest scores? Not that I know of. I may appreciate the characters in the video game, same way I enjoy characters in a movie or TV series or book, but I certainly don't view video games and sports in the same light.


    I certainly don't look up to Skyrim or Resident Evil players. Those games are linearly designed, playable only for the purpose of reaching some end goal that's preprogrammed by the designers. They aren't exactly multiplayer in the same way other games are multiplayer. A character on Skyrim, just by virtue of having a higher level than another, can win. Very little skill seems to be involved there.

    I'm thinking of certain genres like Real Time Strategy, or even First Person Shooter. Games that are more open-ended in the way they progress, games that have a standardized beginning, games with levels that are designed in the same way a football field is designed.
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    May 12, 2014 6:06 PM GMT
    You mean more sandbox with purposeful gameplay?
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    May 12, 2014 8:25 PM GMT
    judgingyou saidsport
    spôrt/
    noun: sport; plural noun: sports

    1.
    an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.



    No.


    bowling is considered a sport (?!) u can also play it on wii. don't know why u would, but u can.
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    May 12, 2014 10:04 PM GMT
    theob said

    I certainly don't look up to Skyrim or Resident Evil players. Those games are linearly designed, playable only for the purpose of reaching some end goal that's preprogrammed by the designers. They aren't exactly multiplayer in the same way other games are multiplayer. A character on Skyrim, just by virtue of having a higher level than another, can win. Very little skill seems to be involved there.

    I'm thinking of certain genres like Real Time Strategy, or even First Person Shooter. Games that are more open-ended in the way they progress, games that have a standardized beginning, games with levels that are designed in the same way a football field is designed.


    Obviously, I'm more into visual design and narrative when it comes to my gaming experience, but that's just it - they are called "Video Games", because they are a combination of a game and a cinematic experience.

    You mentioned first person shooters, and I remember when Golden Eye first came out on the N64 and all the kids at school were creaming themselves over it, because it was fun to play a game where you and three friends could stalk around in a virtual environment trying to shoot each other. Even people who didn't like James Bond movies loved that game.

    But to me, when people compete against each other in a first-person shooter, they're basically playing virtual paintball, where they don't have to worry about getting wet and covered in dirt. Video games are intended to be a make-believe experience, and they're always going to be viewed as that, and for that reason, I don't think they'll truly be embraced as a sport.
  • theob

    Posts: 64

    May 16, 2014 3:59 AM GMT
    Snaz saidYou mean more sandbox with purposeful gameplay?


    Kind of. But the difference between Sim City and Starcraft is quite stark. They are both sandboxes, but one of them has a very clearly defined start and end condition. In Starcraft, you play maps designed to level the playing field in multiplayer. In Sim City, you start with a randomly generated plot of land on which to build your city in any way you please.

    Yes, Starcraft is open-ended. You can build your base however you damn well please. But there are objectively better ways to go about defeating your opponent, and by virtue of that, there are objectively better ways to put down the buildings in your base. Certain build orders guarantee a larger army at certain points in the game, making you more likely to crush your opponent. Others not so much.

    Even so, there are tons of different Starcraft strategies that have evolved out of a few simple rules. People have indeed played, and still continue to play, in that Sandbox. I site the game as an example because it combines so many different elements of play in one all-encompassing experience. The best players of that game are amazingly well-rounded. They have 15 different strategies they can pull out of nowhere, and they can execute all of them with perfection. It is admirable in the way a great football play is admirable.
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    May 16, 2014 5:10 AM GMT
    Anything that is competitive and requires a level of skill to win can be considered a sport.

    So yes, gaming is a sport. Ask the South Koreans. icon_biggrin.gif