Embedded deep in human history is the richness of sports. Their definition may have changed over time, but their primary purpose is still to entertain – a way to pass the time. Advancements have allowed people to view sports from their homes or on the go instead of sitting at an arena or waiting for the media to bring sporting event news. Games have also changed. In the past, the different classes in society would play different games based on their rank. Now everyone has access to all games, whether they want to play or not. But mixing games and sports to create Esports has created a controversial issue.
How do we define “sport”?
If we were to look up the definition of sports, we would find something along the lines of:
an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.
Gaming on the level of Esports requires a certain level of skill, just like playing in the NFL or NBA. No one really debates that. They debate more over the physical exertion involved. Many of the people who call an activity a sport do so solely because of the amount of action and physical exertion involved.
But because the amount of physical exertion you do varies from sport to sport, how does one classify a sport? This is the flaw in trying to define a sport. People could say that a sport is what people determine to be a sport, but (like the other definition) this is flawed because the guidelines for it are too blurred.
For basketball or football or soccer, there is a committee that oversees everything that has to do with the sport. The rules and regulations specs determine how the field and equipment are used. Those are called real sports. But wait. Most “fake sports”, such as chess or figure skating, also have committees and specs like “real sports”.
In essences these “fake sports” have everything the real sports have: players with high levels of skill, oversight committees, and physical exertion. These sports also involve mental exertion, which is often left out of the definition of “real sports”. A professional player (in “real” sports and esports) has to be able to make decisions on the fly, memorize plays and have good judgement.
The other half of the textbook sports definition is:
…in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.
In recent years, the rise of Esports view has climbed. Now over 70 million viewers tune in.
So in the end, it all boils down to what you think.