By Joseph De La Rosa
Video games should be considered a sport due to the mental and physical effort that is required to play.
According to the definition provided by Oxford Languages, a sport is, “an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.”
Generally, when referring to video games there are two main categories. These are casual and competitive games. Casual games can normally be classified as most single-player, peaceful co-op, story games, idle games, and sandbox games. Competitive games can generally be most multiplayer games.
Another way to distinguish between casual games and competitive games is the amount of effort to effectively play the game. Many casual games are very easy to pick up and may not require a lot of dedication. Competitive games, however, normally take much more commitment and practice. Competitive games also tend to have a lot more skills involved when playing which include, patience, concentration, problem-solving, and critical thinking.
Another key aspect of playing video games is hand-eye coordination. Hand-eye coordination is the basic skill that is used when playing any type of video game. This can be something as simple as moving a joystick in one direction on a controller. Or something as difficult as managing your movement in a game while tracking your opponent’s movement in a game while also timing every shot that you take to ensure that you don’t miss. Not to mention the stamina that
Some may argue that this alone does not count as enough physical movement or effort to count video games as a sport. And while for some video games, this could be the case, almost any game, if the player pushes themselves enough, can definitely count as physical effort. This might not be a full-body workout that traditional sports offer, but still some physical effort will occur when playing games.
The next main way that traditional sports and video games are similar is the mental activity that is needed to play. For example, if a person were to play soccer, they would have to keep track of many things such as who and where are people on the field, how an advantageous play can be made for the team, how the other team might react to the play and how can their response be worked around, etc. These same concepts also apply to video games. In games, you may need to account for what available resources the other players or team has that can be used against you, how you can work with your team to create a favorable lead for yourself, how to minimize randomness that comes from games, etc. Fast decision-making and confidence are also something that both traditional sports and video game players need to have in order to do well.
The last key thing that video games and sports have in common is competing with others. Every video game can be played against other people, whether this is done directly through an online match or whether people race against another in a single-player game speedrun. Not to mention that some of the most popular games can bring very high viewership for tournaments or just the game itself. This is shown by streaming sites like Twitch having over 10k viewers for different games at the same time.
Video games should be considered a sport.