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    E Sport

    By Icebeast | June 24, 2011

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    Hello Mr. or Miss Reader,

    In this post, I’m not going to rant about something thats bothering you, but simply pose a question that I’ve been pondering.  There is no right or wrong answer here;  I’m simply thinking aloud.  In fact, in reality, I don’t even care what the answer is.   The question here, are E Sports.

    You may or may not know that there has been a significant rise in professional online gaming.  This has reached the point where leagues have formed with $50,000+ prize pools.  In face, the recent MLG Columbus served 10 million+ stream viewers over the course of 3 days (according to the CEO).  Now I’m not going to discuss if this is good or bad.  This also won’t be a slam fest on nerds or whatever.  What I want to discuss is, is it a sport?

    The first argument one might say is, “look it up, idiot”.  However, the definition in the dictionary is somewhat nebulous.  We could use this definition from dictionary.com:

    • an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature, as racing, baseball, tennis, golf, bowling, wrestling, boxing, hunting, fishing, etc.

    You could clearly argue that Starcraft 2 or Halo are neither athletic or require physical prowess.  Or you could use one of the World English Dictionary (same website) definitions:

    Or you could use this definition:

    • an individual or group activity pursued for exercise or pleasure, often involving the testing of physical capabilities and taking the form of a competitive game such as football, tennis, etc.

    In both of these latter definitions, any video game could be considered a sport.  They are competitive activities that are done for pleasure.  In thinking about this, I decided the dictionary wasn’t very useful.  So, I asked a few of the guys I work with.  Many of these guys hold Ph.D’s, and if you know anyone with a Ph.D, you know they love to argue.  They came to the consensus that to be a sport, you must meet two criteria:

    1. Objective Scoring
    2. Be at least as athletic as Bowling.

    By this definition, American Football is clearly a sport.  The winner is the team with the most points.  Points are awarded objectively.  The athletics are not in question.  Many forms of Gymnastics would not be considered sports.  While athleticism is obvious, the points are awarded subjectively.  This definition would make most E-Sports not sports, simply by the athleticism argument.  They are mostly objectively scored.

    In the end, I never reached a conclusion of if E-Sports are sports.  And in fact, as I stated earlier, it really doesn’t matter if they are or aren’t.  Some of them are entertaining to watch, others are not.  If they become more popular, perhaps this discussion will be even more pointless.  However, if any of my one readers has a comment, feel free to post it.
    Ice

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