Are Video Games a Sport?

Anthony Amato, Reporter

Do you enjoy video games? If you do, would you enjoy getting paid for playing video games for only a couple hours a day? If so, then do you think that video games are a sport? Because somewhere in Northern California, two professional video gamers live together in one house and play video games day and night, and they get paid too. But it’s not just two guys; it’s a whole group that plays video games for a living. Don’t believe me then take time to think about it, because there are also sports-based video games, such as the NFL, NHL, FIFA, NBA, and MLB series. If you enjoy these games then you can thank EA-Sports, the lucrative, and fast growing world of competitive video gaming.

“I like to say a sport is something in which skill separates you from everybody else,” says Benjamin Baker, a professional StarCraft 2 player, from The New York Times sports article. “We call these online competitive sports,” says Bryce Bates, also from The New York Times sports article. These two guys get paid to play these games, it’s their profession even. Baker and Bates both live together in one house that they like to call, “The Lair”, and they spend twelve hours a day, seven days a week, pounding keyboards. No one said they’re job was easy, but no one said that their job wasn’t fun either. And it’s not just them having all of the fun, Alex Garfield, the CEO of the group, Evil Geniuses, the team who calls the Lair home, tags along with Bates and Baker. “With respect, I think the question, ‘is it a sport or not’ is just the stupidest question,” says Alex, which of course the quote is from The New York Times sports article. “I think arguing about whether something is a sport or not ultimately comes down to whether you think it’s cool or not cool.”

Now think about this, these people, Baker, Bates, and Garfield, could’ve changed their lives by having a “real profession” instead of playing games for a living, but they chose to play these games and they enjoy it too. Baker says that if he went down his family’s route, he would have been trapped in an office like everyone else, but instead he’s traveling the world, playing video games for a living, and Baker has no regrets. Plus, if you think that the money coming from their fans aren’t enough, then consider this, the USA government just allowed professional gamers to get paid as much money as professional sports players earn. Speaking of jobs and money, there are also a lot video game-based jobs that bring us the video game, like Game Stop, or maybe even the actual companies that create video games.

Look at EA-Sports, the lucrative world of competitive video gaming becoming increasingly well-known from their sports-based video games, for example, the Madden NFL series. So if you don’t enjoy other games, such as role-playing games or shooter/fighter games, you can always play sports games instead, especially if you love to play sports outside, but maybe there’s a storm today. So does that make a video game a sport? Technically no, or that’s what most people think. The sports video game is basically still an actual sport, the only difference is that instead of watching the game, you control the game, and the sport is also digital, or in other words, made in three dimensional models based off actual people and their surroundings, which of course, is the playing field. So what really is a sport? The answer is both.

So after reading this article, did you change the way of how you look at video games? Or do you still think that video games are just video games? Either way, these games require learning so you can remember the controls or at least how to play the game. Just like Benjamin Baker and Bryce Bates, maybe you or someone you know will make a living for playing video game, or instead people work to make video games, like EA-Sports. So, do you think video games are a sport?