English 10 Honors
20 March 2013
Competitive gaming, also known as e-sports, is becoming a worldwide phenomenon. With huge events and tournaments that are watched by millions of passionate fans, many people are beginning to question whether playing video games can be considered a real sport. Even though e-sports may not be as physically demanding as traditional sports like football and basketball, the structure, strong fan base and the requirements to seriously contend in the competitive gaming scene legitimize it as a “real” sport.
It is important to gain an understanding of the complete picture of e-sports before classifying it as a real sport. Competitive gaming’s origins can be traced all the way back to the “golden age of gaming” in the 1980s, where players battled for the highest scores in games like “Pac-man” and “Donkey Kong” in local arcades around the world (“History of Competitive Gaming”). This is the earliest piece of evidence that displays how video games produced an environment where competitiveness and recreation went hand-in-hand. In more recent years the popularity of video games has rapidly increased. For instance, a study in 2008 revealed that nearly 60 percent of the United States population played video games online; a statistic that continues to grow as technology and gaming become more and more accepted by society (Antonucci). With video games being played on a much larger scale due to bolstered availability, the competitive atmosphere that originated in the 80s evolved into what today is called e-sports. In modern times it has often been debated whether gaming is just another hobby, or if it can be considered as a viable sport and career path.
E-sports have a massive and passionate fan base that spans the entire globe. For example, the Street Fighter and Counter Strike series are played by a plethora of people in “Japan, America, and Europe” (Totilo). League of Legends,...