ESports the Next Olympic Sport?
ESports has been on the rise in the world and many question whether eSports should be incorporated into the Olympics and I say: why not? Many may think that eSports, playing video games competitively, might not qualify to be an Olympic sport or that it might promote bad behaviors associated with video games, but I don’t see that to be the case and others agree. ESports being placed into the Olympics will boost the video game related industry, cause the Olympics to appeal to a wider audience, and adapt the Olympics to our evolving culture.
Some may jump to the conclusion that video games cause people to become more violent as opposed to not playing and thus promoting them in the Olympics would be a very bad idea. This is true, violent video games cause humans to be more hurtful towards others. In Douglas Gentile’s Video Games Affect The Brain – For Better And Worse he stated that in a study of 161 college students, the students who played violent video games were more hurtful to other students; however, in pro-social games it caused the students to be more helpful. Since video games have an effect on us we can simply limit which games are able to make it into the Olympics; specifically targeting the ones that are more violent, such as first person shooters. This can easily be done by simply using the ESRB rating system, Entertainment Software Rating Board, that decides whether games are for mature audiences, teen audiences, or for everyone. Another argument might be that video games just make people lazy and by placing eSports in the Olympics it would be promoting laziness. It’s true that sitting around all day and playing video games will cause you to become unhealthy and out of shape; however, many pro gamers manage to stay in shape. In the Curse Gaming House, a competitive League of Legends team, they have a room that houses multiple pieces of gym equipment that gets used regularly. If they don’t use the house equipment then they use their gym membership for regular exercise. Many pro gamers make it part of their role as a pro gamer to stay in good shape and get regular exercise to set a good example. When I interviewed pro League of Legends player, Marcus “Dyrus” Hill, I asked him if he thought it was important for pro gamers to stay in good physical shape to which he responded by saying, “I think it’s very important. When you’re playing games professionally, you are a role model to the community and as role models we should promote gamers to stay healthy (Hill).” Again, people might claim that video games are not a sport and because of that opinion they should not be allowed as an Olympic sport. While eSports is not a sport it is similar. So that begs the question, what is the definition of a sport? Well that is really a matter of opinion, but in general it is an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team compete against one another. ESports is all of that, except for the physical exertion, depending on the game, hence why it is not called a sport but eSports. Also, nowhere in the rules does it say it has to be a sport (“Evaluation Criteria…”) all it really needs is to be approved by the IOC (International Olympic Committee).
Now some might think that even if eSports could work out as being an Olympic sport, who would even watch it? ESports has tournaments all the time with quite a following. Many popular games such as StarCraft II, League of Legends, and DOTA will have several tournaments during the year pulling in thousands of views. In Rod Breslau’s League of Legends Season 2 Championships Most Watched eSports Event of All Time he stated, “League of Legends Season 2 World Championships had over one million unique viewers that watched the event online” and “more than 8,282,000 unique viewers turned in a total via online and TV combined (Breslau).” He later says “The International DOTA 2 tournament, [took] in 567,000...
Cited: Breslau, Rod. “League of Legends Season 2 Championships Most Watched eSports Event of All Time.” Gamespot. GameSpot, 22 Oct 2012. Web. 19 Mar 2013
“Evaluation Criteria for eSports and Disciplines.” Olympic. Olympic Programme Commission. Web. 19 Mar 2013.
Gentile, Douglas. “Video Games Affect the Brain-for Better and Worse.” The Dana Foundation. The Dana Foundation, 23 Jul 2009. Web. 19 Mar 2013.
Goldman, David. “Half of U.S. Cell Phones Are Now Smartphones.” CNN Money. CNN, 16 May 2012. Web. 19 Mar 2013.
Hill, Marcus. Personal Interview. 16 Mar 2013.
Miller, Holden. “Should Competitive Gaming Be On National TV? Experts Are Divided.” Kotaku. Kotaku, 28 Feb 2013. Web. 19 Mar 2013.
Robinson, Jon. “’League of Legends,’ eSports Growing.” ESPN. ESPN, 08 Aug 2012. Web. 19 Mar 2013.
Suttle, Rick. “The Effects of Advertising a Business.” eHow. eHow. Web. 19 Mar 2013.
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