By definition, a sport is “an athletic activity that requires physical skill or dexterity and is often competitive in nature, such as racing, baseball, tennis, golf, bowling, wrestling, boxing, hunting, fishing, etc. (Dictionary.com).
Based on that definition, we can deduce that the terms “athletic activity” and “physical prowess” describe traditional sports. If we look at the opposites of those terms, we could have a pretty close description of their video game counterparts. Although gamers are often portrayed as lethargic or lazy, their favorite games keep their brains in constant motion with problem solving, memory exercises, and hand-eye coordination.
While an athlete’s physical build may determine his most suitable sport or position, a player’s mental strengths may determine which genre of video games is best suited to him. For example, tall athletes are almost automatically considered basketball players because they have an advantage in scoring and defending at the 10-foot hoop. Tall athletes can also fit into the wide receiver position in soccer, with a height advantage over the defender. For gamers, creative thinkers, and problem solvers may be drawn to open-world games like Fallout or Minecraft. Others may gravitate toward shooting or action games, which involve elite hand-eye coordination and strategy. Battlefield, Call of Duty, and Overwatch are some of the most popular in this category. So, just like traditional sports, players are drawn to the type of games that provide the most gratification in terms of success and skill.
Certain positions of players in sports are also parallel to certain types of players in games. For example, a squad leader in Battlefield has responsibilities similar to those of a point guard in basketball or a quarterback in soccer, announcing plays and facilitating communication with teammates.
Physical and mental abilities are two main components that constitute the fundamental trait of all games: competition. Competition is what makes sports what they are today, and you can see it on a personal, team, and league level.
Through summer camps, boot camps, and practices of all kinds, athletes are constantly trying to hone their craft by meeting their personal goals. As players improve, they have a better chance of competing for a starting position on the team. His enhanced ability earning the starting position continues to help the team compete at the national level. The same goes for the players.
To become the best at competitive video games, it takes countless hours of practice, study, strategizing, cooperation, not to mention having a great internet connection and the right equipment. This sounds pretty similar to sports, right? And yes, they use the internet in professional sports (see Microsoft Surface-NFL partnership). While honing their personal skills for a particular video game, the user has the opportunity to reach higher ranks in that community of players. For example, Overwatch has a ranking system that rewards users with competitive points based on their skill rating at the end of a season (Overwatch Wiki). The skill rating starts at Bronze and eventually reaches the Master and Grandmaster ratings, which make up the top 500 players in the user’s region. When a user is that good, and if you are looking for a professional spot on a team, having that rank is very important in terms of recruiting. Once they earn a spot on a team, they can compete for large amounts of prizes in national competitions.
What it really boils down to is this: you have two teams that follow the same rules to score points and try to have more points than the other team, so you win a victory. For human beings, competition is a psychological motivational tool; naturally we want to be better than the rest. Competition is what makes any game exciting to watch.
Sports are extremely entertaining due to their human nature of unpredictability and competition among some of the most talented athletes in the world. At that point, just add a game clock and game clock for suspense and strategy and it’s entertainment in its purest form.
Most people think of video games as a hobby, not a profession. The growing popularity of eSports is turning the tables on that discussion. Competitive gaming events have drawn higher numbers of viewers year over year since the early 2010s. In fact, it has grown so much that the industry has been able to support professional teams and players to perform in high-stakes events. . With the help of streaming platforms like Twitch.tv, gamers and their fans have skyrocketed viewership, creating increased demand for competitive gaming events around the world (eSports Wiki). Personally, I am looking forward to NBA 2K eLeague this year. Therefore, with a growing number of professional esports teams, competition structure and sponsorships, the esports system is similar to that of any traditional sport.
We are now at a point in society where video games are not “just games.” Although there are some negatives to video games, some of the negative stereotypes have sat on the bench, because video games serve a variety of purposes, from making friends, developing communication and problem-solving skills, to providing jobs. for the next generations. When I was growing up, I never found myself wishing I could play video games for a living, but I also didn’t think it would become a possibility. Sports are similar to video games in that sense. I never thought I’d be able to do anything in sports, but now that I’m older it doesn’t seem impossible.
The next time you’re partying with your friends online, try to think of some parallels between video games and traditional sports. Feel free to inform me of your findings on Twitter. @kyleclaydesign. I’d love to hear what you have to say.