What society considers a sport has always been a fine line. Has competitive gaming grown to fit the bill?

The world of sports has evolved tremendously over time. As we move toward a boom of technological advancements, there is a new argument on the rise that has fans of sports and electronic entertainment alike on the edge of their seats. This argument addresses the controversial question, “Should video games be considered a sport?” It seems like a simple question, but there are valid arguments for both sides. Despite that, it seems more evident that video games should be considered a sport than not, for many reasons which would include the growing popularity of esports along with the sheer competitiveness that has always come along with gaming.

Why Video Games Should Be Considered a Sport

Around the world, video games are starting to be treated as a sport. With the rise of Esports, people who play video games are being held in the same vein as the stars of sports like football and basketball. At Esports tournaments all over the world, fans pack arenas and cheer for their favorite gamers just as a basketball fan would cheer for Steph Curry. Watching video games being played can feel like watching a sport and playing them can feel like competing in one.

As someone who has competed in Esports competitions in the past, I can personally say that playing video games is just as competitive as playing football from a player’s perspective. Whether the grand prize is simply a 5-dollar Amazon gift card or a life-changing sum of money, every gamer wants to win, no matter what. Just like in more traditional sports, playing video games competitively can spark the same joy of victory and the same disappointment of defeat.

Furthermore, playing video games is indeed an athletic test, even if it does not require sprinting across a 100-yard field. Video gaming takes mental strength in order to succeed against an opponent. In most video games, it takes an incredible amount of stamina to simply look at a screen and stay more concentrated than an opponent. When it comes to video games, losing concentration for even a second can dictate whether you win or lose. Also, video games take a tremendous amount of physical effort, even if it is just clicking buttons over and over again. What may seem like a simple task can be quite the burning, strenuous sensation that any gamer who has played competitively knows.

To wrap up this argument, it must be stated that many colleges are even handing out Esports scholarships! Coaches and recruiters from multiple universities are scouting for talented gamers to join the ranks of their Esports teams. In fact, the National Association of College Esports, or the NACE for short, has over 600 competing schools that are looking for Esports athletes. Like opportunities related to other sports such as football, this means opportunities in higher education, playing the sport you love, and getting an easier ride throughout college.

Counterarguments For Why Video Games Should Not Be Considered a Sport

Most people are commonly used to sports being a physical competition. In football, players run after each other and tackle other players at full force. In basketball, players run up and down the court, and jump high in the air, fighting for a chance to get the ball into the net. When it comes to gaming though, there just isn’t that same element of physical exertion. Sure, a player’s thumbs do indeed get quite worked up when gaming, but that is usually about it. When players are playing video games, they aren’t even getting out of their gaming chairs, let alone running and making full-on contact with anyone else. However, as previously mentioned, playing video games is a test of mental strength and concentration, an element that is found in more traditional sports as well. So yes, playing video games does not require a person to run long distances, but there is still athleticism involved.

Also, one may argue that a video game cannot be considered a sport because it doesn’t fit the traditional definition of a sport. Video games have only found their way into the conversation of being considered a sport quite recently, while other sports worldwide have competed for hundreds of years. Traditions have existed in sports for an incredible amount of time, forming the backbone of the sports that we all know and enjoy today. Competitive video games, however, just do not have the same amount of history yet. It should be noted though, that society changes over time, and that includes what things can be defined as, such as what can be defined as a sport. Years ago, video games did not fit the definition of “sport”, but it does now, knowing how that definition has changed over the years.

What is iUP’s Opinion on the Debate?

Out of a group iUP students surveyed, an overwhelming 88% majority believe that video games should be considered a sport. William Faulkenberry, a 5th grader at iUP, shared his perspective on the issue, saying, “If you can throw or smack or pass a ball in real life and it is considered a sport, why not if you are doing it on a computer or gaming system? It is the same thing; one is just done in cyberspace.” On the other hand, Makenna Horne, a senior at iUP, simply stated that video games cannot be considered a sport “Because it isn’t a physical activity”.

The Final Verdict

In conclusion, video games should be considered a sport. The popular opinion of the students at iUP is that it should be considered a sport based on the fact that it has advanced in recognition for scholarships and tournaments over the last few years. This rise of esports shows how both video games and our definition of sports have evolved. In this day and age, a person who plays video games could be considered more than a gamer, but rather, an athlete.




With viewership and revenue booming, esports set to compete with traditional sports. SYR. (2021, May 19). Retrieved February 16, 2023, from,percent%20of%20all%20sports%20viewing. 

Brooks. (2022, October 24). National Association Of College Esports (NACE). Sports Destinations.,competing%20in%20our%20NACE%20Starleague.