Sport versus hobby: No place for video games to become an official NCAA sport

Hunter O. LyleSports Editor

It is no new revelation that we live in the world of adaptive technology, which has reached out and touched almost every aspect of life, including sports.

Between all the behind the-scenes training and rehabilitation that uses new advancements in technology to NBA players and coaches using iPads on the court to watch immediate playback of games, sports are having a tech revolution of their own.

But the one newly arriving sector of “sport” infused technology that I can’t seem to wrap my head around is the idea of E-Sports – competitive video games.

While colleges and universities across the country, such as Boise State University in Idaho and the University of Miami of Ohio, have adopted varsity E-Sports leagues, Southern would be urged not to join the pack.

While there’s no argument against bringing competitive video games to campus, merging this concept into the athletics program would be as close to a travesty as Southern athletics have experienced in the recent past.

The main problem with these programs is the fact that even the name of their league is inaccurate. E-Sports, that entails sitting down, staring at a screen and using a controller to control virtual avatars, that is not a sport.

Sports are exhilarating events that tests a person’s will and mindset as well as, and most importantly, physical exertion and strength. Since the ancient Olympics, what some may consider one of the births of sport, it has always been a test of the body.

Video games, while they may improve your hand-eye coordination, does not test, push, or strengthen the body.

The main problem with considering playing a simulated game a sport is that it takes away from all the true athletes, both past and present. To compare His Great Airness, Michael Jordan, or Jackie Robinson, or even Tom Brady to Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, video gamer and steaming sensation, would be to compare a G6 jet to roller blades.

To consider video games to be an actual sport is robbing the men and women who have sacrificed their bodies struggling to reach their goals and accomplishments.

While there may be a place on Southern’s campus for competitive video games, tournaments, clubs, or something along that nature, there is no place for video games among the athletics.

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