Imagine a world where thumbs flexed as much as muscles, where Prime replaced Gatorade, and where the only field was virtual.

Competitive gaming, also known as esports, has become very popular. This has started a big discussion: are esports real sports? This debate touches on not only how we define sports but also broader issues about culture and generations. In this article, we’ll look at the different sides of this discussion, including how esports compare to traditional sports and their possible future in big events like the Olympics.

What Defines a Sport and How Esports Fit In

Usually, sports involve physical effort, skill in competition, and a clear set of rules, often with teams and leagues. Esports meet many of these criteria except for the physical effort, as it is more about mental and tactical skills. Some people argue that because there is no physical activity, esports should not be considered a sport. They believe that the physical training needed for traditional sports is what makes them different from other activities.

However, those who support esports say that sports should have a broader definition. They point out that the skills needed in esports, like coordination, quick reactions, planning, and teamwork, are similar to what is needed in recognized sports like chess.

Esports and chess are surprisingly alike.

Are Esports in the Olympics?

Currently, esports are not in the Olympics, but there is ongoing discussion about their inclusion in future Olympic games. The International Olympic Committee has noticed how popular esports have become and have considered this possibility. The main worries are about the violent content in some games and the need for a worldwide organization for esports, like FIFA in soccer or the FIA in auto racing.

It’s unfortunate that we won’t see esports in the Paris 2024 Olympics, but there’s hope that it could become a part of the Games in the future.

How People See Esports

Esports has opened up new ways for people to enjoy entertainment and started conversations about digital habits, Gen Z culture, and the future of competitive sports. Whether esports can be considered a “real” sport often leads to questions about how sports and entertainment are changing today. As more young people grow up with digital technology, and the average age of gamers rises, it’s likely that esports will become as well-known and accepted as traditional sports.

Why Some Think Esports Are Not Sports

Those who think esports should not be considered a sport often talk about the lack of physical action. Unlike traditional sports where being in good physical shape is important, esports mostly depend on thinking skills and sometimes teamwork. Also, some people feel that there is a big difference between doing things in the virtual world and the real world, which makes them hesitant to see esports as real sports.

What the Future Holds: Will Esports Replace Traditional Sports?

It’s not likely that esports will completely take over traditional sports, but they are definitely becoming a big part of the sports world. The question of whether esports will take over sports is usually about whether they will become as mainstream as sports like football, basketball, or soccer, a scenario we currently see as unlikely. However, more people watching esports, more companies sponsoring them, and more colleges offering esports scholarships, it looks like it will become a more normal part of what we think of as sports.

“The dedication and sacrifice required to compete at the highest level of esports are comparable to that of any traditional sport”

Michael Jordan, a six-time NBA champion.

Whether or not you think esports are real sports mostly depends on how you personally define a sport. While they don’t involve running across a field or physically tackling someone, the competitive nature and skill involved in esports are similar to those in traditional sports. This change in what we consider a sport shows how our society is adapting to new technologies and accepting new forms of competition.