Is Videogaming a Sport? -

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Is Videogaming a Sport?

Sportscenter seems to think so.

By James Stevenson and Troy Roberts     June 04, 2004

My football! All mine! (Screenshot from MADDEN NFL 2004.)
© Electronic Arts

This past week, ESPN's Sportscenter has run a series on videogames, with several pieces actually pitching videogames as a sport. In this week's installment of Gamers' Thumb, James and Troy discuss if videogaming is actually a sport, as well as sports in general. First up is James...

I can't stand the notion that videogaming is a sport. Honestly, we videogame and play sports like baseball and football we can't call Madden tournaments a sport. But then you might say "well what about MAGIC, or Texas Hold 'Em, or any of the other things ESPN broadcasts." I personally think a lot of the things ESPN shows aren't sports.

First off, let's start with racing. NASCAR and those types of things aren't sports in my mind. They're racing. It's strenuous, it's an event, you have to train, but I don't really think it's this great physical feat. Same thing goes for gaming, or cheerleading for that matter. There's this massive inclusion of sports. Not all competitions automatically qualify as sports for sure the National Spelling Bee doesn't, but ESPN has been showing that a ton.

It all irritates me really. Why does ESPN2 air the National Spelling Bee, why does the National Spelling Bee take TV timeouts? These kids deserve credit, but on ESPN? I don't want to watch MAGIC either. I really just want to watch some sports but the network doesn't have enough programming to go around.

Videogames shouldn't be considered sports. Hand-eye coordination isn't enough reason for me to call you a professional athlete. Professional? Yes. Athlete? No. JS.

So, we're getting to the point now where people are wondering if videogaming is a sport. I can answer that one fairly easy: no, it's not. That idea is ridiculous. It's amazing that people can consider an event where you sit down, press some buttons and maybe stand up a time or two to either a) go get something to eat, b) go to the bathroom or c) yell at the television, a sport. In my opinion, sports require a fair amount of activity, maybe even a little athleticism: sorry, sitting down for a couple of hours doesn't count. So if you're sitting at home, playing a sport on television (lets say MADDEN), this doesn't mean you yourself are playing a sport; you're playing a simulation of a sport. Not that there is anything wrong with it, but who are these people that are coming up with this stuff? If I don't consider cheerleading a sport, what in the world would make anyone think that I would consider gaming a sport? Give me a break. TR

Since we're sure we've upset SOMEONE out there, e-mail us at with your thoughts.


Microsoft has announced that its oft-delayed RPG, FABLE, will be released in September...John Woo has signed on to direct a feature film version of the successful book and game series RAINBOW SIX...The beta for THE MATRIX ONLINE has begun...EA Sports has announced that it will publish a MADDEN NFL 2005 COLLECTOR'S EDITION that will come with some fun things, such as some 16-bit and PSOne versions of the hit football series...

On Shelves

Only two games worth speaking of, the first is THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: FOUR SWORDS for GameCube. It'll give you use for all those GBA 2 GCN link cables you have laying around after CRYSTAL CHRONICLES. Also coming out from Atlus is a version of SHINING FORCE for the Game Boy Advance. More strategy love for the GBA is never a bad thing. Other than that you can tell we're in the great summer drought.

Gamers' Thumb is our weekly Video Game column.

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