The 2019 League of Legends World Championship, one of the most famous video game tournaments in the world, drew nearly 100 million viewers. Esports, or computer games, are another term for video game competitions. Esports have been increasingly common in recent years. In 2020, the global audience for esports will be 495 million participants. As the world of esports expands, the question over whether gaming is a sport has arisen.

Many people consider video games to be nothing more than a form of entertainment. In practice, video games improve our reflexes, critical thinking, multitasking capacity, and attention spans by training our brains. Many of these skills are similar to those used in professional sports. Others claim that video games are a solo pastime, but the most common esports are competitive sports. Using games to teach us sportsmanship, dedication, teamwork, and leadership by taking esports onto our school campus, linking up with our peers, and playing for school pride. Videos games also help improve our reflexes, strategic thinking, and attention spans.

As with everything, there are people who believe that video gaming is in no way shape or form considered a sport. Playing games have been a common pastime for both children and adults in this modern digital age. Video games can not be called athletics, despite the fact that they can be very competitive and professional players can earn millions of dollars in tournaments. One common point is that sports are necessarily athletic, and that even sports with less physical exertion, such as golf and archery, can be counted as “physical activity.” Regular physical exercise has long been recognized for its health benefits. Exercise strengthens your muscles and organs, enhances your memory and understanding, improves your emotional stability and resiliency, and lowers your risk of certain illnesses, among other benefits.

Aside from physical fitness, true sports often offer a setting for real-world social experiences. Though video games can now have squad mates, nothing beats the mutual experience of physical exertion with a group of your best friends on a sunny day. Overall, while video games have a place as an enjoyable hobby, they should not be confused with athletics.

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Youth Voices is an open publishing platform for youth. The site is organized by teachers with support from the National Writing Project. Opinions expressed by writers are their own.All work on Youth Voices is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

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