If you were to look up the definition of “sports” in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, you would find something along the lines of “a regulated game involving a degree of physical activity”. This is essentially the definition I grew up, and I would bet this is the same case for most people. It’s a fair description, and certainly the traditional one that America has come to know over the years; however, in today’s world, this definition seems a little outdated.
Sports are a huge part of American culture and they have led to an entire industry built around emulation, fanaticism, and even fantasy. Of all the different products that have taken advantage of this fervor, video games seem to have capitalized the most. These sports simulations started out as fantasies for individuals to who loved either football or the teams who played the sport. These games were initially little more than toys when they first came out. Ugly visuals and stiff gameplay contributed to the idea that these products were just for children; however, technological innovations in the past few years have led to a change in opinion. These video games are no longer the simple fantasy simulations they once were; now they actually require a fair amount of skill to master. In addition to the rise in difficulty, they have developed their own community as well. In fact, the video games have evolved into their own sport.
Nationally recognized by as a sport, eSports have managed to carve out a notch on ESPN. The unconventional sport seems to undercut all of the preconceptions we have of sports, yet it has successfully flourished in spite of this. While the sports still has a fair amount of distance to go before it will be considered a truly legitimate sport, it has nevertheless done pushed the definition of what can be considered a sport.