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Is videogaming a sport?

UKEGI wants Govt. to say so.

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

Videogaming isn't just a bit of fun, you know - it's a proper sport, just like tennis and football and everything, and you could make yourself a proper career out of it.

That's according to the founders of the UK Electronic Gaming Initiative, anyway. They reckon that "competitive videogaming is not only a lifestyle but also a career choice", according to an official statement, "and one that should be welcomed and accepted".

In fact, they feel so strongly about it that they're currently collecting evidence to support an application to Britain's Sports Council and Department of Culture in a bid to have videogaming recognised as a sporting activity.

According to the UKEGI, several other countries around the world have already taken this step, and other European countries are planning to follow suit.

Companies signed up to support the initiative include play-games-for-cash firm Prize Fight, and LAN event organiser Multiplay.

"What is the definition of 'sport'? What is the definition of competitive videogaming?" said Prize Fight CEO Paul Sulyok.

"I see negligible difference there. The skills possessed by those able to compete at a professional level define such competitors as athletes - and thus their pastime as a sport. The UKEGI are simply working toward mainstream recognition of this fact."

Philip Wride, manager of gaming clan 4Kings, added: "The UKEGI has been set up to champion the cause that not only is videogaming good, but that it also meets the requirements to be classified as a sport.

"Videogaming is the largest sector of the entertainment industry and continues to grow, and as such those that choose to make playing videogames their career should be congratulated and supported rather than frowned upon."

Whether they're right or wrong, who can deny it wouldn't be fun to swap PE lessons for gaming sessions? Except you couldn't get out of them cos you had a verruca, of course.

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