Competitive computer gaming activities – known as esports – have officially been recognized by the International Olympics Committee as a sport, and BYU-Hawaii students expressed understanding for the decision but didn’t agree.
Kyler Brown, the president of Gamer’s Club, said he recognizes the skill the players have but doesn’t think esports are sports. “A lot of people argue because [esports] are not physical they are not sports. Then there are others who say [esports players] competitively play with skill to entertain the masses, therefore they are sports.”
“I don't think they are sports per say; however, the world is changing and who knows–esports could one day be officially described as sports,” said Brown, a senior from Washington majoring in hospitality and tourism management.
Byeong Kwon Kim, a senior from South Korea majoring in exercise science, said he has learned from his major that “sports are events that humans work out through physical training.” He disagreed on esports being recognized as sports because he doesn’t think they support the Olympic spirit.
Kim continued, “However, esports are really popular in South Korea. There are a lot of games and players. I think it is because there are facilities called PC rooms [that have] super good quality computers so people can play games.”
Wesley Kekauoha, a senior from Hawaii majoring in information technology, shared some misconceptions people have towards esports. “[Some] think people who are in esports are ‘shut-ins’ who live in their parents’ basement. That is a misconception to me because many esports teams and elite players travel the world to compete.”
Kekauoha, a self-described competitive computer gamer, gave the example of the FaZe Clan, which is an American esports organization that competes in gaming tournaments. “One of their members is dating a model and they travel together to his functions and hers,” he added.
Believing these misconceptions must be corrected, Kekauoha said, “I think the cyber community needs to be more social. They don’t have to change who they are, but they must be willing to hold a good conversation. I was talking to an IT recruiter last month and he told me a lot of companies are looking for IT people who have a business background.”