Saturday, July 20, 2013

Video Game Redefines Notion of Athlete

According to this TechNewsWorld article, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service reportedly recognized the video game League of Legends as a professional sport. Thus allowing the most elite players to qualify for Internationally Recognized Athlete visas, also known as "P-1A" visas, which permit athletes holding them to stay in the United States for up to five years. However, this recognition has not come without its skeptics. In the article, sources say they understand the premise of recognizing the game as a sport but don't believe its players are worthy of the term "professional athletes." This raises the question: how do we define an athlete and how will the arena of sports competition change as technology advances? I personally feel that those who play the video game are considered "players" rather than "athletes". In my mind the difference is comparing the training necessary for someone who "plays" Fantasy football vs. actually being an NFL athlete.

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