To see if gamers count as athletes, a British researcher subjected a whole bunch of professional gamers to a battery of tests. He found that while mentally, in terms of reflexes and reaction time they were on par with world-class athletes, physically, they were slothbags.
One hardcore gamer, who exhibited a lean and trim appearance, had the lung capacity of and aerobic fitness of a heavy smoker in their 60’s. Researcher Dominic Micklewright, of the University of Essex in England, astutely attributed the subject’s diminished physical prowess to the fact that the kid spent 10 hours a day staring into a computer and didn’t get any exercise.
In declaring gamers to not be athletes, researcher said, “Gaming shares some characteristics with sport because both are competitive, skill-based and governed by structured rules. But the main distinction which precludes gaming from being a sport is the lack of physical exertion.”
Computer gamers ‘have reactions of pilots but bodies of chain smokers’ [Telegraph.co.uk via CNet]