E-Sports at the Olympic Games: From Physicality to Virtuality

E-Sports at the Olympic Games: From Physicality to Virtuality

Renata E. Ntelia (Institute of Digital Games, Malta)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 20
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5387-8.ch006

Abstract

The chapter follows a comparison between e-sports and physical sports in terms of their formal properties as games. Through this approach, it is argued that e-sports differ essentially from physical games due to their spatiality. Specifically, it addresses how the virtual space of e-sports undergoes a different process of production from that of physical space in the sense that it does not adhere to social rules and the power of the hegemony, but rather to the code of the machine. This results to a negation of the physical body of the player, which is in dialectical antithesis to the spirit of the Olympic Games unlike any physical game.
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Game Definition

It is not easy to define what a game is. Games encompass so versatile human experiences that to form a single definition is rather impossible. On one hand, if the definition is so generic as to engulf all the games, it will be impractical in the sense that it will accommodate non-games as well. On the other hand, if the definition is too specific, it is bound to exclude many activities that are games. Literature remains inconclusive. Indeed, it was only in the late 1930s that Johan Huizinga was the first academic to treat the subject. Huizinga (1949) talked about Homo Ludens, the playing man, examining play as a cultural phenomenon, whose formal characteristics he summed up as a free activity outside ordinary life connected with no material interest and profit, taking place in a secluded time and space zone according to fixed rules (p. 13).

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