eSport vs irlSport

Christopher McCutcheon, Michael Hitchens, Anders Drachen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


This paper examines in-real-life (irl) sport and eSports in an attempt to clarify the definition of eSport. The notion of physicality and embodiment are central to the need for clarity in understanding of what eSports are and whether they are sport or some other activity. By examining existing definitions of eSport and irlSport we can identify the similarities and differences between these activities. Methodologically the paper uses the philosophical process of critical thinking and analysis to examine the various approaches taken to defining both eSport and irlSports. Our aim is to highlight the inherent problem of the definition of eSports and irlSports (and the privileging of the term sport as it currently applies only to irlSports). We find that eSports are sports and that the definition of sport should be expanded to include sub-categories of irlSports and eSports.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Computer Entertainment Technology - 14th International Conference, ACE 2017, Proceedings
EditorsMasahiko Inami, Teresa Romao, Adrian David Cheok, Adrian David Cheok
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)9783319762692
Publication statusPublished - 21 Feb 2018
Event14th International Conference on Advances in Computer Entertainment Technology, ACE 2017 - London, United Kingdom
Duration: 14 Dec 201716 Dec 2017

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume10714 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference14th International Conference on Advances in Computer Entertainment Technology, ACE 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • Competitive video games
  • Embodiment
  • eSport
  • irlSports
  • Virtual play spaces


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