Nowadays, virtual sports are becoming more and more popular due to the virtual development of technology and people’s fast pace of life. Virtual sports are also called eSports, they are the competitors in a gaming area. The eSports athletes are talented in gaming and have a clear mind with different kinds of gaming strategies. While virtual sports do bring us some benefits, I don’t believe that virtual sports are a better way to exercise compared with real sports.
First of all, virtual sports lack the human interaction which is present in real sports. In team games like basketball and football or games that involve an opponent such as table tennis, you can see the facial expression and actions of the other players clearly in real time. Just like when you are having a table tennis competition, you have to predict your opponent’s next move by his serving, then you may get the chance to spot his weaknesses and take aggressive actions. These processes are what make sports more challenging and fun. However, in virtual sports, your opponents or teammates are just the computer-generated characters, you can only see their actions performed by the virtual figures. Some people say that the teammates can use mics to interact with you, but this puts a distance between people. Virtual sports take the human element, a real person out of sports. After all, seeing a virtual figure on the computer screen is different from a real person on the field.
Furthermore, the feeling and engaging in virtual sports cannot be compared with that of real sports. Imagine that you decide to go for a run on a fine Sunday morning. When you reach the park and start doing some warm-up exercises, you feel the warm sunlight shining on your back. Your blood starts running through your body, it is the moment to start exercising. Time flies when you are having fun during running, you walk slowly feeling the sweat running down your cheek and the bumping of your heart inside your trunk, lying down under a tree, hearing the singing of the birds. The gentle breeze passing through your hair brings some cooling relief. Now, imagine that on the same Sunday morning, you are clicking the mouse staring at the computer screen. you may argue that you can also play virtual games like Wii which requires greater movement. I let you hold a controller and start waving your arms. I am sure you can still find the differences between playing Wii and running. What is lost in virtual sports is the authentic feeling of actually doing the sports, also with the value of getting in touch with nature and the interaction with the natural environment. A jumping action in a basketball match may be represented by simply clicking on the mouse. This means that there is much less physical strength needed in virtual sports, so the health benefits of virtual sports cannot be shown significantly. I am not saying that there are no benefits from virtual sports. If a person is truly unable to participate in real sports, then the virtual sports can be a better alternative since at least he is not doing anything at all. Yet, doing real sports is still the best choice as you can obtain those delightful feelings of sweating and human interaction during exercise.
Lastly, eSports athletes lack the sense of having a healthy lifestyle. I have seen a lot of tournaments related to virtual sports and I notice that many eSports athletes don’t pay attention to what they are eating. I can always see the athletes drinking soda drinks or other sugary drinks. Professional training should include diets with better nutrition and suitable exercise. All I can see is that the eSports athletes are either too fat or skinny, that to certain extent proves they lack exercise. So when you see a so-called athlete who is fat or skinny, it is hard for you to think that he is really doing sports. Comparing the appearance of real sports athletes and eSports athletes, I am sure you can distinguish easily which one is actually doing real sports. Playing sports makes you become fit and people can spot that readily as you have a healthy image based on what you are doing.
I believe that virtual sports have their merits and benefits, although they cannot be compared with real sports in terms of human interaction, contact with nature and exercise value. Let’s not forget to take time to leave our computers sometimes and play more sports such as rock climbing and running once in a while.