Pro PC Gamers Have Elderly Chain-Smoker Bodies

A recent study has indicated that professional PC gamers--or rather l33t cyber-athletes who rack in the big bucks--have the reactions of fighter pilots but the bodies of 60-year-old chain smokers. Using a series of physical and psychological tests, the study was conducted to determine if PC gaming could actually be defined as a sport.

Dr. Dominic Micklewright, the University of Essex's head of Sport, Performance, and Fatigue Research Unit, compared cyber-athletes to real-world athletes in various tests. The results showed that the gamers has the mental sharpness and psychological traits comparable to physical athletes, however their fitness levels were "shockingly low."

Case in point: one unnamed professional gamer was in his twenties, and in appearance alone seemed slim and healthy with a physique similar to an endurance athlete. But when the champion gamer was put through physical tests, he wasn't quite as healthy as he appeared, revealing lung functions and aerobic fitness comparable to a chain-smoker in his sixties.


Naturally, Dr. Micklewright blames the amount of time sitting in front of the PC as the culprit behind the gamer's overall health. "Someone of this age should be much fitter, but perhaps this is the occupational hazard of the professional gamer who can spend around 10 hours a day in front of a screen," he said. "It is always difficult to say how these things will develop, but it could have long term health implications such as an increased risk of heart disease."

However despite the physical differences, the doctor was surprised to see that gamers actually shared many characteristics with athletes. These include reaction times, motor skills, competitiveness and emotions. With that said, is PC gaming classified as a sport?

"Gaming shares some characteristics with sport because both are competitive, skill-based and governed by structured rules," he explained. "But the main distinction which precludes gaming from being a sport is the lack of physical exertion. However, in the end sport is socially defined and there are sports, such as snooker and darts, which you might argue are on the boundary. Like video games these require very high levels of skill, but are relatively sedentary and not physically demanding."

Sounds like a borderline yes.

  • Trueno07
    I could never be a Pro gamer. I love to play games, just not for that long every day. It would get old FAST.
  • klavis
    Whats with England and all the gamer related studies? They seem to have it out for the gamers in a bad way.
  • in which case trolling and flaming should become a sports too
  • vartok
    So does this mean that schools will start forming Street Fighter teams?
  • jerreece
    but perhaps this is the occupational hazard of the professional gamer

    Occupational? Doesn't an occupation suggest you do it "for a living"? I.E. you earn a living? LOL
  • nforce4max
    We're intellectuals not muscle heads or steroid junkies.
  • Anomalyx
    Is gaming a sport? Depends on your definition of "sport". If all it requires is to be competing against someone else, then heck, even sandwich-making can be a sport if you're trying to do it faster than someone else.

    Everyone will have their own definition of what a sport is. Mine excludes gaming, even though I do plenty of it. Then again, being a soccer player and having the view that sports require real physical effort, I don't even consider golf a sport (it's a game, but not a sport). Same with things like billiards (a favorite game of mine, but it isn't a sport). That's my view, and I'm sure everyone else will have their own.
  • klavis
    jerreeceOccupational? Doesn't an occupation suggest you do it "for a living"? I.E. you earn a living? LOL
    The gamers in the study DO make a living off of playing games, so it is an occupation.
  • kingnoobe
    Would I call gaming a sport um no. Then again I don't think darts and things of that nature should be considered sports either. TO me sports are a combination of both skill, and physical. If it severaly lacks one of those two compenants I don't consider it a sport.
  • razor512
    When something becomes a sport of a professional competition, it is no longer fun. I play games for fun not sport.

    The same goes for physical sports, once it becomes professional or competition, it is no longer fun, it is just work at this point.