eSport vs irlSport

Christopher McCutcheon*, Michael Hitchens, Anders Drachen

*Corresponding author for this work

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

6 Citations (Scopus)
1535 Downloads (Pure)


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
Subtitle of host publication14th International Conference, ACE 2017, London, UK, December 14-16, 2017, Proceedings
EditorsAdrian David Cheok, Masahiko Inami, Teresa Romão
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherSpringer, Springer Nature
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9783319762708
ISBN (Print)9783319762692
Publication statusPublished - 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
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


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

Bibliographical note

Copyright The Author(s) 2018. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


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


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