Over 3 in 4 Singaporeans in study believe e-sports shouldn’t even be classified as a sport – and the majority also think it causes Internet addiction

The Straits Times

Badminton rackets, hockey sticks and basketballs are a few items that immediately come to mind when one hears the word “sports”. But these days, laptops, gaming controllers and noise-cancelling headphones are included as well.

E-sports, a form of competition using video games, has taken the world by storm. A study by gaming researcher NewZoo has said that the total revenue for the global e-sports market will hit US$1.1 billion (S$1.5 billion) this year.

But a recent study by market research company YouGov – based on 1,001 respondents and released on Thursday (April 4) – has found that Singaporeans aren’t too keen on this new form of sport.

Overall, 77 per cent of Singaporeans believe e-sports should not be classified as a sport. Women (80 per cent) are more likely than men to hold this view (74 per cent).

Among younger respondents aged 18 to 24, 64 per cent believe similarly.

Interestingly, 50 per cent of those who are active gamers, also feel that e-sports should not be classified as a sport.

Not an Olympic sport either

More respondents also do not see e-sports as an Olympic sport. Of all respondents, 46 per cent do not think e-sports should be part of the Olympics, while 37 per cent remain undecided.

Similarly, 75 per cent of younger respondents aged 18 to 24 do not think e-sports should be part of the Olympics. A whopping 89 per cent of those aged 55 and above believe similarly.

Harmful to health

The study found that 54 per cent of all respondents view e-sports as detrimental to physical health, while 44 per cent find it harmful to mental health.

The study also stated that 64 per cent of respondents feel e-sports causes internet addiction.

Should e-sports should be discouraged among children? 49 per cent of respondents think so.

The study found though, that 47 per cent of all respondents think e-sports is intellectually stimulating.

Many young Singaporeans game

Gaming seems to be more popular among those aged 18 to 24, with 48 per cent indicating that they are currently playing a game. The study also found there are more male gamers (33 per cent) than females (15 per cent).

Earlier this year, Singapore telecommunications company Singtel announced its sponsorship of Singapore’s first e-sports SEA Games team, The Straits Times reported.

It also reported that the SEA Games e-sports representatives will only be unveiled in May. The 2019 SEA Games is set to happen from Nov 30 to Dec 10 in the Philippines, featuring six game titles.

Five game titles have been confirmed: Dota 2 and Starcraft II (PC), Tekken 7 (console), and Arena of Valor and Mobile Legends (mobile).

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