I love how the EU doesn't recognise e-sport as sports because the games are privately owned and controlled by corporations. Like, I'm not joking, that's such a great stance!

A corporation running a game can ruin someone's career by making a balance change to the game. They can somewhat fix matches that way by pushing an update just before a tournament.

For videogames to qualify as an actually sports, they'd have to be standards-based rather than implementation-based. Ergo, I can play chess on any kind of board with any pieces so long as they meet the criteria for the rules of the game. But videogames aren't built like that. They're implementation-based and owned by private corporations which makes them really unfit as sports.

@Reina maybe if the source code was public or you had games with multiple implementations

@thor I still think they'd need to be standards-based rather than implementation-based at least. And they'd need to be in the public domain.

@Reina That makes me wonder, are there any video games that would be considered sports under this definition? Like, open-source games or games that are no longer updated.

@Owlor @Reina imagine someone documenting Xonotic or OpenArena down to the damage and physics formulae as an international standard :rubi_thonk:

@oreolek @Owlor @Reina there's 3rd party pokemon tournament software replicating all the damage formulas and effects. Everything about it has been documented in detail after thorough reverse engineering.

You can't reuse the original models without a license, but those can be substituted if you want to.

@oreolek @Owlor @Reina I am now dreaming of a bunch of OA hooligans terrorizing a midsize Dutch city. the local ultras attempt to retaliate during the match but the flares set off the fire alarm and they just beat shit out eachother outside the train station. English guy going "oi I've been fraged* when he is stabbed in the nuts.

@Owlor @Reina Quake or Doom probably meet that definition now, I'd say.

The difficulty is that it's not just the software: the hardware also needs to be standardised to prevent unfair advantage.

@jsbarretto @Owlor @Reina come to think of it ... is there a Tetris standards-body?
Asking for a friend.

@joeldebruijn @jsbarretto @Owlor @Reina

Tetris has a sort of standard, but it is proprietary and "secret". The Tetris Company are in control of it, and force* compliance for anyone who wants to publish a game with the Tetris trademark.

* they make exceptions often

@Owlor @jsbarretto @Reina @joeldebruijn i guess it's The Tetris Company, which follows a Tetris Guideline, containing everything from the size of the playable area (it's 10x40, with half of that above the screen) to how exactly to detect a T-spin and how many points that should award.

but this Tetris Guideline is not published. we only know its contents from a leak in 2011. the latest version is confidential

@jsbarretto @Owlor @Reina the "hardware" in other sports is not 100% standardized. It's very different playing football with cheap balls and everyday sneakers or with state of the art equipment for example.

@jsbarretto @Owlor @jmcs This. While having a poor computer does create a disadvantage, it doesn't exclude you from playing or improving your skill.

Typically, the times an organisation regulates specific equipment tend to be when it gives such an unfair advantage that you must have that specific gear/tech to stay competitive.

@jsbarretto @Owlor @Reina luckily OA runs on a potato. I'm sure someone who knows about this stuff could find a way to equalize it by limiting modern PCs

@Owlor @Reina I think retro games get close, but don't have any official standards.

Tetris, Pacman, Space Invaders, Pong, Asteroids, Mario, etc.

Their age is a feature here!

@Reina So cycling shouldn't be a sport as governed under the UCI because they can make changes to rules regarding bike sizes, setup, as such and ruin someone's career...

This isn't to dis that, I think it's great, it's just strange because in definitely sports it's happened (UCI banned certain bike styles, certain riders could no longer compete)

@MxCraven @Reina almost all games (even chess) have a body somewhere that's recognised as governing their rules and the rules need updating from time to time, and someone the decisions are controversial and sometimes the body is corrupt (eg, the other FIFA) but still that feels clearly different to deliberately handing control to an unaccountable private for-profit company who can just do whatever it wants?

@andrewt @MxCraven @Reina Most sports have a history of having split at some point, with an argument over rules or money (or sometimes both). Sometimes one side won (e.g. the collapse of Federal League baseball, FIDE over PCA in chess), sometimes they merged/cooperated (American League/National League in baseball, NFL/AFL in American football), sometimes they ended up with enough rule changes that they are separate sports (rugby union / rugby league).

Not an option in esports.

@andrewt @MxCraven @Reina Thinking about that toot, it reminds me a lot of FLOSS projects. Sometimes both sides of the fork survive, but usually they merge or one dies out.

And you can see the commercial software analogy. You try using Microsoft Office without the controversial (in 2007) "ribbon" now.

In FLOSS, there would definitely have been a fork, but it was commercial and that was impossible.

@po8crg @MxCraven @Reina That seems like a really good analogy. I think lots of things work the same way, in fact — political parties, for example. In all these cases, yeah, anyone can just break off and do their own thing, but the weight of an established version means it's vanishingly rare you'll accomplish anything except isolating yourself. But "overwhelming consensus" is still a better problem to have than "unaccountable dictator for life".

@MxCraven @Reina if I'm understanding the logic correctly, the argument here is that "cycling" is the sport and UCI just controls the most popular expression of it.

In which case I wonder if there's an argument that MOBA is a game and Blizzard etc just run leagues with competing rulesets for it?

@MxCraven @Reina But the UCI couldn't stop you setting up a separate competition outside of UCI regulation - and if that was more successful than the UCI, then you would now be in control of cycling.

Whereas ActiBlizz *could* stop you playing Overwatch outside of their control.

@Reina I would propose standardising something based on the Quake 3 engine, as while it's technically made by a company, it certainly isn't controlled by one. I wonder if that could make American Mah-Jongg a sport in the eyes of the EU if you need scorecards that change every year and are made by a monopolist publisher?

@Reina could single-player game speedrunning count as sports then? the software for speedrun games is very well-defined (this specific version on PC, or this specific console) and stable enough that you might be able to define it as a standard

@astrid @Reina even super old games like Super Mario Bros.*, which is no longer developed is still owned by Nintendo.

You can't just make a copy of it without either paying them, or making them very angry.

*not as old as chess

@meena @Reina so instead of a normal sport, it would be an underground illegal sport 👀 It's okay, maybe the great-great-great-great-grandchildren of today's generation might see the copyright expire.

@rqsd @meena @Reina why wait for copyright to expire when you can do a little a victimless crime :blobcatfireeyes:

@astrid @Reina @meena So let me get this straight... By attempting to get legal recognition, the sport hence becomes illegal.

Interesting perspective.
Should be applied to conventional sports, looking at what #FIFA or US sports e.g. #NBA, #NFL (Kaepernick) or the #UCI are doing.

@Reina I mean, technically, companies could just provide a "standard version" of a game with some special license that mitigates these concerns, if they really want their e-sports scene to be recognised.

@Reina oh shit
what if like,,, xonotic esports became really big, would that be allowed? that's interesting, I didn't knew that was because of that fact.

But if you take a big sport lile football (the real one, with a BALL you push with your FOOT), the game is also screwed by the companies with enough money to build an all-mighty team. How many € does big players like the Qatar or General Electric pushes money to have something that rolls on every other club ?

Classical sport is also owned by corporations. Not all, hopefully.

@Reina you know we could make games like that. Open documented protocols and open source clients.

@Reina I'm not sure what the other options are. Taking away their IP? Good luck with that, since it essentially goes against the concept of private property. And some of the esports games are part of the larger franchise with different other products

@Reina even I didn't know that as EU citizen.

But also this kinda would want me to make a FOSS esport game conforming to that rules as challenge. I love that approach.

@Reina it's used to not be this way. 2000 to 2012, the companies that created these games were very hands off. Very limited patching and a lot of community involvement for fixes.

@Reina Feels like this is a good place to mention my thread about the idea of federated games.

it's a great standard and one that i hope more people follow i agree with some of the notions here but others are just plain wrong.

any e-sport worth it's salt has tournaments that have "update moratoriums", where at least 2 weeks are given before updates.

"ruin someone's career by making a balance change" simply means that that player does not know how to adapt, and was most likely using a crutch to win. actual e-sports athletes are masters of learning quick and adapting to balance patches.

i can understand the "privately owned" sentiment but i don't feel that should exclude games being considered as e-sports. what of speedrunning? or out of update, abandonware games that end up turning into e-sports (see melee)? this is a blanket judgement that lacks nuance into the nature of games as sports, and frankly, invalidates lots of the effort and time that people spend into getting good at games. simply put, i think you're lacking in the experience of actually competing in e-sports and the effort it takes. you may play games but don't feel the sporting aspect of it, but don't invalidate others who not only feel the sporting aspect but actively work with and champion games as a sport.

"privately owned" doesn't hold that much weight, as "actual" sports are still subject to many of the same issues you highlight (career ruining due to one action of a governing body, match fixing due to factors outside of players control)

@Reina How does the fact that the rules of most physical sports are controlled by private corporations factor into your analysis? to be fair, "e-sports are not sports" does not imply "sports are good". now to follow the point, most governing bodies of various sports are functionally corporations, out for profit in the form of sponsorships and ticket sales, and can do worse to players than corporations to e-sports players.

@gamer @Reina sure, but they didn't say e-sports are bad, they said we should not consider them sports. Specifically on the basis of being controlled solely by for-profit corporations. What I want to know is whether football still counts as a sport even though its pretty much entirely controlled by FIFA. Not to mention American football. my issue was that the sentiment "e-sports are not sports" implies a fundamental disrespect to the effort that athletes gave towards mastering their chosen e-sport. much of what makes sports exhilarating is the mastery aspect, and e-sports is no different.

also some of the points are just plain wrong and i already called those out and i don't disagree with your observation. by that token, "actual" sports should not be considered sports as they're "owned" by a single governing body and are subject to the same perceived problems. end of the day, while the original statement of is a very provocative post, there are just some fundamental misunderstandings and faulty assumptions made that make it hard for me to take seriously. what is a "sport"? should we really be looking at the implementation of the sport, or be more concerned about supporting athletes, who at the end of the day, make the sport happen?

@gamer @amy I didn't mention it in this post because I picked an angle I wanted to focus on. But EU also chose to increase support for esports as well and esport competitors.

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