The New Dualism

With every day that passes by, "being online" is becoming less an activity than a state of being. We turn to the Internet more and more for a wide range of reasons, from banking and shopping to education and entertainment.

Whoa. Entertainment, you say? Didn't we used to play with other people for entertainment? Didn't kids use to kick a ball, play catch, jump rope? Wasn't going outside with others a good thing? How did everything change? And above all, what will happen to sport?

Let me respond to these questions with another question: what exactly is sport?

Sport scientists cannot even agree on an answer to that question. The degree to which an individual is willing to consider a particular activity worthy of the term "sport" is highly personal — some cynics would argue that sport is whatever the International Olympic Committee perceives to be high theatre at the time. Most definitions agree, however, that a sport involves some form of competition in a physical setting, a formalized rule structure and governing authority, and a combination of strategy and chance.

My goal is not to critique the definitional efforts that currently exist, but rather to ask the reader to consider the possibility that a computer-mediated combination of the aforementioned elements might indeed be sport.

Virtual sport, if you will.


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