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Broadband and circuits: the place of public gaming in the history of sport
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sport Science. (ID:KUL)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1342-2531
2016 (English)In: Sport, Ethics and Philosophy, ISSN 1751-1321, E-ISSN 1751-133X, Vol. 10, no 1, p. 28-41Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This essay concerns the place of e-sport in the history of sport. E-sport is construed as an entity in this corpus, by seeking out historical counterparts that display similar forms of play and organisation. Thus, ancient Roman games are identified as an early instance of what could be called public gaming, i.e. competitive digital games in a public setting. Two recent philosophical statements regarding the history of sport furnish the point of departure of the analysis: Steven Connor’s historicising of the term sport and Heather Reid’s treatise of virtue in the games and athletics of antiquity. The varying content of sport in its course through time is discussed foremost in relation to how the human and nonhuman elements have been organised. In order to settle the role of public gaming in the history of sport, two aspects of Roman games are highlighted to ’fabricate’ its legacy in the history of e-sport: Pollice Verso (’Thumb gesture’) and simulations. It is concluded that the way Roman games have been understood in relation Hellenic Athletics has its counterpart in how e-sport is understood in relation to sport. Public gaming as an instance in the history of sport, when contrasted to Greek athletics and Modern sport, appear as a deviant and violent practice. This view is problematized by a discussion of virtue in sport as being possible to elicit from it for both practitioners and spectators. Furthermore, public gaming appears as a bastard in the history of sport since it blurs the demarcation between human and nonhuman elements more often than its hallowed counterparts. To place e-sport as an entity in the history, present and future of sport testifies to that the phase sport is in now is characterised by hybridity, and that sport stands at a crossroads. If the next dominant understanding of sport primarily will connote ’corporeality’ and ’humanness’, such as in the case of lifestyle sport and sport for all, e-sport’s focus on the ’formal’ and ’competitive’ aspects of modern sport will contribute to that deliverance; and vice versa.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2016. Vol. 10, no 1, p. 28-41
Keyword [en]
E-sport; history of sport; public gaming; Roman games
National Category
Other Computer and Information Science History Sport and Fitness Sciences
Research subject
Social Sciences, Sport Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-52804DOI: 10.1080/17511321.2016.1171250ISI: 000386450500004Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84964662740OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-52804DiVA, id: diva2:932037
Available from: 2016-05-31 Created: 2016-05-31 Last updated: 2018-04-13Bibliographically approved

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Jonasson, Kalle

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