A sport is defined as “an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.” Despite us entering an era where gaming and esports continue to grow popular, sports should still carry the same definition.
The American space opera, Star Wars, created by George Lucas, introduced lightsabers long ago, and has now somehow meshed its way into French sports. Recently, the French Fencing Federation recognized light dueling as a sport. Along with guidelines and specific uniforms, lightsaber dueling mimics the sport of fencing in a fresh new perspective.
If we align with the definition, gaming is not a sport but lightsaber dueling is. Lightsaber dueling is a physically exerting act, in which individuals compete to provide entertainment. Additionally, the modern sport pulls adolescents away from video games and pulls them into physical activity instead, according to the Washington Post.
The structure of lightsaber dueling is similar to that of fencing, which is why the Fencing Federation takes it seriously. USA Today said the federation is “now equipping fencing clubs with lightsabers and training would-be lightsaber instructors.”
If anything, lightsaber dueling is as intense as other sports are, as players go from stabbing and slashing, to feinting in three minute bouts.
It is worth noting that the federation wanted to create something that mimicked the fantasized lightsaber dueling in the Star Wars franchise.
“Lightsaber dueling is something visual that looks like the movies, because that is what people expect,” said Michel Ortiz, the tournament organizer, according to USA Today.
With plenty of Star Wars fanatics, and gym rats looking to get into shape, lightsaber dueling has grown to be popular, with international lightsaber combat organizations that are open to anyone.
Ultimately, as an activity that clearly aligns with the traditional definition of a sport along with its growing popularity and professionally constructed structure, it is safe to say that lightsaber dueling is far more a sport than any form of gaming. Thus if gaming can already be considered one, is there really a debate about lightsaber dueling?