British scientists recently studied pro gamers' physiology and reflexes to determine if what they do could be classified as a sport. One gamer in his twenties was described as having the lungs of a 60-year-old chain smoker.
The University of Essex's Dr. Dominic Micklewright worked out several "elite cyber-sportsmen" and found that while their reaction to visual stimuli matched that of fighter pilots, their physical fitness levels were more befitting someone much older or much younger. One gamer described as having "a physique similar to an endurance athlete," was found to have the lung function a doctor would expect to find in a 60-year-old smoker.
"Someone of this age should be much fitter, but perhaps this is the occupational hazard of the professional gamer who can spend around 10 hours a day in front of a screen," Mickelwright told The Telegraph of London.
All is not bad news: Pro gamers shared the reaction time, motor skill, competitive drive and emotional makeup of top athletes.
But bottom line, they're not athletes.
''Gaming shares some characteristics with sport because both are competitive, skill-based and governed by structured rule," Mickelwright said. "But the main distinction which precludes gaming from being a sport is the lack of physical exertion."
Gamers aren't the only ones unhappy with that. Bowlers, golfers and NASCAR drivers probably want a piece of that guy, too.
Computer Gamers "Have Reactions of Pilots but Bodies of Chain Smokers" [The Telegraph via Hot Blooded Gaming]