Controversy: Marianne magazine tries to explain eSport and becomes the laughingstock of Twitter

You may have heard of it, the magazine Marianne published an article on eSport… which sometimes made the specialists in the field laugh, sometimes appalled.

A article called “The ‘e-sport’, a sport like any other?” published by Marianne and signed Jérémie Peltierhas given rise to strong reactions on the Internet. Many consider it to be a article missing researchand written with a certain condescension. Above all, these observers hoped that in 2022, we were no longer there…

During a very long time, seeing traditional video game media talking was complicated for fans. For several years, and in particular through mainstream media who talk about it very well on the Internet, democratization of video games in all social and generational spheres, the place that this industry has taken in the world economyit seems that the treatment of the video game in the media mainstreams be increasingly relevant and done with respect. But if we are to believe the social networks, articles full of clichés and knowingly written against have not disappearedthey only moved to eSports…

eSport, a sport? A debate that specialists no longer really have

The title itself already raises questions, both the formulation “The e-sport” seems forced, while the vast majority of people who use this term in French simply say “l’eSport” (we are not discussing the spelling eSport / e-sport here, but we are talking about the fact that in French, a vowel after “the” transforms the latter into “the”). When we read the article, we first find the eternal debate on the difference between traditional sport and eSportin the context of the Olympic Games in Paris in 2024, and eSport events announced by the President of the French Republic. A debate that eSport specialists have not really had for a while now.

Indeed, there is those who consider it a sport like any othersince there are intensive workoutsof the periods of euphoria and doubtthat there are downright mental but also physical trainerswhich pro players almost all have very entrenched physics to keep up with the pace of the matches, the necessary cardio and are able to withstand strong pressure.

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And there are those who believe that it is a sport different from traditional sportswhich does not have no need to compare, or to be validated by these. let’s remember that chess is considered a sport and that sports present at the Olympics such as golf or archery / sport shootingare sports disciplines that require more mental capacity (especially precision, found in eSport) purely athletic. In other words, opinions differ, but we no longer debate the term “sport”among those who know about it.

Attack on eSports… or video games?

Let’s add that the article quickly creates confusion: mixing the practice of video games and eSports. Indeed, when we read passages such as the one below, we quickly understand that the author mixes the two activities.

Because obviously you see it coming big as a house, it’s all sports. Yeah. Sport. It’s well known. Everyone does sports sitting still on a chair or on a couch. It is well known that looking at a screen without blinking is sport and physical resistance. Yes, it is well known. We are going to explain to us that e-sport is great because it develops a lot of skills. Team spirit, tactical sense, reflexes. Yeah. And since it’s sport, it’s necessarily good for your health (because sport is a priori good for your health).

If you’ve ever seen a competitive gamer, let alone an esports professional, you know that none are on their couch and none are really still. We see there the confusion with the leisure practice of video gameswhich has little to do with the practice of eSports and even less in a professional setting.

Controversy: Marianne magazine tries to explain eSport and becomes the laughingstock of Twitter

The rest of the paragraph tells us about healthwhile we know that the practice of sport at a very high level is not really good for your healthboth the injuries during the career, and post-career consequences professional on the body, can be disastrous (damage to the brain in rugby, American football, damage to the spine in gymnastics, etc …). It is not there is no question of doubting the benefits of physical activity on health: it’s obvious! On the other hand, professional sport very often involves asking your body to do more than it feels good for.

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Esports, bad for your health?

The rest of the article continues to talk about the health problems that the magazine would bring, according to the eSport : myopia, decreased lung capacity due to the sedentary lifestyle caused by exposure to screens, obesityetc… Again, this can be relevant to talk about leisure video game practice, surely not professional eSports. Once again, pro players train physically every day to be at the top of their form according to the well-known adage: a healthy mind in a healthy body. Again, in total contradiction with the last paragraph of the article which explains to us that young people no longer have time to play sports and that it is because of eSports.

one in four young people between the ages of 16 and 25 say they do little physical or sporting activity (less than three times a month), or even none, and that among the reasons given, lack of time comes first

Gold, one in four young people do not practice eSportsit’s a very small handful of players, an elite.

Controversy: Marianne magazine tries to explain eSport and becomes the laughingstock of Twitter

A very badly perceived article that takes the players high?

This is not to mention the ultra-condescending phrases as :

We will not dwell on the excellent impact that we can expect from e-sport on the concentration, memorization and ability of our teenagers to have more than 500 vocabulary words. I think the benefits will be visible in a short time.

Marianne therefore clearly associates eSport practice and lack of vocabulary. Again, “our teenagers” play video games, but are not professional eSports players. Let’s add to that the class contempt of the phraseclearly saying that who plays video games does not know the French language and implicitly that who lacks vocabulary is stupid.

An article that could have served as a vector of explanation of a new competitive discipline for an audience that knows little or nothing about it, becomes a derogatory article. Moreover, even Marianne does not make the educational and explanatory effort that should come naturally with this kind of article, since, according to them, “we don’t care”.

You didn’t understand anything? You don’t know what Major Counter Strike or TrackMania Games are? We do not care.

Chain reactions on Twitter

You suspect it, the reactions of Internet users were quick and – for some – furious. First, for all the confusion and confusion in the article: differentiate between video games and eSports, this is the first point, but not only. The article puts in the mouth of eSports fans opinions that not all of them have, and sometimes not really majority opinions. We talked about it above, many fans see eSports as a sport, but not a traditional sport. Importantly, the article says this:

Because obviously, e-sport enthusiasts want to participate in the Olympic Games in the future. Because obviously you see it coming big as a house, it’s all sports.

Another classic mistake. Because eSports fans want their Olympics, not really participate in the classic Olympics. It’s Marianne who says it, not the “followers” they talk about.

Controversy: Marianne magazine tries to explain eSport and becomes the laughingstock of Twitter

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Source : Marianne

Marianne’s article therefore missed the opportunity to ask real relevant questions about eSports and contented itself with linking clichés that could be described as slanderers on video games. It was enough to have this kind of reaction…

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