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D&D General D&D (and potentially other TTRPG's) is a sport

DollarD

Long-time Lurker
Well, this is just something that struck me as I was reading some on the threads here today:

D&D is a sport! I submit the following evidence:

D&D is competitive
Like sports, D&D is competitive. Not necessarily player vs player, or even player vs DM, but player vs (virtual) environment. The participating players (and their characters) feel the drive to win in a tough struggle.

Unfortunately, many activities that are competitive aren't sports, so we must continue.

D&D requires skill
Similarly, D&D requires skill. Just as the footballer must learn to master running, passing, tackling, and positional game sense, becoming adept at D&D requires deep study - of rules, rule interactions, manipulation of the (virtual) environment and social skills - manipulating NPC's, and on occasion, a DM.

Yet not all skill based activities are sport, so on we go.

D&D has rules and etiquette
The official rules of D&D is published and recognized internationally. There is a specific table etiquette that is generally observed at all tables, and failing to meet them could result in a player not participating anymore.

Though a Code of rules and etiquette is not the defining mark of a sport, so we move further afield.

D&D requires physical exertion
Surely sitting around a table rolling dice cannot be said to be physical exertion? Yet, as any D&D player knows, it is physically taxing to concentrate on a session for hours on end. After hours of playing, you'll have finished the session feeling drained of both mind and body. Mental exertion manifests itself physically - an intense session can elevate the heart-rate, raise blood pressure, and cause perspiration.

Surely the physical exertion can be said to be at least to be as great as, say, golf?

I therefore submit that based on the above considerations, D&D is a sport! And we are all athletes!

So it is high time that WotC gets the ball rolling, and apply to the International Olympic Committee to have D&D recognized as a sport!

(I'm assuming the players of the team that completes the IOC approved version of the Tomb of Horrors first would win the gold, but to each his own.)

:p;):unsure:
 

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Lyxen

Great Old One
D&D is competitive

No, it's not, not in itself. It can be played that way, and some editions were clearly designed that way, but 5e is only "an exercise in collaborative creation. You and your friends create epic stories filled with tension and memorable drama."

D&D requires skill

Not necessarily, once more: "To play D&D, and to play it well, you don’t need to read all the rules, memorize every detail of the game, or master the fine art of rolling funny looking dice. None of those things have any bearing on what’s best about the game."

It can be played totally casually and without particular skill, and saying that it requires skill is somehow not nice to people just wanting to have fun.

D&D has rules and etiquette

And again, the rules are there to be modified at will, and the etiquette is very local to tables.

D&D requires physical exertion
Surely sitting around a table rolling dice cannot be said to be physical exertion? Yet, as any D&D player knows, it is physically taxing to concentrate on a session for hours on end. After hours of playing, you'll have finished the session feeling drained of both mind and body. Mental exertion manifests itself physically - an intense session can elevate the heart-rate, raise blood pressure, and cause perspiration.

Surely the physical exertion can be said to be at least to be as great as, say, golf?

Actually, golf is pretty taxing compared to D&D. :p

I therefore submit that based on the above considerations, D&D is a sport! And we are all athletes!

I'll pass thanks.


Apologies for my rather serious answers, but please don't start me on the silliness that is e-Sport. In a (western) world gangrened by obesity, I find this actually not funny at all.

That being said, I appreciate the effort of making it at least funny. :D
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
So it is high time that WotC gets the ball rolling, and apply to the International Olympic Committee to have D&D recognized as a sport!
Is D&D a sport? Is it a game?

Wait ... is combat sport? Is it war?

Oh no ....

gdOmYaA.gif

 
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DarkCrisis

Adventurer
I would disagree its competitive and requires skill etc. It USED to, but modern D&D is fairly a blunt a object. It was pretty hilarious when I took my 5E group who typically just ran into combat and survived with barely a scratch afterwards and ran them through the first part of ToEE for 1E.

Back in the long long ago, D&D was played competitively. I believe it mostly had to to with how fast each group could get furthest in a dungeon in a set amount of time. Tomb of Horrors was one of those competition dungeons.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
D&D is competitive
Like sports, D&D is competitive.

Not necessarily, no, as others have already noted.

D&D requires skill
Similarly, D&D requires skill.

Whether or not this is true, it is irrelevant, because "requires skill" does not differentiate sports from other activities. So, this does not support your assertion.

D&D requires physical exertion
Surely sitting around a table rolling dice cannot be said to be physical exertion?

No, it cannot, and your stretch to make this point strains credulity.
 

aco175

Legend
Surely the physical exertion can be said to be at least to be as great as, say, golf?
Hey! I play golf and I can tell you that, oh- no you are right. At least when I ride the cart with my father-in-law.

I worked at a college that gave out E-Sports scholarships. Not sure if that counts, but at least there was money in it. Some people make money at D&D, congrats @Morrus again with A5E. Most people it is a game, like billiards or darts or some club activity.
 


Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Hey! I play golf and I can tell you that, oh- no you are right. At least when I ride the cart with my father-in-law.

I worked at a college that gave out E-Sports scholarships. Not sure if that counts, but at least there was money in it. Some people make money at D&D, congrats @Morrus again with A5E. Most people it is a game, like billiards or darts or some club activity.
I used to golf, but just got so frustrated by that darn windmill. I just couldn't time it right. Don't even get me started on that creepy clown!
 

D&D is competitive
Yes and I beat the 18 pack every time.
D&D requires physical exertion
Of course, its hard maneuvering and climbing around the other players to get another beer and use the head. We had a player out last game who tore a bicep in the d20 warm up cage, he's out between 3-6 adventures.
D&D is a sport! And we are all athletes!
Why do you think 18 packs originally came with golf course maps on them, because drinking is a sport and I'm a fierce competitor whether its D&D, golf or manning the grill.
 



Lyxen

Great Old One
The question is if D&D can become an e-sport where streamers can earn money.

I don't think it's exciting enough. Even the best shows out there are going on for way too long between exciting things, in the day and age of the easily bored, I don't think there's a chance.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
The question is if D&D can become an e-sport where streamers can earn money.

I don't think it's amenable to being an e-sport where streamers can make money.

But what I do think is that it is inarguable that it is an entertainment where streamers can make money. (See, e.g., Critical Role).
 


Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/They)
I think you’re onto something, but I think you may have missed the mark a bit. It doesn’t help that the line between game and sport is pretty blurry. However, I would say D&D is, or at least is meant to be, a game, and games do have certain features in common.

Mark Rosewater, lead designer of Magic: the Gathering wrote an article (technically a two-part article) in 2011 called “10 things every game needs” and while it is ultimately just one man’s opinion, it is the opinion of a man who lives and breathes game design, and I think we can learn a lot by examining D&D under that lens.

So, what are the 10 things every game needs?
1. A goal or goals
2. Rules
3. Interaction
4. A catch-up feature
5. Inertia
6. Surprise
7. Strategy
8. Fun
9. Flavor
10. A hook.

Of those 10 things, there are some I think it’s pretty uncontroversial that D&D has - rules, interaction, surprise, fun, flavor, and a hook I think just about everyone would agree are features of D&D.

A bit less uncontroversial is strategy. Some level of strategy certainly exists in the combat sub-game, and arguably in character optimization. Outside of that though, many DMs actively try to avoid making strategy an element of gameplay, seeking to eliminate “player skill” from influencing the outcomes of out-of-combat actions. Personally, I think the game is made better as a game (as Mark Rosewater defines it) if strategy plays a role in all parts of gameplay, though I recognize this is far from a universal preference. I think this comes from a desire for D&D to be at least as much collaborative storytelling as game, if not more.

Inertia and a catch-up feature are a bit odd. I would argue that inertia (defined here as something that keeps the game moving along towards a conclusion) can exist in D&D, but it has to be consciously built into the structure of the adventure. Things like time pressure encourage players to push on towards their goals (though more on goals later), but certain sandbox-type play tends to lack this type of inertia.

A catch-up feature is also an interesting choice, as it seems even more than the other items on the list to be more indicative of what Mark Rosewater considers to make a good game, rather than an essential defining feature of game-ness. That said, I would argue D&D kind of has a catch-up feature in the form of DM intervention. If the players are struggling, the DM can help them out, either by easing up on the difficulty, or by giving the players more power, such as through magic items. But it’s mostly on the DM to handle this; there is very little built-in at the mechanical level in the way of a catch-up feature. I guess you could maybe argue that’s what short rest recovery abilities and hit dice are?

And then of course we get to what I suspect to be the most controversial item on this list as it relates to D&D, but also arguably the most defining features of game-ness: a goal or goals. I am personally a believer that goals - either plot-related, personal, or ideally both, are an essential feature of D&D. And no, “to have fun” doesn’t count because fun is a separate item on the list. D&D, as a game, needs goals the players and the characters can pursue, which the DM can create obstacles towards achieving, thus creating conflict and therefore gameplay. Maybe that’s a hot take, but it’s where I sit.
 



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