Gamers mess

Three striking similarities between esports and analog games

By William Davis


Nov 6, 2022

Reading time: 2 min

Ever since the dawn of humanity, people have been playing games. Archaeological digs across the globe have unearthed boards, tokens, and other playing pieces dating back thousands of years all over, including Turkey, Iraq, Rome, and Scotland. It’s easy to say that we have always loved entertainment.

We’ve evolved over the millennia. From the deck of 52 playing cards to the iconic Twister board, we’ve constantly innovated ways to pass the time. Video games are the most recent evolution of the idea. Like traditional sports, gamers want to hone their skills to be the best in the world. The rise of esports is a far cry from humble board games, but how do these digital games compare to their analog ancestors?

Most card games have simple rules

The beauty of playing a game is grasping the rules quickly, but learning to master them slowly. Of course, the time it takes to do both will vary enormously depending on the game in question, but the most engaging analog games grasp the player from the get-go. Chess and  The same is true of many esports.

For example, most people can learn how to play blackjack within minutes of being taught the rules, but the game provides an endless form of enjoyment when it comes to mastery. The same is true with competitive esports like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Good guys and bad guys shoot each other and whoever survives wins the round. Pro players stretch that simple concept into a complex tactical metagame that also demands stellar reaction times.

Esports are inclusive and accessible

Compared to traditional sports, esports and analog games are much more inclusive. In order to excel at a physical discipline, aspirants must be blessed with a physique that naturally lends itself to exertion. Those with poor metabolism, an incompatible body, or a disability are unfortunately barred from rising to the top of a traditional sport. However, those players are completely free to master esports and analog games.

The same goes for accessibility. Because of the globally connected nature of the internet, people from every corner of the globe are able to participate in esports competitions. That’s a trait shared with analog games, which can be enjoyed internationally on a digital device or with physical game pieces.

Card games and esports bring a sense of community 

Half the fun of engaging in games like poker, Yahtzee, and Monopoly is the community spirit that is fostered by playing them. People can exchange jokes, compliments, and perhaps even good-natured banter as they try to win against their opponents.

This is one phenomenon that definitely transfers over to esports. By their very nature, they take place over an internet connection, which means that players can interact with fellow competitors all over the world. As such, whole forums, support communities and chatrooms have sprung up around esports. 

Although the games they play are wildly different, fans of analog games and esports have more in common than they might initially think.


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