Soccer, baseball, and football are being challenged by League of Legends, Call of Duty, and Fortnite Battle Royale.
One of the above is sports, the other one is eSports, and despite just one extra letter separating the two, parents across America have very different views on what they’d like to see their children doing with their recreational time.
In broad terms, nearly half of Americans would be comfortable with their kids playing eSports, while almost 9 in 10 people are okay with their kids playing “regular” sports. The numbers are even more stark in the people who are “very comfortable” category, with people nearly four times more likely to be very comfortable with their kids playing sports as compared to eSports.
The difference in opinion between sports and eSports becomes much smaller when we look at ‘contact sports’ only — but most parents would still prefer their kids playing football instead of Fortnite.
What’s more is when comparing eSport comfortability to contact sport comfortability, the data show that nearly 60% of people who are uncomfortable with eSports are comfortable with their kids playing contact sports.
The divide in eSports vs. sports is even more noticeable when just grandma and grandpa are asked about it, with grandparents more comfortable with sports over eSports by a nearly 150% margin.
Men, by a 2-to-1 margin over women, consider themselves “very comfortable” with their kids playing eSports. Men are also more likely than women to be “very comfortable” with organized sports and contact sports, but not by nearly the same margin.
Household income plays a significant role in how comfortable parents are with their kids playing both eSports and regular sports. In the case of eSports, people making more than $100,000 per year are 15% less likely to be comfortable with their kids playing eSports.
Conversely, households that make under $50,000 are 26% less likely to feel “very comfortable” with their kids playing organized sports compared to households making over $100,000. One potential reason? The rising costs of traditional youth sports.
Unsurprisingly, the more someone is interested in either sports or eSports, the more likely they’re going to be feeling good about their kids engaging in either activity.
People who say sports are a “passion” of theirs are 42% more likely to say they are “very comfortable” with their children playing sports compared to people who just “like” sports.
The same idea, writ large, applies to people who play video games. They are a remarkable 440% more likely to be “very comfortable” with their kids playing eSports compared to people who have no idea what the “Konami Code” is.
Lastly, here’s a five-pack of some interesting takeaways from the CivicScience study.
DUDE: There wasn’t much of a celebrity tilt in the study as to whether parents who like such-and-such a celebrity are more likely to go one way or another when it comes to sports and/or eSports. Except when it comes to Seth Rogen. Nearly 70% of Americans with a favorable view of the actor would be just fine with their children playing eSports, which is 35% more than the public at large. And those who like Rogen are twice as likely to be “very comfortable” with their kids playing eSports.
CAN’T STAND A MESS: Thirty-five percent of Americans who keep their fridge neat and tidy are against the idea of their kids playing traditional youth sports. That’s more than three times the public at large.
CAN’T PUT IT DOWN: Americans who take their phones into the bathroom with them are more than twice as likely to be OK with eSports for their kids than people who leave their phones out of the necessarium.
ALONG WITH THE DWARVES, ONE SHORT OF A BASEBALL TEAM: For whatever reason, people who think Snow White makes a good role model for children are 26% more likely to be at least somewhat comfortable with their kids playing youth sports as opposed to people who think Snow White is a sniveling do-gooder.
DARN IT ALL TO HECK I PRESSED THE WRONG GOSH DARNED BUTTON: People who rarely or never swear or curse are nearly twice as likely to be “very comfortable” with their children playing eSports as opposed to people who can’t stop (bleeping) cursing.