Department of Social Work seminar: “eSports – Is it a sport?”


From left to right: Dr. Margaret WONG Fung Yee, Dr. Raymond CHUI, Dr. Thomas CHUNG, Professor Catherine SUN, Dr. Elda CHAN, Dr. Lobo LOUIE, Dr. William CHUI, Jonathan, Mr. Kin Man Li

The Hong Kong Shue Yan University conducted a seminar on “eSports ––– Is it a sport?” on December 8, 2018, to examine this fast growing industry which not only captures the minds and hearts of the electronic gaming business, but also children, youth and parents in Hong Kong.

eSport is not new. It has been viewed in many countries as a business venture, a drive to boost up the tourists industry and the economy and a sports probably not unlike any other Olympic games. The rapid development of eSports has also spilled over to the social service sector where some social workers are using eSports to engage hard to reach youth and enhance their self- esteem.

According to a survey conducted by the Department of Social Work of the Hong Kong Shue Yan University on internet gaming and eSports, out of the 1,018 youth between the ages 11 – 24 being surveyed through questionnaire, 18.1% of the youth spent 4 to over 10 hours on internet games every day. Another 8.4% of the youth spent the same amount of time (4 hours to over 10 hours every day) in electronic gaming with other players. 9.3% of the youth being surveyed indicated that they have thought of choosing eSports as their career.


“ 18.1% of the youth spent 4 to over 10 hours

on internet games every day ”


When asked whether eSports could let them know more friends, about the same number of youth either strongly agree (7.9%) or strongly disagree (8.8%).

In regards to eSports and self- confidence, 8.4% of the youth strongly disagree that eSports could increase their self- confidence compared with 5.8% who think otherwise. In terms of eSports affecting relationship with family members, 32.9% strongly agree or agree that eSports increase conflicts between them and their family members, compared with 28.3% who strongly disagree or disagree. Worth noting is that over half of the youth (57.3%) either strongly agree or agree that eSports affect their studies or work as well as their health (18.8%).

Dr. Raymond CHUI of Shue Yan University who conducted the survey, cautioned that the above findings are just some preliminary local data on eSports. It is worthwhile to conduct further study on the subject while at the same time, youth should be cautioned of the ramifications and possible risks of electronic gaming. Ways to enhance their self- control should be in place.

From left to right: Dr. Thomas CHUNG, Dr. Elda CHAN, Mr. Kin Man LI, Dr. Margaret WONG

Dr. Thomas CHUNG, Consultant Community Medicine (Student Health Service) of the Department of Health, mentioned that the World Health Organization (WHO) had included Gaming Disorder and Hazardous Gaming in the 11th edition of International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) in June 2018. With the further promotion of eSports in the community, it is reasonable to expect an increasing number of problematic gaming and demand for treatment services for gaming addition/disorder, which is a public health concern.

Dr. Lobo LOUIE, Associate Professor at the Department of Sport and Physical Education of the Hong Kong Baptist University highlighted that practitioners and academics should devote attention to examine how consumers and organizations are using eSports and the governance of eSports in terms of collegiate eSports, legal and diversity issues.

Dr. Elda CHAN, Supervisor of the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals Integrated Center on Addiction Prevention and Treatment shared her clinical experience working with youth who are addicted to internet and electronic gaming.

Dr. William CHUI, a psychiatrist and Associate Consultant of the Castle Peak Hospital delivered on “Video gaming and brain development” and addressed the question whether video gaming could in fact make people wiser or more agile. Research in this area is not definitive even though there will be opportunity costs involved with intensive training and exposure to electronic games.

Forum Discussion guest speakers (from right to left): Dr. Willian CHUI, Ms. Ching Yi WONG, Jonathan and Mrs. Lun

Source: Dec 2018/Jan 2019 Combined Issue

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