Virtue(al) games - real drugs / John T. Holden, Anastasios Kaburakis & Joanna Wall Tweedie

Holden, John T. | Kaburakis, Anastasios | Wall Tweedie, Joanna

The growth of esports as a recognized, organized, competitive activity in North America and Europe has evolved steadily from one of the most prominent sport industries in several Asian countries. Esports, which is still pursuing a widely accepted governance structure, has struggled to control the factors that typically act as a breeding ground for sport corruption. Within the esports industry, there is alleged widespread use of both prescription and off-label use of stimulants, such as modafinil, methylphenidate, and dextroamphetamine. Anti-doping policy implementation in this environment may result in either the abuse of the therapeutic use exemptions (TUE) system or excluding too many competitors who have a legitimate need for these medications. In this paper, the authors contextualize esports and substance use within this emerging industry. Subsequently, they outline the specific challenges faced by esports organizations in crafting policies to address performance enhancing drugs—one of the industry’s most pressing issues. Further, the authors provide the application of MacIntyre’s virtue ethics conceptual framework to highlight ethical tensions within the industry. This lens elucidates the direction forward for esports should be one determined to foster virtue in the practice.

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