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I remembered Ready Player One's dystopian setting, and then wondered what would sports be like in a dystopia?

This theoretical dystopia is a world that has been drained of most of its resources, like Ready Player One, except no super-good Virtual Reality like Ready Player One, and all sorts of countries are at war over the few resources, and everyone is trying to outlive the problems. With the lack of reliable internet (since electricity is a potato), what would sports be like?

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closed as primarily opinion-based by JBH, Measure of despare., AlexP, Gryphon, Vincent Mar 22 at 0:20

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ This will be highly dependent on your dystopian setting. Sporting events could be mandatory or nonexistent, or hyperviolent as a visceral outlet, or completely docile to prevent the populace from getting a taste of adrenaline. There are a lot of different ways to have a dystopia, and each will handle sports differently. $\endgroup$ – Nuclear Wang Mar 21 at 20:31
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    $\begingroup$ No, it means the question is too broad - there is really no wrong answer to this question, and not much reason to prefer any one answer over another. $\endgroup$ – Nuclear Wang Mar 21 at 20:41
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    $\begingroup$ Dystopia: "a community or society that is undesirable or frightening," or a "society that is as dehumanizing and as unpleasant as possible." A dystopic society is not necessarily one that lack resources. Keep in mind that running, swimming, weight lifting, and throwing things are all time-tested sports. This question is unclear as it does not define the society, does not explain the lack of resources, and does not explain why any sport in particular or in general may be impacted by the first two. Indeed, it's making assumptions as to what "sport" means. $\endgroup$ – JBH Mar 21 at 21:10
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    $\begingroup$ "run for your life" seems to be a popular sports activity in tour average dystopia $\endgroup$ – Demigan Mar 21 at 21:48
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    $\begingroup$ Anybody for a round of Electro-Magnetic Golf or Centrifugal Bumblepuppy? $\endgroup$ – Nate Eldredge Mar 22 at 0:22
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Boil it down to it's simplest form. People tend to use what they have around and make a sport out of it. Maybe they have reverted to soccer played with an animals stomach or a bunch of plastic bags rolled into a make shift ball.

The dystopian future you give us has the constraint that there are no more resources and the world is fighting. This means get rid of any sports that require manufacturing (no killer death robots or F1 racing). If most of the world is fighting then get rid of international events and some/most/all government organization.

Sports would probably be very similar to sports you would find in the third world / developing countries (don't know which is the pc term). Simple pick up and play games that are not much different than anywhere else other than nothing is manufactured. Kids grab anything and start playing (a pipe or stick makes a good bat).

Since we have not enough constraints I'll just throw one of many possibilities out there.

Because safety in sports is almost directly linked to manufacturing and manufacturing is no longer used for recreational reasons (my assumption) sports are now much more violent. As safety products stopped being used people didn't adjust the intensity down but like normal humans started increasing intensity.

Almost all sports started degenerating into a form of gladiatorial game where full contact was allowed and fighting was encouraged. Jake Dow was the first world champion in chess to win by knock out.

Not long after, sports continued with the flow and some sports are now glorified versions of Russian roulette. Players pay an entrance fee to compete and claim a portion of what is left from the players who didn't make it.

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This is a seriously broad question and will depend a lot on your setting.

With the lack of reliable internet(since electricity is a potato), what would sports be like?

You're probably into large stadiums, with the government using it to entertain/distract the masses.

Disfavored types can be forced to fight to the death in heavily unfair fights. "Unfair" can be "unequal training", "unequal equipment", or even "poisoned/injured before the fight".

Or alternatively the whole thing can be rigged from start to finish with punch card "villains" and "heroes" who are actors with roles.

Or the gov may have totally outlawed violence/sports in any type and we can have very high stakes Chess games made with deadly outcomes. Massive sports boards showing every move, commentators talking about the life of pawn #7 and how ruthless the player was to sacrifice him but it was the correct move.

Or if it's not gov sponsored at all it could all be black market. Seedy bars with illegal fights.

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It could be similar to the real life Mesoamerican Ballgame where the losers of the game where sometimes killed in a ritual sacrifice.

The association between human sacrifice and the ballgame appears rather late in the archaeological record, no earlier than the Classic era. The association was particularly strong within the Classic Veracruz and the Maya cultures, where the most explicit depictions of human sacrifice can be seen on the ballcourt panels—for example at El Tajín (850–1100 CE) and at Chichen Itza (900–1200 CE)—as well as on the well-known decapitated ballplayer stelae from the Classic Veracruz site of Aparicio (700–900 CE). The Postclassic Maya religious and quasi-historical narrative, the Popol Vuh, also links human sacrifice with the ballgame (see below).

Captives were often shown in Maya art, and it is assumed that these captives were sacrificed after losing a rigged ritual ballgame. Rather than nearly nude and sometimes battered captives, however, the ballcourts at El Tajín and Chichen Itza show the sacrifice of practiced ballplayers, perhaps the captain of a team. Decapitation is particularly associated with the ballgame—severed heads are featured in much Late Classic ballgame art and appear repeatedly in the Popol Vuh. There has even been speculation that the heads and skulls were used as balls.

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