If someone was waiting for the breakthrough of E-sports in the Olympic Games we could just put it in the fridge. The president of the Olympic committee Thomas Bach told AP News that the future of games as a sport at the Olympic Games is far from certain. Before there can be any talk about E-sports at the Games, a number of conditions must be met, the most important of which is that no violence can be shown in the games in question.
He said that during the Asian Games, where games were first played as demonstration sports. It was said that even during the Asian Games of 2022 in China, even a medal could be distributed for e-sports, but that has no impact on the decision of the IOC.
Virtual violence vs. real violence
The IOC has been working on the E-sports issue for some time. Bach is, however, far from convinced. A nice detail is that he once won a gold medal in fencing during the games. When this was presented to him by the press, his answer was that martial arts were practiced at the Olympic Games and that they originated in real battles between people, but that sport is the civilized expression of it. He draws the line in a game where someone is killed.
Yes. There is something to be said for, but there are plenty of games that are extremely popular and that no one is killed in . In many cases, the ‘deaths’ in games are also far from human. You have to follow very weird twists to say that boxing (where people literally beat each other) is a better match for the Olympic idea than a game in which you can (for example) play Zeus and beat zombies and other fantasy characters. .
The Olympic Games are effectively competition. As an – sorry – old man you can claim that gaming is not a ‘real’ competition because it does not require the same effort as most physical sports, but sport in every form is about control over the human body (and using the right drugs, but we can not say that). The people who have tried to compete at a high level in the E-sports can confirm that an almost superhuman reaction capacity and dexterity is necessary to be able to do that.
eSports do not need the Games
In the end, that discussion does not matter that much. eSports is getting bigger, the tournaments slowly start to get a size, prize pool and range, where many sports (soccer except of course) would kill and as people who do not understand games become less relevant to advertisers and sponsors, will automatically get the sector a bigger place in our entertainment. For some, playing games as a sport would be made legitimate by the blessing of the Games, but that is not even important in the long run.
The Olympic Games will probably also once again follow with the addition of games as a sport, but until then E-sports does not have to worry about anything, ‘killer games’ or not. Whether the E-sports fans will be interested in the Olympics in ten years’ time? That is a completely different question.