Esports in the Olympics isn’t happening any time soon thanks to ‘killer games’

    
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Over the last year or so, the idea of bringing esports to the Olympics has begun to sound more plausible. In 2017, the co-president of the Paris Olympic bid committee said it was considering video gaming for the 2024 program in France. The International Olympic Committee then declared that “competitive esports could be considered as a sporting activity, and the players involved prepare and train with an intensity which may be comparable to athletes in traditional sports.” And then earlier this summer, the IOC held a productive forum on esports with companies like Blizzard and Riot Games specifically to work toward “building relationships between Olympic leaders and the esports industry.” Even if you don’t like esports, seeing gaming on the whole go mainstream is pretty thrilling.

But first, gaming’s gonna need a clean-up on aisle everywhere. As GIbiz reports, the sitting president of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, has now said he doesn’t think esports will ever pull it off, chiefly because the games themselves defy the “Olympic values.”

“We cannot have in the Olympic program a game which is promoting violence or discrimination,” Bach, who is a gold-medal fencer, told the AP. “So-called killer games. They, from our point of view, are contradictory to the Olympic values and cannot therefore be accepted. […] Of course every combat sport has its origins in a real fight among people. But sport is the civilized expression about this. If you have egames where it’s about killing somebody, this cannot be brought into line with our Olympic values.” As GIbiz notes, Bach said this last year too, and the movement marches on anyway.

Source: AP via GIbiz

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Tobasco da Gama
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Akagi

I’ve always thought about how come 90% of the games make you fight and kill others in order to progress. I know, I play them all the time (FPS, RPGs, RTS, Grand Strategies), they are fun, but why do all the popular and fun games evolve killing?

I play ESO and there you’re supposed to be the good guy and killing thousands of mobs (or should we say living, thinking people and humanoids) is justified, because they have killed others too. Or FPS games like Counter-Strike where you have to plant/defuse a bomb, sure it’s fun, but all that killing and shooting…

Maybe for the Olympics there can be a shooter game where the opponents you shoot don’t become injured, but incapacitated instead? I know it’s a little cheesy, but the game can be presented as a simulation environment, and when you shoot someone they just disintegrate into 1s and 0s, so it looks like a simulation, also weapons shoot lasers instead of bullets and the bomb is just figurative and only has a timer and is in fact renamed from bomb to a timer.

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Nick Martin

I feel like that’s my biggest disappointment with Fallout 76… it had an opportunity to put the cooperation and social aspects in the center, and instead focused on just going more PvP sandbox (in a game that’s not exactly known for fantastic combat).

As for the killing part, I agree. The biggest offender to me is Star Trek Online, a game that’s based on a property where killing as always the path of last resort (unless you were Johnathan Archer, then you were all about the killing and torturing “for the greater good”)… yet in that game, your character probably has the blood of millions on their hands by the end of the game, often just because that was the only choice given.

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Brown Jenkin

This really shouldn’t surprise anyone. In part because of the staying power of any given game, aside from sports games its hard to imagine planning an olympic event for a game that folks pretty surely won’t be playing the time the next round of the olympics comes around. Also I think the violence argument is pretty sound.

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Tanek

I don’t know. Seems a bit hypocritical. As was said, combat sports have roots in combat. We just took the bloodshed and substituted points. How is fencing different?

If anything, esports has less chance of actually physically injuring another player than other sports, so it could be argued it is a MORE civilized method of combat and something we should be moving toward if they are so concerned about violence.

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Bryan Correll

Here’s the real question about the Olympics:
In Equestrian events, why is it that only humans get medals? The horse’s are doing most of the work and all they get are ribbons.

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Robert Mann

E-sports is just TV revamped, honestly. There is an element of skill, just like with making the game or making a good program. It is not, however, equivalent to a traditional sport, and worse cannot be held to set standards like a traditional sport.

The violence thing may or may not be a deal breaker, but the equivalency and standards must be.

flyingltj
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flyingltj

I still don’t care about esports.

rafterman74
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rafterman74

I don’t even understand how they would be part of the Olympics in the first place. Which games would you pick? I’ve never liked the idea of video games in the Olympics, but even if you are in favor how do you deal with the fact that 4 years from now games that are popular today won’t be relevant?

I can just hear the whining now when certain groups don’t get their favorite games into the Olympics. Nah, keep them out, they don’t belong.

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Sorenthaz

Yeah I’m not surprised something like this is the case. I get the feeling that any game that tried to get into the Olympics would also end up getting super heavily regulated or whatnot.

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Alex Hyer

Gaming doesn’t belong in the Olympics because eSport games are fads. Gamers move from one to the next in a short amount of time. The Olympics doesn’t need to be trying to keep up with whatever ridiculous video game people are “into” every 4 year cycle.

And the killing thing is a great point too. They don’t need to reward people for running around murdering each other, even if its in a virtual platform setting.

Gamer ADD is never going let video games be in the Olympics, not in our life times anyway.

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starbuck1771

I would disagree with the killing part unless they remove any shooting, archery, martial arts, and fencing events. After all those are killer sports. The fact is he is just using it as an excuse most likely for financial or political gain.

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Gadgets-4G

I completely disagree as he explained the very point you are trying to raise.

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Bryan Correll

His explanation doesn’t hold any water though. Shooting someone in a VIDEO game and scoring a hit in fencing are both simulations of actual combat. I can see lots of reasons e-sports shouldn’t be in the Olympics (the transitive nature as to just which e-sports are popular at any one time is enough by itself to keep them out,) but the ‘violence’ angle is pure garbage.

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Alex Hyer

The goal of those events is not to KILL. It doesn’t matter if they’re capable of killing things, the goal of them isn’t to kill.

The GOAL of esport video games is to kill your opponent, aside from the games like Rocket League. But again, Rocket League isn’t going to be around in 50 years. Archery and Martial Arts will be.

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Dystopiq

No in dies in those events. Nor does death get depicted.