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.