The tug-of-war over whether esports should be included at the Olympic Games is becoming its own sport. In 2017, statements from the Paris Olympic bid committee and the International Olympic Committee, plus the forum on esports with major video game companies made it all sound plausible.
This past fall, however? Not so much. In September, the sitting president of the International Olympic Committee, a champion fencer who’d downplayed esports in the past, downplayed the idea again, pointing out the mismatch between “Olympic values” and “killer games” that promote “violence or discrimination.” And now the International Olympic Committee has backtracked as well.
As GIbiz reports, at the Olympic Summit this past weekend, the committee determined that indeed some esports aren’t “compatible with Olympic values” and that the constant changeover and commercial drive of the industry are at issue since sports are “values-based” rather than commercially driven. That line ought to make some eyes twitch.
Not all is lost, however; the committee also recognized esports’ physical rigor and said engagement with the esports community should continue. Simulation games, moreover, might see “accelerated cooperation” since they pose no values problems.