Olympic Committee outlines guidelines for eSports to be consideredBy Robin-Leigh Chetty 30 October 2017 | Categories: news
eSports and competitive gaming are growing at an exponential rate, with the question being raised time and time again about whether they should be considered actual sports. According to a recent report from Inquirer, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) indeed views eSports as a sport, but to warrant inclusion in the Olympic Games, far greater regulation will be required, along with a governing body.
"In order to be recognised by the IOC as a sport, the content of eSports must not infringe on the Olympic values," stated the organisation. As such, it does spark debate about what the core of games and gaming is today. Often, eSports events involve participation in real-time strategy and first-person shooter titles, the latter of which can be quite violent. To that end, IOC president Thomas Bach recently criticised video games for being purely, "about violence, explosions and killing."
How a governing body would be able to better regulate the violence in games remains unclear, as well as determining which titles are more suitable than others in testing gamers’ skills, while still embodying the values that the IOC hold dear.
Nevertheless, the IOC certainly acknowledges the growing popularity of eSports, and that it requires comparable elements to that of other sports. At a summit in held in Switzerland this past week, the organisation discussed the value of eSports. "The Summit agrees that 'eSports' are showing strong growth, especially within the youth demographic across different countries, and can provide a platform for engagement with the Olympic Movement," noted the IOC.
It added 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."
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