Would You Be Interested in Video Games at the Olympics?

Posted on Friday, Jul 27 2018 @ 11:07 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
Video Games at the Olympics?
The 2024 Olympic Games, set to be held in Paris, France, could well feature a competitive video game tournament for the first time in history, making this an official Olympic sport. Whether esports will make it into the Games or not will be up to the International Olympic Committee, or IOC.

Players everywhere, including those who simply enjoy the online pokies Australia and the rest of the world make available are all ears!

An eSports Forum in Switzerland
The IOC has taken things a little further, meeting with the Global Association of International Sports Federations, or GAISF, in an eSports Forum at the Lausanne Olympic Museum in Switzerland.

The purpose of this event was to start a dialogue aimed at building a joint understanding and setting up a platform for future talks between the gaming and esports industries and the Olympic Movement. Lyon conducted an interview with Thomas Bach, the president of the IOC, Nate Nanzer, the Commissioner for the Overwatch League, and Rick Fox, former NBA player and investor in esports.

Possible Chances to Collaborate on the Horizon
During this Forum, those participating spoke of the possibilities of collaborating in the future, including the one foremost in everyone’s mind: could gaming become a recognised sport at the Olympics? The objective of the Forum, however, was not to make a snap decision about this, but simply to open up talks around the topic in a broad sense.

Kit McConnell, Sports Director for the IOC, released a statement calling the Forum a moment in which a range of stakeholders, including some of the world’s top players, could make their voices heard. McConnell spoke of a consensus being reached that any collaboration in the future will be firmly rooted in making sure that all activity not only supports but also protects the values that the Olympics stand for. He said that the goal is not necessarily to create a pathway towards the inclusion of esports in the Olympic programme just yet, but there is a firm commitment to ongoing dialogue and engagement regarding the possibility of this. He added that those who had attended the Forum were in a strong position to support and coordinate the more overreaching engagement of the worlds of esports and the Olympic Movement.

There’s Still a Ways to Go
This forum followed the one held in 2017, in which the IOC and members of the gaming community met to start the talks around gaming being represented at the Olympics.

In terms of what’s to come, the IOC and GAISF have formed an Esports Liaison Group, that is set to keep the lines of communication open and engagement between the Olympic Movement and stakeholders in the world of esports and gaming active to be able to recognise areas where collaboration is possible.

The next talks will take place at the Olympism in Action Forum in Buenos Aires, Argentina in October. Members of the Esports Liaison Group and those from the Youth Olympic Games are set to be in attendance.