Could Video Games Become An Olympic Sport in 2024?
Last weekend, the International Olympic Committee and the Global Association of International Sports Federations had a meeting forum in the Switzerland based Olympic Museum to begin to start a mutual understanding between the gaming and sporting industries within the Olympics.
The forum discussing eSports was set up on behalf of the Olympic Committee wanting to begin to explore the possibility of adding some forms of gaming to the competition.
The summit brought over 150 representatives from both sets of activities. This included players, publishers, teams, media and sponsors from the gaming world and the committees, athletes, partners and broadcasters from the Olympics.
The summit was held in good faith for both groups and genuine progress toward making gaming an official part of the world's biggest athletic celebration.
"One thing in particular was clear from these fascinating discussions - we are united by passion for our sports and a shared love of competition," Global Association of International Sports Federations President Patrick Baumann stated. "That's a positive starting point for further discussions about possible future cooperation between the Olympic and esports communities."
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Talks began back in 2017 when the International Olympic Committee first began to explore the possibility of adding in esports into future games.
The only the criteria so far is that the included games "should not infringe on Olympic values," which presumably means that content like First Person Shooters wouldn't be considered acceptable to compete.
The 2024 programme will begin to take shape in 2019 - and then a final decision on what new games to add takes place after Tokyo 2020.
The IOC previously agreed that esports is "showing strong growth, especially within the youth demographic across different countries," and went on to say that gamers could be compared to athletes as they "prepare and train with an intensity."
The games would most likely focus on competitive sports titles like FIFA and NBA2k series. It might also even stretch to non-violent games like Rocket League but the "infringing" lines might exclude some of the biggest titles in gaming these days, like Fortnite, League of Legends or Overwatch.
But should eSports be considered as legitimate a performance as real life sports?
Words by Will Stevenson