It looks like the odds are video games Olympics events are unlikely. The International Olympic Committee concluded that video games Olympics events were “premature” to consider for inclusion in the world’s most prestigious sporting competition.
The International Olympic Committee met last weekend for the 7th Olympic Summit. This meeting largely focuses on issues being discussed surrounding the Olympics. Everything from the rights of athletes to the potential for new sports can potentially be the topic of discussion at one of these summits and this most recent one had video games on the agenda.
Some titles were all but written-off by the IOC as potential candidates for inclusion in the Olympics as they were “not compatible” with Olympic values. However, the IOC did say that they would continue engaging with the esports community. They have a number of concerns that they would like to overcome. For example, the feel that the esports industry is more “commercially-driven” as compared to other sports which they believe are “values-based”.
Although things may seem a bit shaky, the IOC hasn’t entirely given up on the issue. Several important figures from the esports industry are planned to be invited to a liason group. Ideally, this group would be used to explore “jointly collaborative projects” with the International Olympic Committee.
We may still see the IOC change its mind about the inclusion of video games as a future Olympic event. While the organization is busying itself with the preparation for the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo, there won’t be any final decisions made about the 2024 Paris Olympics until after Japan has had its turn hosting the world’s athletes for the various events.
While the IOC thinks video games Olympics events are premature, the Asian Games is all too happy to step up to bat – the 2020 Asian Games in China will be featuring video games as a demonstration sport, bringing a worldwide hobby one step closer to greater legitimacy as a serious competitive endeavor.