Any hope for seeing esports at the Olympic Games has probably died out after International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach has stated that he thinks video games are too violent to be featured at the international sports event.
He made this statement during an interview with the Associated Press while they were present at the Asian Games, an international sports event similar to the Olympic Games but exclusive to Asian countries, that was held in Indonesia this year. During this interview, he said “We cannot have in the Olympic program a game which is promoting violence or discrimination, so-called killer games. They, from our point of view, are contradictory to the Olympic values and cannot, therefore, be accepted.”
Obviously, this explanation is a bit lacking considering there are quite a few sports featured at the Olympic Games that seem to promote violence, such as boxing or wrestling. Bach himself has even won an Olympic gold medal for fencing in the past, which is a sport where two people are dueling each other with swords. Bach responded by saying, “Of course, every combat sport has its origins in a real fight among people, but sport is the civilized expression about this. If you have egames where it’s about killing somebody, this cannot be brought into line with our Olympic values.”
It’s unsure whether Bach believes that video games cause violence or if they simply promote violence. However, organizers of the Asian Games have responded to the recent discussion of violence caused by video games, that sparked up after the horrific shooting in Jacksonville. These organizers said that the blame was on US gun laws and not on the video games.
Bach is certainly a well-spoken man with the right answer to every question. It is hard to argue with the logic he presented and it seems that esports being featured at the Olympic Games is still quite a few years off. The perception that a lot of people have of video games likely has to change before we see video games being featured at big mainstream events, however, we’re certainly getting closer and closer.