The International Olympics Committee (IOC) released a statement after the 8th Olympic Summit earlier this month that the Olympics “isn’t ready to support games that aren’t based on traditional sports like basketball and soccer.”
Previously, the IOC announced that competitive video games “could be considered sports,” but this year, it said it wanted to encourage professional sportsmen and casual players to participate in sports and develop behaviours that support physical and mental health.
The IOC issued a statement in 2017 that competitive gaming “could be considered a sporting activity” and that it could help the Olympics attract younger people all over the world. But a statement earlier this month following the 8th Olympic Summit said the committee would prefer to focus on video games simulating traditional sports. The committee also raised the idea of using digital or augmented reality to accept video games and add a physical component to gameplay, reports from Business Insider.
“With regard to electronic games simulating sports, the Summit sees great potential for cooperation and incorporating them into the sports movement,” the IOC said in a statement. “Many sports simulations are becoming more and more physical thanks to Virtual and Augmented Reality which replicate the traditional sports.”
While some sports video games have professional leagues such as “NBA 2K,” effective genres of video games are rooted in the most popular sports. Previously, the IOC expressed concerns that violent video games and other explicit content might be contrary to Olympic values. For the IOC and its diverse membership, strategic games based on corporate intellectual properties and shooting games with militaristic violence could be a tricky area.
“With regard to other electronic games, the Summit concluded that, at this stage, the sports movement should focus on players and gamers rather than on specific games,” the IOC’s statement said.
Inviting players and gamers would mean concentrating on them participating in sports and creating habits that encourage physical and mental health. Sometimes, professional gamers spend eight or more hours playing every day, and sports organisations hire workers to try to achieve a healthier balance in life. The statement issued by the IOC in 2017 noted the rigid discipline that comes with competitive gaming, contrasting their training with conventional athletes.
While the announcement from the IOC is not good news for most of the established community of sports, the committee encourages regional partners to develop partnerships with video game publishers and find new ways to promote gaming.
The presence of sports on the Olympic stage can take a while, but competitive gaming will only continue to grow and provide more opportunities for professionals.