If video games were ever to get a permanent footing at the Olympics, it would be at the behest of the International Olympic Committee. And following a speech from the body’s president at the recent Asian Games, they have some issues with the idea.
The BBC reported that Thomas Bach, president of the IOC, said at a press conference games that featured killing other people “cannot be brought into line with our Olympic values”.
The Associated Press, which was also present at the conference, expanded on Bach’s comments by noting that the IOC president was referring to ‘killer games’:
“We cannot have in the Olympic program a game which is promoting violence or discrimination,” he told the AP. “So-called killer games. They, from our point of view, are contradictory to the Olympic values and cannot therefore be accepted.”
Bach was pressed about the parallels with combat sports – including fencing, which Bach won a gold medal in. “Of course every combat sport has its origins in a real fight among people … but sport is the civilised expression about this,” he replied.
Bach’s views don’t mean that esports wouldn’t be wholly incompatible with the Olympics, but it would rule out shooters like CS:GO, Fortnite and possibly Overwatch. The IOC president didn’t expand on what games might be suitable, although Polygon noted that the Olympic Summit later this year will discuss esports and that liaison bodies have been established to continue exploring the idea.