This topic will be something that we will hear more over the coming months and years. There has been a fairly consent push for the 1.5 billion dollar industry surrounding the competitive video game playing industry to be included in the Olympics coming to Paris in 2024. There has been interest on the part of the IOC in including e-sports in this coming Olympic competition, but they have made it clear that the majority of games that are popular in the e-sport world will not be considered for competition, because the IOC will not tolerate any sort of violence.
Before I start down the path of why this position from the Olympic committee is total garbage I would like to point to why I don’t think we should even be having this conversation to begin with. At no point in my mind does playing video games in any way cross into the realm of athletics. This is the same argument many ultra-liberal’s use; making up nonsense ideas. That if you believe it; it must be true. The truth is I am Fat. I can say I am not fat, but that does not change the truth. I can say you must accept me for being who I am, but does not change the truth. I can say there is not shame and nothing wrong with being fat, and that still does not change the truth. The truth is all of these points are incorrect. I am, you don’t have to be okay with my unhealthy choices, and it is not healthy.
Now on to E-Sports. You can tell me playing video goes competitively is a sport. You can say hey it is on ESPN and therefore a sport. You can say the mental aspect of competitive gaming is so strenuous that it is a sport. I feel this need to make Video Games a sport comes from all the Knuckle Dragging Bros that got out of High school and can’t be bothered to get off the sofa and play real football so they play Madden and want it to be labeled a sport. It simply is not. When I was growing up the debate of Golf being a sport or game was a thing. We have moved far past this topic. As golf is an activity that is physical. You have to be athletic to be good at it. That is not to say that every Golfer is a top notch fit athlete. But neither is a defensive Tackle in the NFL. Taking this jump from Golf being a sport to sitting in front a computer screen is somehow a demonstration of athletic prowess is such a farce.
Dota 2 and League Of legends became so popular in college a couple years back that EPSN began to cast them live. I am not sure if the move to make them a E-Sport came from EPSN and the Athletic Inclined people, as grounds to justify why they needed to turn to the desktop sitting, button pressing, asthma inhaler using, nerds to generate revenue for their sports channel. Or if it was the nerds themselves begging for validation as always from the jocks; that landed us in this situation. My true suspicion is that E-Sports was something embraced as a word, term, and idea by ESPN to justify what they were bring onto the network.
So now that I have laid out my sarcastic riddled argument for why video games are not a sport I will dive into the muck of a pile that the IOC created. In an interview with the South China Morning Post on 8/31/17, current President of the International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach was quoted saying “We want to promote non-discrimination, non-violence and peace among people. This doesn’t match with video games which are about violence, explosions and killing.” The IOC is working closely with Alibaba and there E-Sports Branch Ali-Sports. Zhang Dazhong, AliSports CEO was quoted by Bloomberg. “That’s why for the future development of e-sports, we will focus more on titles that are actually related to sports, instead of games that focus on violence and slaughter.”
There are two points on this topic
Firstly they (the IOC) are trying to include something that is an emulation of sport. Their own criteria for the inclusion of E-Sports in the Olympics precludes the category from being an actual sport. If I play a racing game does that in turn make me a racecar driver? Can I say to my friends and new acquaintances that I drive racecars on the weekends? No, I cannot. How in turn does this translate to us having FIFA on the Wii as a competition in the Olympics? It is not soccer. We already have soccer in the Olympics. The real deal with the field, players, and ball. You can go watch them run around the field and perform displays of athletic prowess.
Secondly should we remind the Olympic committee that if this is the grounds for elimination , fencing most definitely must be removed from the Olympic venues as it is mock fighting with the intent to kill another human being. Which the two aforementioned games do not demonstrate the level of graphic depiction as fencing does. Hockey should most definitely be looked at with its aggressive hitting and potential fighting. We should take a close look at shooting and javelin throwing as they promote the use of weapons. Archery as it promotes the use of a weapon. Boxing, Judo, and Taekwondo all need to be removed from competition as they are directly doing violence to another person and glorifying the use of force to best one opponent. The same can be said for all forms of wrestling that are included in the Olympics; Wrestling Free Style and Wrestling Greco-Roman. If the IOC seems to think that there position is the correct one then they will need to take a good hard look at the sports that they promote and the impact that such unnecessary violence in an UN-filtered and unrestrained way has on the youth that are watching there events. Perhaps we need to place and age restriction on the Olympics or perhaps we should require them to move to paid cable or another distribution platform to protect the young minds of TV watchers everywhere.
Thank you for stopping by. I hope you take a moment to follow us here at Total Mage.