You like video games? IOC explores having its Olympic Games
The president of International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bachrevealed this Saturday that his organization is already exploring plans to create an esports Olympic Games (e-sports, in English), in the context of the 141st IOC Session opened in Bombay (India).
The IOC president pointed out that there are three billion people who use video games around the world. He even estimated that more than 500 million of them are specifically interested in electronic sportsincluding virtual sports and sports simulations.
“What is even more relevant for us is that most of them are under 34 years old,” he noted. “I have asked our new E-sports Commission to study the creation of an electronic sports Olympic Games“Bach stressed, in the wake of a “holistic” collaboration of the IOC with entities dedicated to e-sports that dates back to 2018.
“We chose an approach that would allow us to be active in the esports space while staying true to the values that have guided us for over a century. Regarding electronic sports, our values are and will continue to be the red line that we will not cross“He argued in his speech from Bombay.
“Our clear position is also gaining more and more respect in the esports community. One of the main authors even adapted his popular game to fully conform to our Olympic values, so that Players will shoot at targets and not at people.“emphasized the IOC president.
The IOC's first commitment to this idea was the organization of the E-sports Forum in 2018 in Lausanne (Switzerland), followed by the creation of a Liaison Group to have a platform to interact with all stakeholders. In 2021, the IOC developed the Olympic Virtual SeriesIOC pilot initiative in electronic sports.
“Building on the learnings from this Olympic Virtual Series, we launched Olympic E-sports Week in Singapore earlier this year. In Singapore we saw evidence that our holistic approach is working. We successfully brought together the Olympic and esports communitiesBach congratulated himself.
More than 130 players from around the world competed during that Olympic E-sports Week in 10 mixed category events. The players were cheered on by a room and everything was broadcast online. Including the qualifiers, the Olympic E-sports Series attracted more than 500 thousand participants unique and generated more than 6 million live action views among all its channels; 75% of views were people between 13 and 34 years old.
“It was a promising start; but just that, a beginning. It's like in any sport; Even after a promising start, the real race still lies ahead,” Bach said. “Our continued success depends on how we embrace the increasingly accelerated development of digital technology and, specifically, artificial intelligence. This makes our Olympic Agenda 2020 imperative and even more urgent: 'change or be changed'”he warned.
For all this, he called for changing the mentality in the Olympic Movement: “The younger generation has a completely new way of thinking. They are living digital lives right now. We must not ignore his thoughts if we do not want to endanger our own future. We must empower them to guide us with their young mentality“, he stated.
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