In what continues to represent a stand-off between the Olympic movement and the world of esports, International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach (pictured) has reiterated his insistence that violent games do not align with “Olympic values”.
The statements came at the conclusion of this year’s Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia, which featured six esports titles as demonstration events, as the sector continues to push for inclusion in the Olympic programme.
Bach told the Associate Press that the IOC “cannot have in the Olympic programme a game which is promoting violence or discrimination”, adding that “so-called ‘killer games'” could not be considered for inclusion.
He was echoed by Zhang Dazhong, the chief executive of Alisports, which oversaw the esports programme at the Asian Games. Dazhong said Alisports was “working towards meeting the standards set by the IOC”, and that the organisation would move toward sports simulation games rather than those seen as “too violent”.
While the IOC is determined to bring esports into its fold, and with it a huge youth audience, it must also retain its core values. Many of the world’s most popular esports games have a violent element, and the IOC will have to work to overcome these tensions. In July, it set up an Esports Liaison Team to further investigate the ways esports and the Olympics can connect.