eSports and the Olympics By: Mac Watson The Modern Olympics • The Modern Olympics is an event that started in April of 1896 to harbor healthy relationships between countries and has occurred every four years since with few exceptions. • The Modern Olympics has such a shining tradition that it is usually unwilling to accept any new events. eSports • eSports is a relatively new style of sportsmanship and competition that has yet to be accepted by the world. • eSports includes many online video games such as StarCraft II, League of Legends and Halo. Opposition • There are many groups who believe that eSports should not be accepted into the Olympics and even those that don’t even believe it to be a “Sport” these groups include Politicians, the IOC (International Olympic Committee) and even some fellow gamers. • The arguments made against eSports have been both logical and illogical though most are illogical reasoning's that attempt to belittle the eSports community and the professional’s hard work. Politicians • Politicians have been fighting against games for quite some time, they may not cause a direct proposal against eSports being in the Olympics, but they do influence the public opinion of it through court cases. • One such court case would be the 2011 California court case that attempted to ban the sale of video games to minors, this puts a bad name on games to the public. IOC • There are a few logical explanations to be made by the IOC as of why eSports shouldn’t be in the Olympics though they are not used often. • One of these argument is an argument of tradition, gaming is new so it hasn’t had the time to gather a tradition, but we can see this isn’t that important because Chess even with its outstanding history hasn’t been accepted and things like Synchronized Swimming with no tradition have. • Another would be the problem of ownership, no Olympic game has a group that claims ownership of it but all video games are owned by their creating company. • Then the most logical argument would be the one against the rules, video games are always changing and do not stay popular for more than 5-8 years max but no other sport in Olympic history has had its rules changed drastically or even more than once. • The more common arguments against it are insulting though. One comment made by the founder of “Around the Rings” said “Lobbying for video gaming would be like asking the IOC to approve of power smoking.” Gamers • Non competitive gamers make plenty of arguments against eSports being part of the Olympics, the main one being that gaming is not a sport. • There are also some competitive gamers usually not professional, that make the argument that it would make gaming too mainstream and would begin to ruin the online community. What is a sport? • So if Video Games are not a sport what is a sport? • The definition of what is a sport in the English dictionary is “An athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature. • Can you say that professional video gaming takes no skill? They may not take much physical exertion but they take an enormous amount of mental and physical skill as shown in this video comparing the APM (Actions Per Minute) of an average gamer and professional. Arguments for… • The main argument for eSports to become a part of the Olympics would be that it would get the rest of the public to see how much effort the professionals put into their sport. • This appreciation for the professionals will then cause them to become more acceptable and less stereotypical to the gaming community in general. Because not every gamer is a fat acne ridden teen that has no job. • This in turn would then serve to make the gaming community better within itself because they have less of a fear for prejudice.