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Jakarta Post

No violent eSports at Olympics, says IOC chief


    Agence France-Presse

New Delhi, India   /   Thu, April 19, 2018   /   08:08 pm
 No violent eSports at Olympics, says IOC chief Video gamers play Star Wars: Battlefront II during a demonstration at the Electronic Arts (EA) E3 press conference at the Hollywood Palladium in Hollywood, California, June 10, 2017. The EA press conference is held in conjunction with the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) which focuses on gaming systems and interactive entertainment, featuring introductions to new products and technologies. (AFP/Andrew Cullen)

IOC chief Thomas Bach insisted Thursday that violent computer games would never be part of the Olympics as he faces growing pressure to allow eSports into the Olympic movement.

Bach said it would be a "red line" for the International Olympic Committee that no computer game that encourages violence would be allowed.

eSports have already been admitted as a medal sport for the 2022 Asian Games and the Paris committee organising the 2024 Olympics has not ruled including eSports in its events.

Bach told reporters during a visit to India that while eSports involve physical activity, training and concentration comparable to some traditional sports the new billion-dollar boom industry must prove its values.

"The IOC is a very rules-based organisation therefore in order to be recognised in a way by the Olympic movement it is not enough just to show physical activity," said Bach.

"And the red line would be eGames which are killer games, where you have the promotion of violence or any kind of discrimination as a content.

"They can never be recognised as a part of the Olympic movement because they would be contrary to our values and principles," said the 64-year-old administrator.

Bach highlighted how five new sports --  baseball/softball, karate, skateboarding, sports climbing and surfing -- have been added for the 2020 Tokyo Games as the Olympics seeks regain youth popularity.

"Tradition alone is no value. If you don't open up to sports practised by the younger generations then you can lose your relevance very, very quickly," said Bach.

"This is why we are happy that in Tokyo we have added these sports on the Olympic programme. So the Olympic Games in Tokyo would be more younger and more urban."