The 2019 SEA Games marks the first time that esports titles became medal events, with six games being part of the SEA Games this year. It looks like the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is moving to adopt a similar stance. But as it is, what the IOC has in mind seems to be quite different from what’s goinf in in the Phillippenes right now.
During the 8th Olympic Summit last week, the IOC agreed that the committee sees great potential for incorporating electronic games simulating sports into the sports movement. The Committee goes on to say that many sports simulations are becoming more and more physical thanks to VR and AR replicating traditional sports. An additional point on that is for international federations governing each sport to consider electronic and virtual forms of their sport.
The committee goes on to say that, with regard to other electronic games, the sports movement should focus on players and gamers rather than their specific games. The focus should also promote the participation in sport and its benefits.
While not outright mentioned, it sounds like the IOC prefers VR and AR games over your usual esports titles. The likely emphasis here is on physical activity, since VR and AR versions of sports will require physical activity more akin to the actual sport. It does sound unlikely that we’ll see esports be a medal event in the upcoming 2020 Olympics the wait it did the 2019 SEA Games. But for what it’s worth, there’s still a side event in the form of the Intel World Open.