Should video gaming be an Olympic event?

  • TECH
  • Sunday, 28 Dec 2014

LET THE GAMES BEGIN: Video gaming could be an Olympic sport.

Rob Pardo, Blizzard Entertainment's former chief creative officer and the lead designer on the seminal World of Warcraft, believes that video games tick all of the right boxes to qualify as an Olympic sport.

Speaking to BBC radio, he underlined gaming's huge draw as a serious spectator sport.

"There's a very good argument for e-sports being in the Olympics," he said. "I think the way that you look at e-sports is that it's a very competitive skillset and you look at these professional gamers and the reflexes are lightning quick and their having to make very quick decisions on the fly."

There's no questioning the popularity of gaming as a spectator sport but how it would fit into the Olympics' definition of what constitutes a sport or a game could prove complicated, a point Pardo concedes.

"If you want to define sport as something that takes a lot of physical exertion, then it's hard to argue that videogames should be a sport, but at the same time, when I'm looking at things that are already in the Olympics, I start questioning the definition."

Adding video gaming to the roster might not be that strange or unusual. Until 1954 the Games awarded medals for literature, music, painting, sculpture and even ballroom dancing.

One of the reasons for dropping ‘arts' medals from the competition was that it was deemed entrants had an unfair advantage -- unlike for an athletics event, a writer for example was able to practice daily and to work professionally in the arts, while competitors in other events were amateurs.

The amateur status of all competitors still stands to this day and is why a host of sporting stars from Andre Agassi to Michael Jordan have ‘suspended' their professional status in order to go for gold. — AFP/RelaxNews 2014

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