Over the past weekend, the Associated Press (via GamesIndustry) interviewed Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee and asked a pointed question about the possible future inclusion of esports. "We cannot have in the Olympic program a game which is promoting violence or discrimination," Bach said. "So-called killer games...they, from our point of view, are contradictory to the Olympic values and cannot therefore be accepted."
Bach's statements are disappointing to fans of esports, and those attending last week's Asian Games where an esports demonstration event was held.
The IOC has been debating including esports after a meeting earlier this summer, but many of the members "still need convincing". Interestingly, Bach won an Olympic gold medal years ago in fencing, a sport utilizing swords and based in violent activities of the past.
“Of course every combat sport has its origins in a real fight among people,” he said. “But sport is the civilized expression about this. If you have egames where it’s about killing somebody, this cannot be brought into line with our Olympic values.”
In response, Asian Electronic Sports Federation President Kenneth Fok implied that the violence at a recent esports tournament in the US was the fault of US gun laws, not esports.
"But I think this is a bigger issue of gun control and access to guns," Fok said.
What do you think about including eSports in the Olympics? What about Bach's statements? Leave us your thoughts in the comments.