Road To The Olympic Games

IOC eases off support for electronic gaming at Olympics

The International Olympic Committee has slowed its support for recognizing electronic gaming as a sport. After an Olympic leaders' meeting on Saturday, the IOC says "discussion about the inclusion of esports/egames as a medal event on the Olympic program is premature."

Following Saturday meeting, inclusion as medal event deemed premature

In this file photo, teams compete against each other during the Dreamhack Masters esports tournament at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas in February 2017. After an Olympic leaders' meeting on Saturday in Lausanne, Switzerland, the IOC says "discussion about the inclusion of esports/egames as a medal event on the Olympic program is premature." (John Locher/Associated Press)

The International Olympic Committee has slowed its support for recognizing electronic gaming as a sport.

After an Olympic leaders' meeting on Saturday, the IOC says "discussion about the inclusion of esports/egames as a medal event on the Olympic program is premature."

Enthusiasm has seemed to dim since the IOC hosted a July conference with esports organizers and players.

Sports bodies are now advised to "continue to engage with this [gaming] community, whilst at the same time acknowledging that uncertainties remain."

The IOC rules out cooperation with violent games, and suggests virtual and augmented reality could become more popular with young people.

"Commercially driven" gaming was also compared unfavourably with "values-based" sports.

The IOC says governing bodies will continue meeting gaming industry officials "to explore jointly collaborative projects."

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