BERLIN: 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 to 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 younger and urbaner.”