Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Video Games, the Olympics and stupidity

I think anyone who has even a passing interest in video games is aware of how much of a thing e-sports have become.  Most people are familiar with the big competitive games like League of Legends or Starcraft 2.  You probably have heard of certain big events such as Dreamhack in Sweden or the EVO fighting game tournament just to name a couple.

E-Sports have become so much of a thing that they are now being broadcast on TV the same way you'd broadcast any other sports.  When I was living in Sweden a few years ago I watched the Dreamhack Starcraft 2 tournament on the TV as it was happening live and on the plane to Rome two videos under the "TV Shows" section of the entertainment were finals from a DotA2 and Hearthstone tournament.

I think even ESPN are showing LoL, DotA and Hearthstone on TV and we also have Twitch which is basically the place to go for live feeds of tournaments so it's safe to say that the e-sports scene has come a fair way.

Then I hear that there's been talk of putting e-sports in the Olympics which is an interesting topic for discussion.  I can totally see why some would see e-sports having a rightful place in the Olympics but I can also understand why some people wouldn't want them there either.  But that's not what I'm here to talk about with this post.

This is Thomas Bach, the president of the International Olympic Committee.  If you take a quick look at his Wikipedia page you can clearly see he's a well educated man and some kind of ex-fencing beast that took home a gold medal in 1976.  But just because he's got some decent academics and can wield a foil like a pro doesn't make him immune from saying some of the stupidest shit I've ever heard in my life.  Here's a quote

“We want to promote non-discrimination, non-violence, and peace among people, This doesn’t match with video games, which are about violence, explosions and killing. And there we have to draw a clear line.”
[Source: https://www.sporttechie.com/no-violent-video-games-in-the-olympics-says-ioc-president/ ]

What in the name of fuck is wrong with this guy.  Video games are about violence, explosions and killing?  This is the kind of stupid statement I expect to hear from my elderly relatives that barely know what a computer even is, not the head of the IOC.  There are good arguments for and against putting e-sports in the Olympics like I said before but games being "violent" isn't one of them.

The olympic is host to a number of combat sports which could be seen as violent.  I mean this guy making this statement used to be a fucking Fencer.  I could easily make some kind of ignorant bullshit comment like him and say something like "We want to promote non-discrimination, non-violence, and peace among people, this doesn't match with fencing which is just stabbing and slashing at folks with bits of metal"

It sounds to me like Mr Bach is just an old, ignorant man who has a tired old view of gaming and doesn't want to do ANY research on the topic and expand his knowledge on the topic.  Go and watch any kind of analytical video on a game like Starcraft, Street Fighter or Counter Strike and you can easily see that there's so much more going on that just "violence, killing and explosions". 

There's no place in 2017 for stupid, ignorant and misguided comments like that.  Should video games be in the event? I don't know, but should they be disregarded entirely because of "violence"?  Hell no and that idea is so fantastically fucking stupid that my head might just explode violently and kill me in reaction to reading something that dumb. 

1 comment:

  1. well written piece. Sport in itself is competetive and fencing and boxing are about fighting. Or do they call it self defence skills these days.