Feel like showing your nan a no-scope? You might have to if Esports makes it to the 2032 Brisbane Olympics.
The International Olympic Committee have recently stated that the 2032 Brisbane Olympics could be the first to include Esports. If it happens, it’ll be an epic gamer moment.
Changes to the IOC rules allow for host cities to recommend and request new sports either as a one-off or permanent inclusion. The hope is that it will add local flair to the Games.
That means it’s up to Brisbane’s organising committee to take the next step if they want to encourage Esports to be taken seriously, and it looks like they will. They’ve met once so far, and Kirsty Coventry, chair of Brisbane’s Olympic coordination commission had this to say:
“What we’re looking for is sports which are well appreciated by the younger generation. As you’ve already seen with Tokyo and previous Games, it’s really about getting them excited by the Olympic dream.” That’s promising, but no word yet on which Esports Brisbane deems worthy of Olympic status.
The IOC seems interested. With the announcement that the International Olympic Committee will host an Esports festival in Singapore in 2032, video games have never been taken so seriously.
Even if Brisbane doesn’t pan out, Esports in the Olympics is starting to feel like a “when”, not an “if”.
One challenge, as the ABC notes, is the violence inherent to many of the most popular competitive games. This goes against IOC principles, and it’ll be interesting to see how this influences their decisions going forth.
It won’t be the first time gaming has made its way to the Olympic stage. The opening ceremony at Tokyo 2020 (which took place in 2021) featured music from Kingdom Hearts, Final Fantasy, and Dragon Quest.
As far as mainstream support goes, it’s not esports, but there will be a BBC Proms concert dedicated to video games this August.