Gaming… an Olympic sport?


Running, swimming and weight-lifting are all sports that instantly come to mind when thinking about the Olympics. Video games, on the other hand, don’t generally feature on this list. However, a recent drive by the Global Gaming League (GLL) wants to see this change. Ted Owen is behind this push and was aiming to get the ‘sport’ introduced at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

According to Owen,”People aren’t watching the Olympics anymore. You need to bring younger viewers back if you want to keep making money. To do that you need to embrace non-traditional sports.”

Michael James, Editor of NAG, SA’s leading gaming magazine says,

“While most sports focus on physical prowess, few recognise mental agility. This is where video games can bridge the gap. The gaming community is populated by some of the most competitive and motivated individuals, willing to invest heavily in training and the top-of-the-range products, in order to become the best of the best.”

According to Morris – Director of content development for CNNMoney.com, competitive gaming plays a major role in Asian culture, with the Chinese industry alone estimated to top US$2 billion annually by 2010. This popularity is what drove the GGL to seek approval from the Chinese Government first before going to the IOC.

The Olympics hasn’t seen a demonstration sport since 1992, and there has been no indication from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that they are revising this decision. Nevertheless, it is Owen’s perception that

“The only reason they haven’t done an exhibition sport in the past several years is no one has brought a good one to them.”

Gaming seems to be all the rAge right now
The annual rAge Expo is the perfect place to decide for yourself whether competitive gaming is worthy of inclusion in the Olympics as a sport. Samsung will be playing host to the SA National Final of the World Cyber Games, which is a global tournament in which nearly one million players from around the world compete against each other for the title of world champion in separate events.

The SA finalists will join over 700 players from 74 countries in Cologne, Germany in November to take part in the eighth annual WCG Grand Final event.

The rAge exhibition is also packed with hot new games to play and loads of cool computer and gaming kit to buy. Set to take place at the beginning of October this year, the really Awesome gaming expo appeals to anyone who’s into the fun side of technology.

For more info on rAge visit:
www.rageexpo.co.za
All the rAge right now

One response to “Gaming… an Olympic sport?

  1. Can’t say I wouldn’t love to see any form of digital competition at the Olympics, but I think it’s farcical that few Olympic events recognize mental ability. All competitive activities, from school level to the Olympics, require strategy and concentration. I don’t think it’s a valid argument for introducing video games to the Olympics.

    I think other barriers to entry are the difficulty in standardizing equipment (I can just imagine buying an ‘Olympics Ready’ PC), and the huge variety of games that are available.

    However, I believe that video games are more international than many of the events at the Olympics, and for that reason should be considered. I’m pretty sure there are more video gamers in South Africa than there are, say handballers. Or archers.

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