The IOC Is Another Step Closer to Including Video Games in the Olympics

June 28, 2018, 1:05 PM UTC

The push to incorporate eSports into the Olympics continues to gain steam.

The International Olympic Committee, along with the Global Association of the International Sports Federations, will host a forum next week to explore the possibility of adding competitive video gaming to the Olympics.

“The aim of the Forum is to explore synergies, build joint understanding, and set a platform for future engagement between the eSports and gaming industries and the Olympic Movement,” the IOC said in a statement.

Put another way: Olympic officials want to know more about eSports, their impact, and how they operate.

The gathering follows last October’s Olympic Summit, where the IOC was officially asked to explore eSports as a potential addition to the Games.

While eSports certainly won’t be part of Tokyo’s 2020 Summer Games, they could be included in the 2024 Olympics. Tony Estanguet, co-president of the Paris Olympic Committee, has very publicly floated the idea.

Organizers of the Asian Games—a pan-continental, multi-sport event held every four years among athletes from all over Asia—have confirmed eSports will be a demonstration event later this year. And at the 2022 Games in Hangzhou, China, it will have full metal status.

“We have to look at it because we can’t say, ‘It’s not us. It’s not about Olympics,'” Estanguet told the AP last year. “The youth, yes they are interested in esport and this kind of thing. Let’s look at it. Let’s meet them. Let’s try if we can find some bridges.”