The creator of World of Warcraft has said that competitive video gaming or “e-sports” should be included in the Olympic Games. Rob Pardo, former chief creative officer for Blizzard Entertainment, said that the definition of the word “sport” was now broader than ever. Pardo argued that gaming had the capacity to become a popular spectator sport.
Talking to the BBC, Pardo said that a number of existing Olympic sports didn’t require much more physical exertion than gaming. A recent e-sporting event in South Korea attracted 40,000 people, with scores of extra spectators watching online. Another game Pardo worked on, Starcraft: Brood War has been praised for helping start the e-sports craze.
Those fighting for gaming to be included in the Olympics face a tough battle. The International Olympic Committee or IOC has already limited the number of sports allowed in the Games. Furthermore, even if gaming did receive recognition as an Olympic sport, it wouldn’t necessarily be included. Other sports have faced similar challenges, with chess fans expressing disappointment after the IOC labeled the game a “mind sport”. Pardo says that e-sports have the potential to appeal to a wide mainstream audience.
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