Are Video Game Olympics a Good Idea?

Back when you held the highest score on the Ms. Pac-Man cocktail table arcade game, did you ever dream of becoming even greater? Sure, your friends admired your gaming skills, but did you ever want more notoriety?

Today’s gamers have many chances to perfect their craft, compete against other top gamers and gain extensive fame, not to mention cash. Some of the most famous tournaments include the World Cyber Games, The International and the Halo Championship Series. But now, gamers have an opportunity to compete not for themselves, their team or their sponsors, but for their country. The eGames have arrived: The Olympics for video games.

The International eGames Committee

The eGames, which is the formal name of the new event, will take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, at the same time as the summer 2016 Olympics. The event was announced recently at the London Games Festival. The event will be headed by the International eGames Committee, an organization founded and sponsored by the UK government.

As of now, the United States, Canada, Brazil and Britain have all confirmed participation in the eGames for summer 2016. The committee has stated it does not want to focus on one specific platform or game above the rest, but to bring together gamers involved in many different titles, including PC games. This will be a marked difference from most tournaments, which are usually centered around one game, such as Call of Duty or Halo.

Going forward, the eGames will be held in Pyeongchang, South Korea in 2018, and Tokyo, Japan in 2020, to coincide with the upcoming Olympic games. Actual competitions will be held in the same cities as the Olympic games, but will take place one month after the close of Olympic ceremonies. Participating gamers can be male or female, as long as they are age 18 or over. They will qualify by participating in scheduled heats in their home countries.

What Could Go Wrong?

Gamers everywhere may be rejoicing: it’s the chance you’ve always waited for! Get recognized on an international stage for gaming skills. However, many critics aren’t sure this is the best opportunity or the wisest decision by the International eGames Committee.

While it’s a big step to recognize video game talent alongside some of the greatest athletic talents in the world, the best talent might not show up. There will be no prize purse offered for the winner. With so many other tournaments scheduled throughout the year, will the world’s best gamers feel the drive to compete for a medal only?