German Olympic Federation Rejects Esports
The German Olympic Federation (DOSB) made waves in the global esports community this week by setting its official stance on esports. The DOSB rejected competitive video games as Olympic events and stated they do not meet the criteria for consideration as a recognized sporting activity.
According to the DOSB, competitive video games are “sports simulations.” The federation referred to esports as “eGaming.” It said esports is conducive to addictive behaviors and subject to predatory marketing. It also mentioned the World Health Organization’s recent classification of video games as addictive.
The German Games Industry Association (ESBD) released a statement refuting the claims made by the DOSB. It accused the federation of passing judgments on esports without having a basic understanding of the industry.
The DOSB said it came to various conclusions about the dangers of violence in video games and the health risks of gaming through a working group. The group consisted of 25 individuals who researched esports through interviews. One of the main takeaways from their research is that Germany should not alter its tax code to recognize esports organizations as official sports entities.
ESBD president Hans Jagnow warned the DOSB their decision will lose the young generation’s trust in official sports. Ralf Reichert, CEO of ESL, mentioned the DOSB during a press conference last week. Reichert spoke about the need for further interaction with the federation and offered the assumption that they might never have played computer games.
Germany’s Sports Committee of the Bundestag is hosting a public hearing on the topic of esports on November 28.