Esports, real sports and the Olympic Virtual Series

Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 50 (2):208-228 (2023)
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Abstract

Despite reservations over the status of esports as sports, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has, for policy reasons, encouraged International Federations to pursue links with providers of ‘virtual and simulated’ sports, in part by the introduction of an event, the Olympic Virtual Series, first held in 2021. In providing an account of ‘virtuality’ and ‘simulation’, we query the theoretical basis of the Olympic Virtual Series. In particular, we query the IOC’s use of the term ‘virtual’ in the description of two very different activities: what it calls ‘physical virtual sports’ (which we argue are simply Olympic-type sports – real sports! – and should just be called ‘sports’) and ‘non-physical virtual sports’ (which we argue are not sports at all, and should be recognized for what they are – computer games).

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Jim Parry
Charles University, Prague

References found in this work

The Virtual and the Real.David J. Chalmers - 2017 - Disputatio 9 (46):309-352.
E-sports are Not Sports.Jim Parry - 2018 - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy 13 (1):3-18.
The Play of Champions: Toward a Theory of Skill in eSport.Lasse Juel Larsen - 2022 - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy 16 (1):130-152.

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