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Alibaba backs non-violent esports for Olympic inclusion

Alibaba backs non-violent esports for Olympic inclusion

March 13, 2018 | By Alissa McAloon

March 13, 2018 | By Alissa McAloon
More: Social/Online

The Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba wants esports events to officially join the Olympic Games lineup, but only if the games being showcased do not "focus on violence or slaughter."

Bloomberg reports that Alibaba is pushing for soccer, car racing, and other digitized athletics events to be recognized in future Olympic events. According to the CEO of Alibaba's esports division AliSports, the decision to restrict more violent games from consideration was made after conversations with the Olympic Committee put the organization's own values into focus.

That sentiment is in line with comments previously made by Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach. Last year, Bach explained that the goal of the Olympics is to promote non-discrimination, non-violence, and peace and that video games about "violence, explosions, and killing" don't align with those goals.

Bach then suggested that the committee would be more interested in pursuing athletics-focused video games like FIFA and others for Olympic inclusion, reasoning that Alibaba is now in agreement with.

“In our communication with the Olympic Committee, we’ve come to have a better understanding of their values, which is to promote peace,” Zhang told Bloomberg. “That’s why for the future development of esports, we will focus more on titles that are actually related to sports, instead of games that focus on violence and slaughter.”

On its end, Alibaba is hosting the World Electronic Sports Games this week which is set to be attended by some members of the International Olympic Committee. The Chinese company is also working with the Olympic Council of Asia to bring esports events to the 2017 Ashgabat Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games and the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games. Already, the council has featured Hearthstone, StarCraft II, Dota 2, and King of Fighters XIV at a past Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Event.

Additionally, the Olympic Council of Asia has already approved competitive video games to make an appearance at the 2022 Asian Games as a medal-eligible sport, thanks in no small part to a partnership with AliSports. 

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