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IOC plans esports forum as it weighs video games in Olympics

Tokyo Game Show Begins

CHIBA, JAPAN - SEPTEMBER 21: A man walks past an e-Sports logo during an e-Sports event held as part of the Tokyo Game Show 2017 at Makuhari Messe on September 21, 2017 in Chiba, Japan. The annual game show, which features games from 345 exhibitors for various platforms from game consoles to mobile phones, takes place September 21-24 and will feature eSports. (Photo by Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images)

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — The International Olympic Committee will host a forum on esports next month as it explores the possibility of one day including video games in the Olympics.

The IOC and Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) will host the event July 21 at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne. The forum, announced Tuesday, will bring together gaming executives, players, sponsors and event organizers with a goal of building relationships between Olympic leaders and the esports industry.

IOC Sports Director Kit McConnell says the forum will be a “great opportunity for both the Olympic Movement and representatives from the world of esports and gaming to begin a discussion, listen and learn from each other, and understand the potential opportunities for collaboration.”

The IOC and other Olympic leaders discussed esports at a summit last fall.

They determined esports could be considered a sporting activity and that it’s growth and popularity with younger demographics would be attractive to the Olympics. Summit participants charged the IOC and GAISF with opening a dialogue between the gaming industry and Olympic officials.

MORE: Magnus Carlsen: Chess deserves Olympic priority over esports

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