eGaming at The World Games 2022
The International World Games Association (IWGA) will launch its eGaming project at the 2022 World Games in Birmingham, USA. In the IWGA Interview of the Month, Hagen Bossdorf, IWGA TV and Marketing Coordinator, says it’s a way to promote our various sports.
1. The IWGA is pushing forward with the development of eGaming. Why?
Hagen Bossdorf: The IWGA sees eGaming as a way to promote various sports of The World Games. We strive to reach a younger target audience. Based on this, the IWGA Board has approved our eGaming strategy through to 2025.
2. What is the difference between eGaming and a normal online game?
Hagen Bossdorf: For us, eGaming is the digital, virtual version of a sport as known from FIFA or the NBA. This is the area we want to promote and develop for The World Games. We are not focusing on eSports and its successful games. That is a different area and not one we want to promote.
3. How will the IWGA present the theme at The World Games 2022?
Hagen Bossdorf: The core of The World Games Plaza in Birmingham, Alabama is the Sports Garden, where different sports can showcase themselves. Fans and visitors will be able to try the sports out for themselves there. In this area there will be an eGaming pavilion, where we will present virtual versions of Archery, Racquetball and Softball.
4. Why these three sports?
Hagen Bossdorf: The three federations WA Archery, WBCS Softball/Baseball and IRF Racquetball are able to offer digital versions of their sports. So in the short time available, it is possible to start the IWGA eGaming project with these three examples.
5. What will be offered in this eGaming Pavilion at The World Games?
Hagen Bossdorf: Visitors can try these three sports in eGaming themselves. We will also create a focus day with each of the International Federations, where The World Games winners and medalists will also compete in virtual Gaming. There will be a special day for the media, and on the last day we want to look towards the next edition of The World Games in 2025, in cooperation with Chengdu.
6. Will there be medals for the best eGamers at The World Games?
Hagen Bossdorf: We plan to crown the first virtual winner of The World Games in eRacquetball. The tournament will start online and worldwide, and will end during The World Games. The other two sports will be less competitive. As mentioned, it’s about promoting our sports.
7. How does eGaming fit into an event with real sports?
Hagen Bossdorf: eGaming cannot and should not replace real sport. But it is a way to introduce younger people to new sports through gaming, to promote The World Games sports programme in advance of the event, and to connect with fans.
8. How are other international sports federations dealing with the issue?
Hagen Bossdorf: Every sports federation is dealing with the topic of eGaming, but the possibilities of visualization and digitization differ between sports. The IOC and its federations are also pursuing a strategy of promoting eSports to some extent, but are focusing on the virtual variants of Olympic sports.
9. Are there plans for how the IWGA will deal with eGaming beyond Birmingham?
Hagen Bossdorf: Yes, our ambitious goal is to develop and offer eGaming for fans and athletes in up to ten sports of The World Games during TWG 2025 in Chengdu, China. We are currently talking to developers and manufacturers, and have polled the interest of IWGA member federations.
10. Are you supporting your member IFs in implementing plans to develop eGames suitable for their sport?
Hagen Bossdorf: I think that the IWGA as an umbrella organisation can help its member federations a lot, because these sports would not be able to handle the development costs on their own. So we can share the burden of the investment - and then reap the success together.
The World Games is a multi-sport event staged every four years by the International World Games Association, organised with the support of the International Olympic Committee. The 11th edition of The World Games will be held in Birmingham, Alabama, USA, 7-17 July 2022. 3,600 athletes from 34 sports and over 100 countries will take part in The World Games.