On Monday 3 October, the European Parliament’s Committee on Culture and Education (CULT) approved by unanimity the report on esports and video games. The importance of this sector is underlined by data showing that half of all Europeans consider themselves video game players (almost half are women), with the average age in Europe being 31.3 years.
The rapporteur (Ms Farreng, Renew Group) expressed her satisfaction for the vote, in order to respond to the challenges of a strong and dynamic cultural industry comprising 250 million gamers and creating hundreds of thousands of jobs. Ms Farreng stressed that the EU is the appropriate level to develop e-sports, with a charter, a mapping and dedicated infrastructures.
CULT MEPs call on the Commission and the Council to acknowledge the value, the strong growth and innovation potential of the EU video game industry and to develop a European long-term strategy. They demand, for example, exemptions from state aid rules for national investments and more support for SMEs in the sector through programmes such as Horizon Europe and Creative Europe. The new EU strategy should help the development of European talent in the sector and promote through esports and video games values such as fair play, non-discrimination, solidarity, anti-racism, social inclusion and gender equality, contributing to European soft power.
The committee's proposals include: the use of video games and esports as a teaching tool in schools to develop skills and cognitive thinking; addressing challenges such as doping and match fixing in professional competitions; addressing the risks of over-intensive gaming such as stress and lack of exercise.
In general, the report provides a solid basis for the further cooperation between the sports movement and e-sports e.g. to provide for new fan experiences.
The report is foreseen to be adopted by the Plenary of the European Parliament during its November mini-session (9-10 November).