Why the next Olympic games should feature Fortnite
为什么下届奥运会应该把《堡垒之夜》纳入比赛项目

【双语】为什么下届奥运会应该把《堡垒之夜》纳入比赛项目 Why the next Olympic games should feature Fortnite-书迷号 shumihao.com

CHAMPIONS FROM many countries are dropped on an island, wearing tight, garish outfits that show off their muscles. They search for weapons, such as guns and rocket-launchers. In teams of two, they try to kill everyone else on the island. The last pair standing wins gold medals and global adulation.

来自许多国家的高手被空降到一个小岛上,个个身穿花哨惹眼的紧身服,肌肉毕现。他们两人一组,要寻找枪支和火箭筒等武器,目标是杀死岛上其他所有人。最后存活下来的一组将赢得金牌和全球观众的追捧。

The Tokyo Olympics, which were supposed to start this month, have been postponed until 2021, thanks to covid-19. That delay offers a chance for reflection. The International Olympic Committee wants to make the games more popular with young people. To that end, it is introducing new events, such as skateboarding, surfing and climbing. Why not go further and let national teams compete at video games? Electronic sports such as “Fortnite”, described above, are vastly more popular than Olympic oddities such as dressage or curling. In fact, they are more popular than most mainstream sports. Only 28% of British boys aged 16-19 watch any traditional live sports; 57% play video games.

原定7月举行的东京奥运会因为新冠疫情推迟至2021年。这让人们有时间来琢磨一些变化。国际奥委会希望奥运会能更受年轻人的喜爱,为此正在引入滑板、冲浪和攀岩等新项目。那何不更进一步,让各国队伍也在电竞中一决高下呢?上文描述的《堡垒之夜》(Fortnite)之类的电竞比赛远比盛装舞步或冰壶之类的奇葩奥运项目更受欢迎。实际上,它们比大多数主流运动都更受欢迎。16至19岁的英国男孩中只有28%现场观看过任何形式的传统体育比赛,但有57%玩电子游戏。

Stick-in-the-muds may grumble that e-sports are not proper sports. Many parents, observing their surly teenagers sitting on the sofa all day twiddling their thumbs and shouting “Quick, pass me the shotgun!” at a screen, would agree. Yet video games are highly competitive, with professional leagues that play to packed stadiums. There are perhaps only 200 tennis stars in the world who can make a living from playing in tournaments. By contrast “League of Legends”, a fantasy game played by teams of five, supports over 1,000 on good wages. Its World Championship final last year was watched by 44m people.

守旧的人可能会抱怨电竞算不上体育运动。看着自己叛逆暴躁的孩子整日窝在沙发上,晃动着拇指,冲着屏幕大喊“快,把霰弹枪递给我!”,很多父母都会认同这一点。但是,电子游戏极具竞争性,专业战队在体育馆比赛时,全场座无虚席。全球可能只有200名明星网球选手可以靠打比赛谋生。相比之下,由五人组队参加的幻想游戏《英雄联盟》(League of Legends)让1000多人拿着不菲的薪水。去年的冠军联赛全球总决赛有4400万人观看。

New sports have always been unpopular at first. King Edward II of England tried to ban football in 1314, because he thought boys should be learning archery instead. In 19th-century America churchy types objected to baseball, which they worried was too much fun. The best e-sports require as much skill and dexterity as many conventional sports—professional gamers typically carry out five distinct actions every second. Video games are also cheaper and more accessible than, say, sailing or horse-riding.

新的运动起初都不受欢迎。英格兰国王爱德华二世在1314年试图禁止人们踢足球,因为他认为男孩子应该学习箭术。在19世纪的美国,恪守教会仪式的人反对棒球,因为担心它太好玩了。最好的电竞与许多常规运动一样讲求技巧和敏捷熟练,专业游戏玩家通常每秒要执行五个不同操作。比起帆船或马术等运动,电子游戏也更便宜,更容易参与。

Critics of e-sports offer moral objections, too. They are addictive. Prince Harry has called for “Fortnite” to be banned for this reason. They are violent. Surely, at a time of global disharmony, it is a bad idea to make simulated killing an Olympic sport? The Olympics aim to promote peace. Finally, video games are crassly commercial. Nobody owns basketball; “League of Legends” is owned by Tencent, a Chinese megacorporation.

电竞的批评者也提出了道德上的反对理由。电子游戏会让人上瘾。为此,哈里王子呼吁把《堡垒之夜》禁掉。电子游戏很暴力。这个世界如今已经够不和谐了,再把杀戮游戏纳入奥运会项目肯定不好吧?奥运会的宗旨可是促进和平啊。最后,电子游戏纯粹是商业化的。没有人拥有篮球运动, 而《英雄联盟》却归中国巨头企业腾讯所有。

None of these arguments is very convincing. The idea that an activity, rather than a substance, can be addictive is contentious among doctors, as is the existence of a causal link between gaming and violence. And the notion that warlike sports have no place in the Olympics is hard to square with history. Javelin-throwing and wrestling were introduced in 708BC. They are still there. Modern pentathlon, which includes shooting and fencing, was designed to train soldiers. The imaginary mayhem in “Fortnite” cannot be compared to the real harm caused by boxing. Packs of e-sports fans do not rampage through town centres as soccer or ice-hockey fans sometimes do.

这些论点都不是很有说服力。一项活动而不是某种物质会导致成瘾的说法在医生之中存有争议,游戏和暴力有因果关联的观点也一样。与战斗有关的运动没资格进入奥运会的看法也与历史不符。标枪和摔跤在公元前708年被纳入奥运会,现在仍是奥运项目。包括射击和击剑的现代五项最初是为了训练士兵。《堡垒之夜》中的虚拟战斗无法与拳击造成的实实在在的伤害相提并论。电竞迷人数众多,但不会像足球迷或冰球迷那样不时在市中心闹事。

As for the fact that e-sports belong to companies, so what? The Olympics already generates billions from broadcasting and sponsorship. Commercial pressure can make for livelier entertainment. Having a video game named as an Olympic sport would be a huge prize. Companies would vie to create games as exciting to watch as they are to play. This sounds like a recipe for fun. Those who disagree can always watch the 20,000-metre speed-walk. Put “Fortnite” in the Olympics, and millions will tune in who might otherwise not have bothered. They might even stumble across a traditional sport and decide to try it, too. And if the experiment fails, no matter. The International Olympic Committee could drop it in 2024, as it has previously dropped croquet, tug-of-war and solo synchronised swimming.■

至于说电竞项目属于某些公司,那又如何呢?奥运会已经通过转播权和赞助产生了巨额收入。商业压力可以让娱乐更具活力。如果一款电子游戏能成为奥运项目,将是一项巨大的激励。游戏公司将争相开发既好玩又好看的游戏。这听起来是靠谱的趣味配方。不同意的人总还可以去看两万米竞走。把《堡垒之夜》纳入奥运会,成百千上万原本对奥运没兴趣的人可能就会收看。他们甚至说不定会偶然看上一项传统运动,决定自己也试试看。而就算这项实验失败了,也没关系。国际奥委会可以在2024年放弃这个项目,就像它曾经放弃过门球、拔河和单人花样游泳一样。