Skyrim Marathon anyone :) Will video games be included in the next Olympics?

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As London sweeps up the mess from the 2012 games, Cologne, Germany is playing host to the Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) competition that will run through August 19th. Modern pro-gaming (or “eSport”) competitions like IEM are not only rewarding big money prizes, they are earning sizable viewing audiences. This year’s IEM, for example, is expected to attract 250,000 attendees to watch the event (10% more than last year) with more than 20 million people watching live feeds of Star Craft II and League of Legends competition.

And the professional gaming trend is spreading all around the world. This past June, 20,000 fans gathered at the $200,000 purse Major League Gaming Spring Championship in Anaheim.

Riding atop the eSport wave is gaming voyeur service TwitchTV, which boasts millions of monthly visitors and has proven to be one of the world’s hottest media commodities. It was one of the first partners for Kickstarter favorite Ouya and has even struck an advertising partnership with CBS Interactive.

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