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June 2, 2022

A Case for Academic Esports in Schools

Academic Esports is So Much More than Kids Playing Video Games. Discover the benefit of having esports in your school.

The public perception of academic esports is shifting. A study in February 2022 by Dell and Intel found that over two-thirds of parents surveyed felt favorably about their children having access to esports in their school. The study, which focused on the perception of citizens in the UK, also discovered that an overwhelming majority of school administrators felt optimistic about the introduction of esports to academia. On our side of the pond, however, this transition is seeing its fair share of growing pains. From concerned parents to wary opinion articles, folks of all sorts are expressing concern that schools are letting children play video games and calling it learning.

We at Mastery Coding are here to calm those fears. Esports programs in schools are so much more than just kids playing video games. The right academic esports program can be a source of incredibly valuable life skills, knowledge, career awareness, and even inspiration for students to value and pursue real, practical passions.

Play is a necessary part of development, which children use to learn, practice, and understand the world around them. Playing games is how children build social skills, work on talents that interest them, and develop into adults prepared for the society they expect to grow into. Allowing children this time is imperative to help them grow into functioning members of society. Playing video games is no exception. Just as with traditional forms of play, important skills are built and mastered over time. Except, the skills built with gaming today may be more applicable to the future your children will become adults in.

Video games, over decades of study, have been found to have an incredibly wide range of benefits. One such study found that playing 3D games is correlated with higher geometry test scores, as students are more able to mentally visualize shapes and better deal with test anxiety. Another study found that playing puzzle and strategy games gives children a competitive edge in creative thinking and problem-solving. Yet another found that children who play action games have an easier time focusing on classroom lessons and, thus, can pick up material faster than their peers.

Furthermore, not all video games are alike. The public perception of gaming trends more towards images of war games and violence, which fails to include the diverse selection of other genres, age groups, and yes, esports, that students are interested in. With Mastery Esports, we offer games that, according to common sense media, are all suitable for high-school-aged students. We also work with schools to select games that adhere to the specific recommendations and preferences of their parents and faculty.

Though video games alone offer a notable amount of benefits to children, a well-designed academic esports program will provide much more than merely the benefits of the chosen video game. In our esports program, Pathway Esports, students are provided with lessons that teach valuable life skills like teamwork and sportsmanship - the same lessons inherent to more traditional sports teams. Plus, Pathway Esports puts significant emphasis on developing social and emotional skills, encouraging interest in technology, game development, and computer science, and informing and preparing students for an expansive selection of career options related to the esports field. Pathway Esports helps gaming become a much more productive use of students’ time.

The esports industry is already massive and, with industry predictions of incredible growth, the industry will be able to support the next generation with diverse, high-paying careers. The artistically inclined video game enthusiast may find themselves designing graphics for adverts or merchandise for teams. The charismatic gamer can find opportunities in shoutcasting and streaming. The player that falls in love with computers and game design will discover the wonders of computer science and game development through our pathway.

Projects in Pathway Esports don’t just have students explore the wide selection of esports industry careers, they provide pathways for students to pursue professions that interest them. Pathway Esports students practice essential skills for careers like video editing, marketing, recording, coaching, streaming, strategizing, and much more in the course. We’ve already found success with this model: our program has already inspired students to begin successful YouTube channels!

If you’re searching for a program that gets a wider swath of students involved in extracurricular activities and teaches valuable life skills, academic esports is the perfect choice. To ensure that students have a pathway to success, inspiration to pursue high-paying career paths, and awareness of the variety of opportunities esports can give them, partner with Mastery Coding to bring Pathway Esports to your school.

Ready to bring Esports to your school? Channel your students’ passion for gaming into college and career opportunities. Let’s partner! Discover Pathway Esports.

Authors

Olivia is Mastery Coding's Content Marketing Director based in Portland, Oregon.