Do Esports Have a Future in Schools?

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G. Poduval, Staff Writer

Esports, or electronic sports, refers to competitive tournaments of video games.

The idea of promoting esports in an educational environment would create many arguments from many different perspectives. But it isn’t a bad idea. In fact, it’s an excellent opportunity for high schools to encourage students to pursue careers in STEM-related fields.

The range of computer-related occupations are steadily growing, and is projected to be the largest category of new jobs between 2014-2024. This could also be a way to encourage students to explore game design and development, and boost student interest in higher education. Many students could be interested in attending esports-related classes due to their interest in video games and tournaments outside of school. It can help students understand crucial life skills such as team building, memory, strategic thinking, preparation, etc.

But, compared to traditional sports, which are already offered in school, esports come with its own cons. For instance, repeatedly engaging in esports for long hours at a time could induce several neurological and physical problems such as carpal tunnel syndrome, repetitive strain injury, back pain, etc. It doesn’t improve writing skills or oral speech, and many other fundamental aspects needed for students to thrive in school.

Schools might also not have the resources to support fully fledged gaming equipment, like good quality monitors and headsets needed for all students participating. Finding multiple competitors would be tough too. Since most schools don’t see video games as competitive team sports to be played in school, there might not be enough schools to compete with. Also, depending on what the school thinks, certain games could be deemed inappropriate to be played in school. And finally, video games cannot serve as a model for real life problems. 

While some schools offer it as a competitive sport to play in a team, others don’t recognize it as a sport at all. Esports have the potential to be useful in the school environment (when in moderation), due to the fact that it could boost many skills and help students be more engaged in their school and career opportunities. Esports might gain more popularity or favor from school systems in the future, but as of right now, the initiative to include it in school is widely unsupported and will likely stay that way for a while.