The author of this magazine article is Cristina Pez, Acer EMEA Senior Manager for Education, Sales & Marketing.
When talking about video games, there is a tendency to see them as something that takes away from study time and acts as a distraction.
Competitive gaming, or esports, proves that that statement is not necessarily true and that video games can be gainfully integrated into a school’s curriculum and even have a number of surprising benefits on students’ performances outside of the gaming arena.
What “Esports in Education” means
The popularity of esports is on the rise for gamers and watchers alike: gameplay videos on Twitch and YouTube prove that esports are becoming more and more similar to traditional athletics, with professional leagues of players and a steady fanbase of people who like watching video games being played but may not be gamers themselves.
It stands to reason, then, that school esports clubs should be given the same value as traditional sports teams, in spite of detractors claiming that video games are not a ‘real sport’.
Firstly, the whole school can benefit from better equipment that allows members of the esports club to play competitively without the disadvantage of lag: the same hardware can be employed in more traditional educational settings when not in use for esports.
Secondly, playing video games that were not created with an educational purpose in mind can have unforeseen, positive consequences on students’ social and academic skills: it increases spatial awareness and perseverance and hones the ability to think strategically and make split-second decisions under stress, all skills that have been shown to improve their grades and their career chances.
Moreover, while video games are considered a solitary activity, there are, in fact, plenty of games that require players to coordinate their efforts and apply their teamwork skills: parents and teachers have observed that an esports club fosters the same dynamics as a traditional sports team, promoting team spirit and friendship and allowing natural leaders to emerge.
“With the emergence of Esports onto the international arena,
education is ripe for disruption” – Cristina Pez
Why Acer is the ideal partner to include esports in academic curricula
Whether you intend to offer students a short-term or long-term esports experience and regardless of the level of professionalism your gamers can boast, Acer can provide solutions that suit your needs.
Acer’s commitment to a future in which esports and education go hand in hand, however, is not limited to gaming hardware and gadgets. We are working with an ecosystem focused on esports to encourage responsible gaming and improve both the soft and hard skills of the next generation of innovators through competitive play: thanks to esports, you can learn anything from teamwork to finance and management, with an obvious added bonus—you can also have fun along the way.
The partnership between Acer and British Esports Association
Among the several institutions included in this ecosystem, there is the British Esports Association, a not-for-profit organisation founded in 2016 that shares our belief in a bright future for esports and aims to make the general public more aware of their benefits.
The British Esports Association is based in the UK and is focusing its efforts on promoting British esports talent, but their core principles are applicable anywhere in the world: the association is aware that esports sharpen cognitive and interpersonal skills and even benefit brain development, and that their interactive nature makes esports more engaging than passive media such as television and social media.
While the British Esports Association is not a governing body, it is taking active steps towards getting the value of esports officially recognised and even sits on the London South East Colleges Digital Skills Advisory Board: UK and other countries EMEA are pioneering, introducing esports into their secondary and higher education curricula. Despite the disagreements on whether esports should be classified as a sport, it is clear that they are more than just a game: with global revenues estimated to reach over 1 billion by 2020 and the ability to create thousands of new jobs, esports are having a tangible impact on society that Acer – within an environment that involves partners strongly focused and skilled in esports – seek to promote and bring to the attention of the masses.
Are you a teacher? A school principal or an IT manager? Or are you a reseller?
If you would like to know more about the Acer project to include esports in education, please feel free to write me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let’s get in touch!