From education to employment

Esports and Education: A Vital Subject for 16-18-Year-Olds

e-sports room

Esports, or competitive video gaming, has rapidly grown into a global phenomenon over the past decade, with millions of people tuning in to watch professional gamers battle it out in virtual arenas. While the popularity of esports has often been a source of controversy, there is no denying that it is a rapidly growing industry that offers numerous opportunities for young people. In particular, the intersection of esports and education has the potential to provide 16-18-year-olds with valuable skills and experiences that can benefit them in a variety of ways.

One person who has been at the forefront of this intersection is James Fraser-Murison, Head of Education at hundo and Esports Director at Queen Mary’s College. 

Fraser-Murison has been a vocal advocate for the benefits of esports in education and has worked to promote the development of esports programs at schools and universities, working alongside Pearson and the British Esports Association to help launch the esports BTEC in 2020. In this article, we will explore some of the reasons why esports and education are a vital subject for 16-18 year olds.

First and foremost, esports can teach valuable skills that are relevant to many fields. As Fraser-Murison has pointed out in previous interviews, playing video games competitively requires a range of skills that are useful in the workplace, such as teamwork, communication, and problem-solving. In addition, esports players must be able to think quickly and adapt to changing circumstances, which are skills that can be applied in a variety of situations. By participating in esports, young people can develop these skills in a fun and engaging way, which can help prepare them for future careers.

James Fraser-Murison speaking at Bett Global

Furthermore, esports can be an effective way to engage young people who may not be interested in traditional sports or extracurricular activities. For many teenagers, video games are a central part of their social lives, and participating in esports can provide a way for them to connect with peers and feel a sense of belonging. This is especially important for young people who may feel isolated or excluded from other social groups. By providing opportunities for esports at schools and colleges, educators can create a welcoming and inclusive environment that meets the needs of a diverse student body.

Another benefit of esports is that it can help young people develop a sense of identity and purpose. As Fraser-Murison has noted, many young people struggle to find their place in the world, and esports can provide a sense of belonging and direction. By participating in esports, young people can discover their strengths and interests, and develop a sense of pride and accomplishment. This can be especially important for students who may struggle in traditional academic subjects, as it can help them find a niche where they can excel. 

According to the British Esports Association, esports education can provide a range of benefits for students. These include developing critical thinking skills, improving hand-eye coordination and reaction times, and enhancing digital literacy. In addition, esports can help students to build confidence and self-esteem, as they develop their skills and compete against other players.

Furthermore, the Global Esports Federation recognizes the importance of esports education in preparing students for the future of work. In a rapidly changing job market, it is crucial for students to be adaptable and flexible. Esports education can provide them with the skills to succeed in a range of careers, from esports journalism and event management to marketing and advertising.

Finally, esports can provide young people with opportunities to learn about technology and innovation. As the esports industry continues to grow, it is becoming increasingly reliant on new technologies and innovations. By participating in esports, young people can learn about these technologies and develop an understanding of how they work. This can help prepare them for careers in technology and related fields, which are likely to be in high demand in the coming years.

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