Challenges of Esports

What the statistics tell us

Some Primary Statistics

0%
of all players reported experiencing “severe harassment” such as physical threats, stalking and sustained harassment *
0%
of college esports players reported suffering from eye fatigue and eye strain**
0%
of college esports players reported back and/or neck pain from excessive play**
0%
of college esports players reported wrist and/or hand pain from excessive play**

Academic Esports

Many educators know that esports — multiplayer video games played competitively for spectators — are no longer just for fun. In fact, two-thirds of the U.S. population over the age of 13 are gamers, and an estimated 100 million people worldwide were esports players in 2017.

When adopted properly, esports programs in Middle Schools and High Schools can be so much more than a fun activity. An effective program can heighten enrollment in STEAM areas of study, break gender gaps for STEM instruction, reinforce character development, help young people explore a wealth of new emerging careers across the esports industry and give young people an advantage when applying to colleges.

Implemented effectively, esports can impact all facets of student learning, as shown in the below graphic, from interpersonal communication, intrapersonal communication and overcall cognitive ability.

Esports can also help bridge the STEM skills gap by luring in young students with the appeal of cutting-edge technology. For example, more than 60 percent of “League of Legends” gamers major in STEM subjects as undergraduates, an executive for the game publisher recently told SportTechie. By comparison, 36 percent of U.S. undergraduates major in STEM fields, according to the National Science Foundation.

Addressing the Two 800 Pound Gorillas of Academic Esports

Educators, students and parents alike are growingly concerned about two substantive challenges regarding esports that prevent it from being both a healthy and inclusive environment:

Bullying/Harassment

Gaming communication “can be hostile” and “misogynistic and hurtful.” Women report being routinely subject to “nasty comments about their abilities, knowledge, appearance and tone of voice.” Codes of conduct can only go so far to change this behavior.

K-12 Blueprint

Health & Safety

Eye fatigue (56%), back/neck pain (42%) and wrist/hand injuries (36%) reported among college esports players. While no data currently exists for K-12, once such information is published, it could create fear among school officials and board members to cancel esports.

BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine

Exposure to Litigation

As a result of these known harms, schools and universities are potentially exposed to future litigation for not protecting players from injury or harassment. Here is a sampling of articles highlighting these known issues impacting esports efforts nationwide.

Bullying/Harassment

“Female Esports Players Face Routine Sexism”

NY POST

“Video Games…Are ‘Hunting Grounds’”

NY TIMES

“Racism, Misogyny, Death Threats…”

Washington Post

Injuries

“Doctors Raise the Alarm About Esports Injuries”

CBS News

“Esports Medical Study Reveals Unhealthy Sleep Patterns”

Daily Esports

“Wrist Injuries are the Bane of Professional Esports Athletes”

Daily Esports

Healthy Player ONE in the News

Here’s a sampling of some of the latest announcements, partnerships and news articles highlighting Healthy Player ONE:

“Toxicity in Esports is a Potential Title IX Issue”

District Administration

“Addressing the 800-Pound Gorillas in Scholastic Esports”

eschool news

“Toxicity in Esports a Potential Title IX Issue”

University Business

“NASEF Preferred Provider of Anti-Bullying Software”

NASEF

“Solves Two Largest Concerns for Scholastic Esports”

The Learning Counsel

“The 4 ways schools can prevent injuries, avoid liability”

District Administration

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