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.