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Esports – the Sport of Competitive Gaming

Even some high schools and colleges recognize so-called electronic sports.

By:  |  May 23, 2024  |    502 Words
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(Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images)

Video games have been around for decades. While the 1970s Pong is believed to be the first-ever video game, the credit should possibly be given to Physicist William Higinbotham and the tennis-like game he created in 1958. Over time, game technology advanced, and the hobby became increasingly popular. Today, gaming is considered a sport in some places and is dubbed ‘esports’ – short for electronic sports. Competitive gaming is even recognized by some high schools and colleges, offering career opportunities for those who possess the desired skills.

Gaming as an Extracurricular Activity

While competitive gaming is not new to the scene, the acceptance of it in educational institutions is relatively modern. Since 2018, approximately 8,600 high schools and about 175 colleges have embraced the idea of including competitive video gaming on their list of extracurricular activities. The endless progression of the internet and its capabilities has opened gamers to a new world of possibilities, so much so that many schools now offer scholarships for experienced players.

Increased Collegiate Attention

The popularity of esports is growing at a rapid pace. Experts agree that around 640 million will participate in competitions worldwide by 2025. There are several reasons for the growing trend, including the opportunities it creates, the inclusion of teamwork and communication, and the way it nurtures inclusivity.

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(Photo by Brittany Murray/MediaNews Group/Long Beach Press-Telegram via Getty Images)

Education centers are noticing the attention that esports are receiving. By offering to include gaming on the list of extracurriculars, school officials hope to see involvement from the kids that are less likely to participate in traditional sports and clubs. As a result, kids will be more likely to pursue higher education, and in theory, become more successful individuals.

Today, players can obtain jobs in the field and win fabulous prizes doing it. A famous team known as Team Liquid won $33.5 million at a gaming competition. In multiplayer games, participants must work with one another to accomplish the objective which improves skills necessary in the workplace. Esports also allows those who tend to be more introverted to engage in a social life, foraging friendships and companionship as they play.

Additionally, esports do not require physical perfection. In other words, those with disabilities, illnesses, or physical impairments are just as capable of excelling as those who are more athletically inclined. Schools appreciate the potential improvements esports provides for kids such as collaboration skills, enhanced cyber safety protocols, boosted self-esteem, problem-solving skills, and critical thinking.

Many young adults involved in esports pursue STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) careers. Time management, quick decision making, and teamwork are all contributors to success in the STEM career field.

Other people benefit from esports popularity, as well. As they gain recognition, teams require assistance in planning, scheduling, and overall organization. Opportunities for marketing, management, and engineering staff positions have become more available.

Whether playing for fun, education, or money, competitive gaming allows participants to utilize their unique skills and opens the door to success in an ever-growing field.

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