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If you’re not sure what esports are, you aren’t alone. But for educators, parents, and designers of educational environments, it’s time to learn. This competitive video gaming is quickly gaining popularity as a form of extracurricular activity for intermediate and higher learning institutions. As the popularity of esports continues to rise, it may become even more significant following the pandemic. There are many benefits to esports in educational environments and this will be particularly important as students begin to reintegrate to in-person learning after a year in partial isolation. So how can esports benefit your school or student? Here are just benefits for your consideration.

1. Helps Students Prepare for the Workforce

Emerging research shows that playing video games may translate to a skill set that’s ideal for tech jobs. With jobs in the tech field on the rise throughout the nation and globally, it’s important to nurture these skills in youth. While excessive screen time is problematic, gaming for students may be a healthy way to learn and prepare for the future. The challenge is balancing the activities online with rest and movement, for optimal health.

2. Provides a Source of Revenue

Michael Aguilar is the Director of Esports at the University of Oklahoma. He gave a Ted Talk about the value of esports from a financial and educational perspective. In his Ted Talk, he draws a comparison between revenue generated by the NBA and esports competitions in the same year. In 2018, esports revenue exceeded $865 million. Growth has continued to rise since that time. Today the esports market is valued at over 1.08 billion dollars. This growth means job creation, as well as a potential source of revenue for educational institutions. In the same way that football games create revenue for higher learning institutions, esports may do the same thing, if programs are invested in and supported by faculty and staff.

3. Creates Entertainment and a Sense of Community

Aguilar compares the rise in popularity in esports to the creation of football. In 1879, college students improvised on the game of rugby to create what is now known as American football. Today, football games provide a sense of entertainment, community, and competition at collegiate and professional levels, all the way down to pee-wee leagues for small children. Aguilar says there’s no reason to doubt that esports can have a similar effect on school communities, providing one more sense of togetherness and a chance to compete for glory in the name of school spirit.

4. Introduces Technology to Diverse Learners While some students are naturally drawn toward the sciences and technology, some shy away from these subjects. In fact, some are even discouraged from participating. Esports create buzz and fun around gaming and technology, creating a sense of competition and school spirit the same way a football game might. This will encourage students from diverse backgrounds to be interested in computer science and tech, preparing them to succeed in the workforce and in life.

5. Promotes a Sense of Belonging

Dr. Chris Fagundes is Associate Professor of Psychology at Rice University. He spoke at MooreCo’s Thrive Forward webinar about teens and psychological development. He said that there’s a “loner myth” about adolescents that suggests that teens who spend too much time on their own may be unhappy. He says this is not always true. Many students thrive working alone, as we’ve come to discover throughout this pandemic. For gamers who appreciate interacting in an online environment, activities creates a sense of virtual community. For those competing in real time, it creates community the same way track meets or school dances might. Bringing like-minded people together to share their passions can lead to increased self-esteem in students and lasting friendships.

How to Create an Esports Environment

Alexa Feldman is Interior Design Coordinator at LPA Design Studios in San Antonio. She works with schools to create energetic educational environments. She spoke at MooreCo’s Thrive Forward webinar this spring, presenting an esports classroom using MooreCo furniture. She intelligently and consciously chose pieces that allowed students to feel comfortable and inspired while they game. For seating, Alexa chose ergonomic chairs so that competitors can remain comfortable working for hours. The Butterfly Ergonomic Executive Chair and Elate Task Chair are ideal for all-day work at a computer. With lumbar and cervical support, as well as weight-sensing mechanisms, these seats fit perfectly to the user and allow movement throughout the day.

The Cocoon Media Space was placed toward the outside of the gaming room, ideal for students to congregate at one large, interactive table. MoorePower Towers provide all-day charge to gaming environments where devices and computers are at the center of the curriculum. In order to create a balance of rest and play, MooreCo Beanies and Rocking Stools can be used to create movement and a brain break from game strategy. This can be especially important for students who are easily overstimulated or need some down time before resuming their activities.

Esports environments are easy to create when you have access to the right pieces. Top-of-the-line educational technology, flexible seating, colors that inspire, and tables where students can come together will facilitate a learning experience that hums with excitement, play, and sportsmanlike competition.

We’re Here to Help…

With the passage of the Cares Act and the American Rescue Plan, ESSER funds are available for schools to spend in order to help students catch up following the pandemic. An investment in extracurricular activities that sharpen academic skills (like those in tech, science, and the arts), will help keep students engaged. Now is the opportunity to create the learning spaces of the future so that students will feel prepared for the workforce ahead. If you’re curious about creating alternative learning spaces that will inspire, collaboratoriums, labs, or esports rooms, let us know. We can help you create these spaces that will rocket your students’ learning experience and take them higher than they’ve ever imagined. Contact us today so we can help! 877.834.9711 Toll Free

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