Supporters of K12 Esports programs have been championing the benefits of these programs, including the capacity to help kids with emotional regulation. Now that popular companies are diving into the world of gaming, with Netflix, Zoom, and Peloton all making moves to bring either gaming or gamification to their platforms, the argument to offer K12 Esports extracurriculars just became stronger. In fact, if gaming continues growing in popularity, providing Esports club and leagues at the K12 level may be essential to upskill kids for trendsetting careers. Here are just a few of the benefits of offering Esports in schools.
Esports Bring Success and Community to Students
The purpose of extracurricular activities is to boost student success, and Esports are no exception. Studies have shown that students involved in extracurriculars miss less school and graduate at a higher rate. They are more likely to pay attention in class and are less likely to engage in harmful activities such as alcohol or drug use. Offering Esports as an extracurricular is an excellent way to reach students who are not involved or interested in school sports or clubs.
In 2018, Pew Research Center reported that 97% of teen boys and 83% of teen girls played video games. Since gaming can be isolating, these students may feel disconnected from school social spheres. Organizing Esports as an extracurricular encourages inclusion and brings students into a healthy community.
Esports Teach Students Valuable Skills
Another purpose of extracurricular activities, especially team sports, is to teach valuable skills. Students who participate in Esports have the potential to learn life lessons and life skills such as teamwork, social skills, strategic thinking, managing success and failure, time management, and more.
It has also been shown that gaming can improve hand-eye coordination since the movement of mouse or controller to screen is challenging. Students are also tracking a number of different inputs while they game and are expected to make split-second decisions from instinct.
Esports Encourage STEM Learning
Involvement in Esports makes students excellent candidates for STEM careers. Most students who enjoy gaming are also interested in technology. In fact, it has been noted that students involved in Esports are more likely to be interested in science, technology, engineering, and math. In 2018, Riot Games said that 62% of participants are from STEM majors.
Esports give students valuable technology experience and knowledge including exposure to hardware platforms, software layers, computer operating systems, and more. Many students become inspired to become programmers or computer hardware designers because of their interest in gaming. Esport players also have to improve their mathematical skills in order to improve their gaming. Science Daily reports that students who play online games score 15 points above the average in math and 17 points above the average in science. Video games involve problem solving and puzzle solving in order to advance levels that often engages general knowledge and skill in math, science, and reading. This allows students to practice what they have learned in the classroom in a format that interests and motivates them.