Paul William Richards
The intersection between esports and education is a place where innovation and excitement flourish. From a perspective of acceptance and encouragement, parents and educators have the chance to find common ground that can help students excel in a sport they are passionate about. Competitive video gaming today already holds the power to create heroes. Athletes who are admired for their determination and excellence are no different whether they are playing on a field or in a computer lab. The tremendous growth in esports is fueled by the internet, live streaming, and global economic demand. The need for a strong educational support system that can ensure positive student development is imperative.
This book reviews the history of video gaming and sports to uncover how esports have evolved from a teenage pastime to an international stage. Richards brings to light opportunities for technology-related career paths that students and educators are finding in the growing Esports industry. Richards explains in plain English how modern esports games like Fortnite and League of Legends, require players to manage multiple economies, respond with split-second reaction times, and communicate with groups of players like a team of navy seals.
Just like Rock and Roll in the 70s, the esports movement may come as a shock to some parents and educators. Using music and culture as examples to explain esports explosive popularity with our society's youth, parents and educators are invited to look at games, sports, and human history in a new light. We now live a world where anyone with a high-speed internet connection has an honest chance to compete on the world esports stage. As the Esports and Education systems in place today come together to channel the excitement and energy behind competitive video gaming, there is the opportunity to create an inclusive and productive culture that can embolden today’s youth to take on the challenges our world will face in the decades to come. The good news for parents, educators, and everyone involved with esports is that this movement is a sport. Sports are deeply embedded in our culture and history. Sports are in many ways responsible for helping generations share their identities. Richards draws on his experience with Broadcast Clubs in education to draw on collaboration and career path opportunities for students. The author draws on a recent esports tournament which included a 100% student-run broadcast team in NYC.
Richards teams up with the Center for Educational Innovation Esports program along with a host of other schools to provide real-world perspectives on what is working in esports and education today. As educators continue to embrace the esports movement students will benefit from learning opportunities that are fueled by passion, excitement, and opportunity. Parents of video gamers will enjoy a recurring theme discussed in this book outlining strategies to create common ground between children, parents, and educators. Richards outlines the history of video game studies to help illustrate the fundamental research parents and educators should understand in terms of video game literacy. Simple strategies can greatly increase the educational value kids can garner from their video gaming experiences. Perhaps sitting down and playing video games with your child isn’t such a bad idea after all? Getting the most educational value from video games requires a full understanding of the social development issues facing kids who simply play too many video games.
This book addresses topics of interest from concerned parents and provides strategies for parents who want to curb their children’s video gaming addictions. Engaging students and preparing them for their interactions in the online world is perhaps the best way of shepherding the youth toward a positive future. This book serves as a wonderful guide and shareable reference for students, parents and educators alike.
Paul William Richards
Esports in Education: Exploring Educational Value in Esports Clubs, Tournaments and Live Video Productions