High school sports can sometimes pave the way to college. But what about esports?
“Esports” is another name for competitive multiplayer video gaming. You don’t see colorful team jerseys in esports. Instead, you see the flashing lights of computer screens. You don’t hear cheering crowds. You hear clacking keyboards.
To outsiders, it might not look like much. But for some kids, esports could lead to careers in STEM: science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
As a kid, Kevin Fair loved playing Nintendo. Sometimes his game console would break. When that happened, he pulled out the toolbox. He took the console apart, fixed the problem, and put it back together.
He realized Nintendo was more than a toy. By playing video games and fixing his buggy console, he learned real-life skills. He figured out how to fix computers. He learned to code.
In 2009, Fair started a business called I Play Games! His mission: to show kids—especially kids of color—that gaming can be more than, well, gaming.
Fair isn’t the only one with this mission. Chicago’s DePaul University began offering an esports scholarship. Ten freshman students received the scholarship this school year. The university aims to teach them practical skills for the video game industry.
Esports skills don’t lead only to the video game industry. They can lead to careers in IT, coding, software engineering, and more. As Fair points out, esports teach kids to type fast and analyze data on the fly. In today’s digital workplace, those are valuable abilities.
The University of California Irvine conducted a study on esports clubs in schools. It found that esports boosted interest in math and science—and benefited low-income schools the most.
But esports have their problems too. Some point to privacy concerns for kids who game online. Others say that online games use deceptive tactics to trick kids into making purchases.
Fair understands these dangers. He thinks parents should pay close attention to their children’s gaming habits. “There’s a lot of trash out there,” he says.
For kids to see the connection between video games and career skills, someone needs to show them. “I can have a lot of kids that love playing,” says Fair. “But that doesn’t mean that they’re going to desire to become engineers.”
God created a world full of opportunities to explore, play, and learn. Fair learned new skills by engaging his favorite hobby with curiosity. Now he wants to help others do the same.
How can you enjoy your favorite pastimes in a way that gives God glory?
Why? God sometimes provides unlikely ways to learn and grow. And He provides teachers and mentors to show the way.
This sounds awful, but the way her hair is in the picture, that girl looks like she has a beard. Also It looks like one of the guys in a different photo has his nails painted. Anyway, it probably isn't good to spend so much time looking at a flashing screen. I can see how video games might help in some ways, but there are probably healthier things to do as well other than staring at a screen all day. Just my opinion. I guess there have to be some people who don't mind watching a screen.
I agree with you I'm only aloud to have 30 min of screen time and that's if I practice piano and read for 30 min and play outside for a while.
This is kind of cool, but I think your brain would be fried if you spent to long on video games. I get 15 minutes of screen time if I'm playing by myself or 30 if I'm with my siblings, I very rarely play video games, but I do end up staring at a screen all day for homework. But I do tend to prefer to play piano and read to playing video games.
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