A UK study from Dell Technologies found that 48% of parents believe esports should be added to the school/college curriculum, while 69% think esports could allow their child to develop skills that they might not get through traditional education methods.
It’s not just parents who had a positive view on esports within education. Alongside the 1,500 parents polled in the study, an additional 500 financial decision-makers such as headteachers and department heads, also expressed a positive view of the subject, with 79% believing it should be taught in schools. 32% of the same parents expressed they would be happy for their child to pursue a career within esports, and 67% admitted that their own lack of education regarding the subject made it difficult to discuss. Given the seemingly explosive rise in popularity during the last decade, this is an understandable concern.
The courses created by the British Esports Association are well balanced, teaching essential skills that are easily applicable outside of a gaming environment such as social media marketing, broadcasting, business planning and event production.
Being introduced to these skill sets can connect to a wide variety of careers, so that even if the student chooses not to pursue esports following graduation, they have the means to enter the world of community management, game publishing and marketing, just to name a few.
It seems that alongside skills that will be genuinely helpful outside of gaming, people attending these courses are also learning how to have a healthy relationship with online spaces and competitive environments.
It’s likely that global Covid-19 related lockdowns have helped to foster some positive attitudes towards hobbies like gaming. With families trapped at home, parents have had an opportunity to understand more about esports and gaming from their children, reducing the stigma associated with them. Outside of video calling platforms like Zoom, online gaming offered the opportunity for children to interact with their friends during a period of time when nobody could leave the house.