Fort Qu’appelle – “So, you mean you play video games?” It’s pretty much the first question we have to answer and it’s usually followed by a subtle chuckle or eye roll.
Yes, we play video games, but let’s be clear – this isn’t Mario Cart… this is eSport – the brave new world of competitive gaming. At first blush, the idea of professional and competitive video gaming may sound absurd, but eSport has grown exponentially in the last three years, to the point where millions of dedicated gamers compete in live tournament events worldwide. Just suspend disbelief for a minute and let us start at the beginning.
Our schools are home to 21st century learners – who live, learn, and interact with each other electronically. Unfortunately, schools have been slow to embrace these new technologies – they’re often the place where students are told to “power off.” We noticed a growing demographic of students who were not interested nor engaged by traditional extra-curricular offerings like volleyball or drama. We saw the opportunity to offer an after school eSport Club as a natural evolution to the school’s extra-curricular offerings. We applied to the school division and were given the opportunity to run an eSport pilot during the 2013-14 school year. Now, thanks to the forward and open thinking of the school division, we are one of the first schools in the province and Canada to host a dedicated eSport club!