e half of the children think play should be included in the school curriculum and would like to see extracurricular eSports competitions hosted by their school or college.
A survey of 13-18 year olds, conducted by gaming accessories company HyperX, found that a majority of young people (55%) believe gambling is a path to a future career, for example by as a professional player.
Dr Dieter Declercq, senior lecturer in film and media studies at the University of Kent, said there is “inherent educational value in modern play”.
âKids understand how big and exciting the gaming industry is. Our children play theater and music at school, why not play video games? ” he said.
âThere is clearly an educational value inherent in modern play. On top of that, kids want to actively participate in games and e-sports – which is not only a socializing opportunity, but can serve as an introduction to a booming media industry with various exciting career paths such as as roles in game design, sound engineering, marketing, dubbing and countless other opportunities.
Dayna Sinclair, UK Regional Director at HyperX, pointed out that lucrative esports competitions and the social aspect of gaming are positive parts of the industry.
âWe have seen young people making millions from gambling in recent years. While not all kids who play end up like a pro or work in the industry, encouraging kids to participate while in school could open up career opportunities later, âshe said.
Despite the increased interest in play in the school curriculum, a similar survey of parents found they were more cynical about the presence of play in schools, with only a quarter of respondents (25%) believing that ‘it should be part of school lessons. and only (32%) said they would be happy for their child to participate in an e-sports competition hosted by the school.
It comes as live streaming service Twitch announced a new academic partnership with the University of Chichester for its new eSports degree.
The social video platform, which receives more than 26 million visitors worldwide every day, partners with the West Sussex-based university to provide more students with the skills and experience to participate to the gaming industry.
The partnership will provide undergraduates of Chichester’s BA (Hons) in eSports, which is the UK’s first degree to examine the impact of gaming through scientific studies, with professionally taught courses from Twitch and broadcast opportunities around the world.
Students in the three-year program will learn in an immersive play environment at the university’s Â£ 35million Tech Park and examine the physical and psychological impact of esports, including nutrition, coaching and strategy.
Keynote speaker Rams Singh, a European esports champion officially known as r2k who has competed in Quake, Trackmania and Battlefield games for the Dignitas team, said: âSince taking this role, one of the my goals have been to bridge the gap between industry and academia for esports. Slowly but surely everything is falling into place and with the help of Twitch this goal is closer to where I want it to go.
Additional reporting by PA Media