The Rise of E-Sports: Are They Real Sports? Should Your Child Get Involved?
In recent years, the world of competitive gaming, known as e-sports, has gained immense popularity and recognition. As this phenomenon continues to captivate both young and old alike, debates surrounding the legitimacy of e-sports as "real" sports have arisen. Furthermore, parents are faced with the decision of whether to introduce their children to the world of competitive gaming. Let's explore the pros and cons of e-sports and invite you to join the conversation on social media, as we delve into the question: Are e-sports real sports, and should you get your child involved?
The Pros of E-Sports:
- Skill Development: E-sports demand quick reflexes, strategic thinking, hand-eye coordination, and teamwork, fostering skills that can translate into other areas of life. E-sports athletes have to be willing to communicate on the fly and make decisions with their teammates very quickly. Here is some more information on how E-sports may better prepare a student for their future: How Gaming Skills Can Improve Job Readiness
- Career Opportunities: The rapid growth of e-sports has opened up a multitude of career options, including professional players, coaches, commentators, event organizers, and streamers, providing new avenues for success. Check out the image below created by Toni Taipalus (a graduate of University of University of Jyväskylä with a Ph.D. in Computer Science and Information Systems) highlighting the career paths E-Sports athletes are likely to fall into.
- Inclusivity: E-sports transcends geographical boundaries and physical limitations, making it accessible to individuals with disabilities and promoting diversity and inclusivity within the gaming community. Michael Begum, better known as 'Brolylegs', was born with a medical condition known as arthrogryposis a condition where muscle weakness and joint contracture limit body movement. His inspiration is known around the fighting game community as he has become a well known prolific street fighter player, placing 25th out of 1,400 contestants in Street Fighter V at EVO 2022.
"I want to be considered one of the best... That's all I want, not to just be recognized as a disabled player but to be seen as a good player. I get that its attached to me, it's part of my legacy. But I want to be more than that, I want to transcend it."
- Michael Begum
- Scholarships and Education: Many colleges and universities now offer e-sports scholarships, recognizing the potential of talented players and providing opportunities to combine education with competitive gaming. Clubs and in this case, E-Sports, thrive off of students being given chances to pursue their dreams and interests. So it's not surprising that colleges and universities are offering these opportunities now.
Check out what scholarships for E-Sports are available here: Scholarships
The Cons of E-Sports:
- Mental Health: Just like any other form of entertainment, excessive gaming can negatively impact mental health. Setting boundaries and monitoring your child's gaming habits is essential.
- Academic Performance: While e-sports can foster skills applicable to various disciplines, excessive dedication to gaming can have a detrimental effect on academic performance. Striking a balance between gaming and studies is vital. This is a challenge that most athletes and students involved with afterschool activities have to overcome as they learn to prioritize their academics.
The rise of e-sports has sparked an ongoing debate about whether they can be considered real sports and whether parents should encourage their children to get involved. By examining the pros and cons, we can navigate this discussion thoughtfully and make informed decisions. Remember, there are potential benefits to be gained from e-sports, such as skill development, career opportunities, inclusivity, and scholarships. However, it is important to address concerns related to mental health and academic performance.
We invite you to join the ongoing conversation here and share your thoughts, experiences, and questions on social media. Together, let's explore the evolving landscape of e-sports and its impact on our children's lives.