Since the late 2010s, esports organizations such as the Wisconsin High School Esports Association (WIHSEA), have been offering a bundle of games for high school students to play in a Fall and Spring season format.
These organizations also honor what a "scholar gamer" is. Its origin comes from the RUSD esports program. Honoring it means that you do well in school, while also showing a great competitive and sportsmanlike attitude when participating in esports. Following its motto will lead to students being successful in both school and esports.
However, the parents of scholar gamers may be skeptical of the “scholar gamer'' concept, and high school esports in not only the state of Wisconsin, but the rest of the United States.
This is due to the fact of esports being more prominent than ever before. Which is why parents from past generations are not all in on esports.
Luckily there are benefits that come with a high school student joining esports, and becoming a scholar gamer.
Here are five benefits from participating high school esports.
Better communication and leadership skills
Starting off the list, we have better communication and leadership skills.
Objectively speaking, this is one of the most beneficial components of high school esports. When taking the game library for high school esports organizations into account, most of them rely heavily on communication and strategy.
It is crucial for any scholar gamer to have excellent communication skills with their teammates. Players need to communicate in order to work as a team to defeat their opponents.
Another skill coinciding with improved communication skills is better leadership skills. Leadership skills are developed by a scholar gamer if they help keep the morale surrounding a team high, while making sure everyone plays their “role.” This role could be either playing defense in Rocket League, or performing a designated flank or counterattack in SMITE.
Improvement of these skills comes when the student gains more experience as a leader. Feedback from their teammates or coaches plays a huge role in the development of a scholar gamer transitioning into a great leader.
Althought there are more traditional ways of improving these specific skills, high school esports can definitely be a place to help students grow in these areas.
Higher rate of Self-Confidence
Moving along, we have higher rates of Self-Confidence.
This is one of the most noticeable benefits of high school esports. Some students have a hard time showing self-confidence because they may not have stellar enough grades to impress their parents. Another reason could be that students have not found their calling to unlock a higher level of self-confidence.
Most high school students are playful at heart, and the jump to esports would benefit them for the better. Being able to show coaches and players how amazing you can be at a video game like Rocket League grants a huge boost of self-confidence.
This boost will also help the student's mental health as well. Most people pin point the stereotype of poor health with esports. However, this is not entirely the case.
This episode of The Academy of Esports Podcast hosted by James O'Hagan, explains the correlation between good health and esports. More specifically it highlights how esports promotes good physical and mental health.
With more self-confidence, students will be more comfortable with representing what a scholar gamer is. Which is doing well in school, while also having a great competitive and sportsmanlike attitude when participating in esports.
Improved Problem Solving Skills
Another benefit of high school esports is improved problem solving skills.
The majority of high school students are able to apply their problem solving skills to an extent already. However, these skills can be further improved by playing games like Rocket League for esports.
Problem Solving is heavily prominent in high school esports. Players and coaches run into situations where these skills are needed. Some examples consist of: a coach trying to find a substitute player due to a starter not being able to compete, and players trying to identify the strategy of their opponents.
These are just a couple of situations where problem solving is most useful in high school esports. The improvement upon these skills comes from the experience of knowing how to tackle new situations that come up.
Improving problem solving skills will not only help a student through high school esports, but outside of it as well.
Continuation at the Collegiate Level
Shifting gears, we have continuation at the Collegiate level.
This benefit fits the mold for being more of a long term positive. Much like most clubs, esports can be continued at the College level.
Esports organizations such as the National Esports Collegiate Conference (NECC), allow students the opportunity to participate in esports for select games at their college. The games consist of; League of Legends, Overwatch, Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege, Rocket League, and Valorant.
With over 100 colleges in the conference, it is safe to say opportunities for esports beyond high school are out there.
So if a student chooses to continue esports when they get to college, there will most certainly be opportunities calling their name.
College Scholarship Opportunities
The final benefit on this list is college scholarship opportunities.
The impact of this benefit depends on how you display yourself in high school esports. Esports scholarships for college are relatively new due to the constant rise of esports inclusion at the college level.
Since demand is high, colleges from the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE) are beginning to offer esports scholarships. Students are usually recruited in order to receive a scholarship. The amount depends on a college's varsity esports program and its funding.
If students are able to display their talents well enough as a player or shoutcaster, they may be able to score in esports scholarships of various sizes.
These are just five of the main benefits from participating in high school esports. Parents should definitely be involved with the high school and college esports scenes, as there are many opportunities within them. Which can lead their child to a successful career path.
Andrew Czysz is a shoutcaster and aspiring journalist hailing from Horlick High School. If you enjoy his content, follow him on Twitter at @AC_32.Image courtesy of Game Industry News
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