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Esports Revolution: Introducing Cutting-Edge Esports Curriculum to Public School Student


 

Published by Hector Navarro, July 30, 2023


Full disclosure, images from this blog post are AI-generated images.


The Data:

According to the Entertainment Software Association’s (ESA) 2020 Economic Impact Report, the video game industry in the US generates $90 Billion in annual economic output and more than 429,000 jobs nationwide. Unfortunately, only 2% of those jobs belong to Black or Hispanic employees. This is an obvious problem to the blatant gatekeeping and racial Inequity that prevents gamers of color from feeling represented in the decision-making processes that affect the gaming industry, which has led to a lack of diversity in game development and a lack of understanding of the unique cultural needs in the diverse and segmented gaming community. This can result in a lack of access to resources and opportunities for gamers of color, as well as a lack of understanding of the unique needs of these communities and cultures.


 


The Solution


The solution is honestly quite simple, we need more diversity in the industry. This can be achieved by creating more opportunities for minority-owned businesses and encouraging them to get involved in the gaming industry. Additionally, we need to promote diversity in the workplace and advocate for more diverse representation in the gaming industry, both in publishing and esports. Finally, we must encourage gaming in our education system by advocating for esports afterschool programs and esports-centered accredited curriculums that we can deploy to students in underprivileged, misrepresented, and economically castrated communities.


 

Our Task:

We are taking direct action here in Waterbury, CT, by working with other local nonprofits to create a needs analysis on our community schools; based on the results and gathered data, we would work on integrating the NASEF esports curriculum first into an afterschool program and then an elective in our Waterbury Public School System. With the help of some funders, sponsors, and partners, we aim to pilot our first esports program at one of the local middle schools.


Esports has quickly become a powerful tool in education; offering services and programs like this will give students motivation and a unique way to learn and grow. Students will learn to enhance communication and critical thinking skills to boost teamwork and problem-solving. Esports can and will provide a lasting educational benefit to our community.


 

The Potential:

Locally, we want to equip students with the skills and knowledge so we can then hire them as interns and potential salaried employees. On a state level, esports can open up new career paths for students, allowing them to explore the world of gaming and career paths simultaneously. Esports can also help foster an inclusive environment, providing students with a space to bond and socialize, form supportive relationships, and gain a greater appreciation of diversity.


We want to provide our youth the opportunity not just to be consumers of this industry but also creators, developers, and publishers that can creatively diversify esports into a sustainable culture-driven industry. On a very high level, this industry allows for teamwork and networking, creating opportunities for students to collaborate and learn from one another. The potential for exposure is more than nationwide, students have the opportunity to develop global relationships online through esports, and these connections open opportunities for students to gain international experience.

 

The Opportunities:

There are multiple career opportunities in the esports industry, including event and tournament management, stream production, marketing, game design, lawyers, publishers,

developers, and so much more. Students can learn several real job placement skills to help them achieve these career opportunities. Skills like project management, leadership, communication, problem-solving, critical thinking, and teamwork are essential in this industry. It is important to promote teamwork and collaboration to help students develop these essential skills. We look forward to deploying our resources to the public schools and utilizing our subject matter experts as instructors to teach students how to host, manage, market, and broadcast their esports tournaments.


 

Education in Esports:

Students need to be equipped with the right skills that are applicable to the industry. The esports industry has surpassed the music, film, and some traditional sports industries in terms of viewership, revenue, and overall growth. Local state colleges and Universities here in Connecticut also offer classes and degrees in esports. For example, Post University offers a Master of Science in Gaming and Esports Management degree. Our collective goal in our community should be to help students develop the necessary skills to thrive in this rapidly growing industry.


 

Get Involved:


Parents/Educators:

How can parents and educators get involved in esports? One of the most common ways is to encourage kids to participate in esports competitions and events. Parents and educators can help by providing support and guidance in the form of advice, resources, and encouragement. Additionally, parents and educators can support esports by providing access to quality gaming hardware and software, as well as providing mentorship and guidance to players. Finally, parents and educators can also get involved in esports by organizing or attending local tournaments, conventions, and events and also by hosting gaming tournaments for students.



Administrators/Elected Officials:

How can public school administrators, board of education commissioners, alder-people, and the mayor support local esports in their district? One of the most important things they can do is provide an integrated esports curriculum that students can select as an accredited elective they can use to graduate. They can also encourage esports clubs in their districts for students to participate in this industry at a young age from k-12. Additionally, administrators and elected officials can help by offering financial resources for programs, team travel, and competitions. They can also partner with outside organizations to provide additional resources and support. Finally and most importantly, they can help create an inclusive and safe environment for students to participate in esports while encouraging them to be active and engaged in the esports community.


 

The Downside:


Unfortunately, it's not all rainbow roads in the esports industry, there is sexism, toxicity, racism, and other forms of discrimination that can be found in the gaming world, just like in any other platform or community. This further acknowledges the need for a curriculum that provides a social and emotional learning component to teach students how to regulate their emotions and treat everyone only with respect and understanding. It's important to address these issues and create a positive and safe space for everyone, and it starts with a community-driven curriculum with input and feedback from all stakeholders alike, students, parents, teachers, administrators, etc.


 

Action:

We need your help spreading the word! We are hosting several fundraising tournaments to help us fund the implementation of a community-driven esports curriculum in Waterbury Public Schools. We are accepting donations and looking for sponsors interested in investing in our goals. If you are interested or anyone you know may be interested, please email info@brasscitygamers.com. Be sure to follow us for updates as we continue to work on developing this curriculum this year.

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