Long gone are the days when kids played games like Tetris, Mario Brothers, and Pac Man solely at home and during their free time. Once considered a recreational activity, gaming is now a highly influential and rapidly growing industry thanks to the introduction of eSports, a form of competitive video gaming. According to one estimate, the global eSports market will be worth $1.4 billion by 2020 and could even reach $2.4 billion.
Members of Generation Z (those born in the mid-90s to mid-2000s) are fueling the growth of eSports. Often referred to as the first digital generation, Generation Z grew up using the internet, and according to Nielsen, 73 percent of them own video game consoles. The generation behind Z (Generation Alpha) is sure to be equally adept, and both K-12 and higher education are adopting eSports at a rapid pace.
In 2018, the number of schools represented by the High School Esports League (HSEL) grew from 200 to more than 1,200. High schools are also implementing teams as part of their athletic programs, and eSports is becoming an official high school sport in some states. Many colleges and universities are establishing official collegiate teams, creating spaces for practice, meetings, and competitions, and even offering athletic scholarships.
Benefits of eSports in Education:
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