Playing Around

E-Games A New Frontier In Education

Playing games at Gamescom in Cologne in August. (Source: Getty Images)
Playing games at Gamescom in Cologne in August. (
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    More educational institutions are adding so-called e-sports – or computer gaming – to their official curriculums. With costs of entry high, even for small classes, it could prove a growing business if more schools decide it’s a good idea.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • Some teachers envisage computer gaming as educational enhancement, suggesting it will encourage students with learning difficulties to get involved. At the moment e-games are most often part of the sports curriculum.
    • The German e-games school championship has been running for ten years. By the final match, played in August, at Gamescon in Cologne, 800 students from 100 schools all over Germany had participated.
    • In Sweden, a school that offered eight students an e-gaming class paid €40,000 for high-end gaming computers.
  • Audio

    Audio

  • Pdf

Tennis is on the curriculum as is gymnastics and there is obviously going to be soccer. But computer games? Surely that’s what teenagers do after school, when they’re lounging around at home, disobeying their parents’ calls to come to dinner.

No doubt that is part of the reason why, when Arlanda highschool, in the Swedish town of Märsta, first introduced computer games – they call it e-sports – interest was enormous, headmaster Andreas Eriksson told the audience at this year’s Gamescom computer fair in Cologne in western Germany. More than 100 teenagers applied for the first class, who would learn about online games in two to three lessons a week. The first class could only have eight students.

“It’s definitely fun to be the first to do this,” Mr. Eriksson said in Cologne. “But it’s certainly not easy.”

While other schools in Sweden and Norway are considering introducing the subject, German educators remain skeptical. Although there was a lot of interest in Mr. Eriksson’s talk, no German school plan to include e-sports in their curriculum yet.

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