eSports in Schools? Making a case for eSports in schools using research!

In this video I walk through research on learning, engagement, and retention as it pertains to gaming and eSports. This is part of a literature review I have done to help make a case for eSports at my university. It’s important for people to understand that eSports is more than just gaming – its a community that involves learning, teamwork, project management, and much more. For students, it can improve grades, increase motivation to come to school and participate, and give them a chance to get involved in their school and community.

Here is some of the research I highlight:

  1. Video games and learning (*This research focused on games for entertainment, not instructional games)
  • Strategic game play predicts higher problem solving skills and academic grades (Adachi & Willoughby, 2013)
  • Computer and video game play can lead to a higher GPA (Bowers & Berland, 2013)
  • Socialization that occurs within and around games can lead to social knowledge construction and scientific reasoning skills (Steinkuehler & Duncan, 2008)
  • There is compelling evidence indicating that action video game play engenders clear enhancements in an array of perceptual, attentional, and cognitive skills (Green, Bavelier, Daphne, 2016)
  • Playing action video games enhances several different aspects of visual processing (Green & Bavelier, 2007)
  • Large % of those interested in eSports major in STEM fields – double the national average (Reames, 2018)
  • Providing competitive eSports teams in schools satisfies the growing desire to train and educate students on the soft skills emphasized in STEM and Career Technical Education (CTE) education, as well as in programs such as English and Language Arts (Rothwell & Shaffer, 2019)
  1. Engagement and retention
  • eSports competition is a catalyst for the application of real world skills and problem solving ability (Baltezarević & Baltezarevic, 2019). This competition takes place outside of the classroom as an extracurricular activity similar to any other sport (Kane & Spradley, 2017).
  • Participation in extracurricular activities leads to school identities, behavioral engagement in the classroom, higher grades and test scores, higher educational achievements, more regularity in class attendance and higher self-confidence, leadership and teamwork abilities in students. (Im, Hughes, Cao, & Kwok, 2016; Tariq, 2018)
  • Participation in extracurricular activities decreases the use of drugs, alcohol and behavioral and disciplinary problems related to their use. (Legacy Healing, Delray and Tariq, 2018)
  • More than 80% of students in the High School eSports League were not involved in other extracurricular activities before eSports. (Schaffhauser, 2019)
  • Without a school esports club, passionate gamers often feel left out of mainstream school social life. Organized esports bring these kids into the fold. It can help them become accepted and respected members of their school community. Keeping them excluded can leave lasting damage. Being excluded is an invisible form of bullying (ViewSonic, 2019; Williams, Kipling & Nida, 2011)
  • Playing video games prior to learning can lead to higher levels of engagement, motivation and achievement (Kapp, Valtchanov, & Pastore, Under Review – Minor Revisions in ETRD)

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