ON THE USE OF ESPORTS IN EDUCATIONAL SETTINGS. HOW CAN ESPORTS SERVE TO INCREASE INTEREST IN TRADITIONAL SCHOOL SUBJECTS AND IMPROVE THE ABILITY TO USE 21ST CENTURY SKILLS?
1 Danube University Krems (AUSTRIA)
2 Bildungsdirektion Wien (AUSTRIA)
About this paper:
Conference name: 15th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 8-9 March, 2021
Location: Online Conference
Abstract:The rise of interest of Esports combined with the interest of spectating other people playing games has increased immensely over the last years. For example, according to a study conducted in 2019 on behalf of Austrian Entertainment Software Association, 5.3 million people currently play games in Austria alone, 2.6 million of them daily. To compare this with the number of inhabitants, 8.8 million people live in Austria. The rapid developments in 2019 show that Esports is no longer a marginal phenomenon but has found its way into the middle of society. Even in the pandemic year 2020, Esports and digital gaming seem to have received a boost. During the time when no sports were allowed, Esports games, especially those that are similar to classic sports, were broadcast on regular television. Games, often condemned, were recommended by institutions such as the WHO to promote emotional and psychological health. 50% of Austrians under the age of 25 are interested in Esports and every 7th Austrian currently consumes Esports content. More than 38,000 registered players according to Austrian Esports Federation (ESVÖ), numerous new teams and companies related to the topic show that Esports is on the road to success. Classic sports clubs are increasingly focusing on the topic of Esports in order to win young people over to becoming fans of the club and also to become interested in classic sports through Esports.
Therefore, it was only a logical step that first attempts were made to integrate the topic of Esports into everyday school life. The first school leagues were established very early in Germany, often initiated by individual console manufacturers. In America there is the North American Scholastic School league as a prime example of the combination of 21 century skills that can be acquired through esports.
This article deals with the topic of Esports in the scope of pedagogical work in both school and after school settings. The authors initiated the trial season and are now co-responsible for the upcoming first full season of the Vienna Esport School League Floridsdorf+. They share their experience in planning and running the league. Furthermore, they show how Esports can be applied in an educational context, clarify the objectives and non-objectives of Esports in the educational setting and also address the hurdles and problems related to Esports in the school and youth centre environment in general and at the time of the Covid-19 crisis in particular.
Keywords: eSports, School League, 21st Century Skills.