When we're on the topic of video games in campus, it would somehow go down this warpath of "battle of the parents and admin versus the students." When on the topic of esports, there's that slippery slope of "campus esports being the path to pro."
While both statements have some truth in them, it oversimplifies the stakes.
It simplifies esports as an industry, that participating in it can only result into going pro. If this is true, competitive video games would have stayed in computer shops back in the day. No one would have streamed it, made graphics for it, casted it, wrote for it, planned it. A 5 vs 5 match can have around 30 people in the background running the show.
It simplifies and needlessly pits the priorities of a parent and a student against each other. At the root of it all, both just wants a better quality of life. The parent wants their kids to have a bright future. The kid is making the most of their present to find out and own what future they can have.
We're at the paradigm shift of entertainment and education. The norm our parents grew up in is vastly different from ours. That difference goes both ways. Each new generation is immersed in ever changing digital trends and lifestyle. Even marketers have a hard time keeping up. Parents would too.
There is a human constant to all this. The youth, whichever generation it may be, craves for connection, competition and collaboration just like any other generation. The format and content just changes with the time.
In the Alliance program, we use video games as a tool for character and skills development. Games do that inherently. We just make sure to underline both soft and hard skills that goes with it.
If you're an esports student athlete, your communication, team work and mental fortitude is up there compared to the average student.
If you're a streamer, your creativity, emotional intelligence and production skills are being tested each time.
If you're a student leader for your gaming and esports org, you're basically running a sports org simulator. Not only would you have to worry about scouting the best talent in campus, you have to develop and market them in their competitions while not forgetting to engage your fans, the student body.
Students in the Alliance are doing all this right now without being bound to their courses. Business majors are doing graphic design for their team posters. Economics majors are having team building sessions to prep for their next game. The interdisciplinary nature of video games and esports has brought out the best in many. I know it did for me when I was a student.
If we're telling the youth that they should believe in themselves, we should believe in them too.