Learning Leveled Up – Exploring Esports and
E-Gaming in Education
Brief description of the episode
Mark Deppe, Director of UCI Esports joins Sean Strathy to explore the multifaceted world of esports in education and its potential to enhance student engagement. Mark shares valuable insights on the distinctive fusion of elite competition and academic excellence, highlighting the challenges within esports, and advice for individuals interested in initiating esports programs.
- One major challenge is the absence of regulations or standards in esports programs, leading to varied team structures and competition dynamics, impacting the overall experience for students.
- Managing players with varied issues, including academic responsibilities, living arrangements, and personal issues, poses a continual challenge.
- Striking a balance between university investment and maintaining student agency is crucial to prevent potential disconnects and confusion within the esports program.
- Identifying and addressing diverse preferences among students, including game choices and desired resources, adds complexity to launching and sustaining an esports program.
- Understand and navigate legal limitations related to esports recognition, especially concerning recruitment based on specific categories like gender.
- Implement inclusive programs, such as camps and codes of conduct, to create a supportive environment for underrepresented groups, and address other issues.
- Form task forces involving diverse stakeholders to develop comprehensive plans considering legal requirements, funding opportunities, and community building for diverse representation.
- Tackle challenges in the esports pipeline by collaborating with institutions, reducing online hostility, and challenging stereotypes to make the gaming environment more welcoming to individuals who may not fit traditional gamer stereotypes.
- Consistently implement interventions to encourage diversity and inclusivity, and work on long-term initiatives for sustained accessibility in esports.
- Acknowledge esports as a powerful tool to engage students, particularly those disengaged from traditional activities, enhancing grades, attendance, and school affinity.
- Initiate esports programs through a club structure, offering a space for students to connect and create a sense of community.
- Identify logistical requirements, ensuring dedicated space, suitable computers, and IT support to meet technical demands.
- Recognize the impact of coaching in enhancing gaming skills and life skills like communication, teamwork, tenacity, and hard work.
- Allow students to take active roles in the program by contributing ideas and preferences, encouraging ownership and enthusiasm.
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