4 Reasons to Create an Esports Space in the Media Center
- March 31, 2022
- Anthony Bowie
Academic esports continues to grow in K-12 schools as an extracurricular activity that attracts students of all backgrounds. The benefits of esports in schools are clear: evidence shows that academic esports benefits students’ overall academic performance and social emotional learning––plus, students who are successful in esports competitions earn significant opportunities for college and scholarships.
As more students seek to join an academic esports team, schools are finding creative ways to design esport lab spaces for these teams to meet and practice. For many schools, budget and space constraints result in the need for esports teams to meet in flexible, shared spaces throughout the school, such as the media center. Creating an esports space in the media center not only provides a home base for an esports program with limited space and resources, but also offers other benefits for students, including those who aren’t on the team.
Starting small gives your program space to grow and time to build momentum before making considerable investments in an esports arena. It’s important to gain support from all stakeholders before creating a permanent esports arena in your school. Since esports is still a fairly new but trending concept, it can take time for school leaders and parents to all get on board with esports as an extracurricular activity.
The media center is a regularly-frequented common space in schools, so teachers, students, and school visitors are all likely to notice an esports space in the media center. By creating this space in an otherwise common learning area, the esports program is always being showcased to other students and important stakeholders, helping to build interest and grow the team.
By creating an esports space in the media center, schools can start esports programs with limited funds. For tournaments that require a particular set-up to qualify, esports teams can utilize other schools’ esports arenas. Instead of waiting until you have the perfect space to start an esports program, your team can focus on building support, acquiring funds, and practicing gaming skills as you work towards being able to create an arena for your own program.
Designing an esports space within the media center creates a multi-use space with unique equipment and technology for students and teachers to use. These spaces can also be used for courses centered around esports and technology skills, including courses that teach practical career skills like programming, marketing, and game design. This can be a valuable way to connect your school’s long-term career and technology education goals to the extracurriculars your school already offers, engaging students of a variety of backgrounds in important college and career pathways.
If your school has a small or new esports program, creating your esports space in the media center can offer a great opportunity for your program to grow. If you’ve already started your program out of another location in the school, creating a practice area or more permanent esports space in the media center is a great way to engage other students in esports and all of the career-ready skills this extracurricular can provide. The media center can also help to bridge the gap between esports as a fun activity and esports as an extracurricular that prepares students for college and beyond.