Video games have changed immensely over the years, and so have the people who play them. Having been popular among young people for decades, video games are now a legitimate global phenomenon experiencing explosive growth. Studies show that overwhelming majorities of teenagers and young adults play video games, and various projections estimate that the esports industry will become a multibillion-dollar market in the near future.
Even that term — “esports” — may be unfamiliar to many midcareer education professionals, and some might be tempted to dismiss the activity as a fad or a waste of time. However, a growing number of high schools and colleges across the country are implementing their own on-campus esports programs to capitalize on student interest, increase students’ engagement and sense of belonging, and (in the case of colleges and universities) entice prospects to enroll.