If you are a parent of a child who is showing an interest in Esports as a career, you might have some questions about what that means. While video games have been around for decades, Esports as an industry is relatively new. Whether you are fully on-board with your child pursuing Esports or are a little apprehensive, there are a few things that can help you understand the industry a little more and help guide your child along their path.
Esports is now an officially sanctioned high school sport in many states.Starting in 2018, many schools across the country will offer Varsity Esports programs for their students. This may seem odd at first glance, however, most of the benefits students gain from playing traditional sports, they can also get from Esports. Students learn to work as a team, create a supportive community, learn dedication, and most importantly, have fun! It not only demonstrates the growth that we are seeing in Esports, but offers those students a chance to be involved – they get to work on teams with other students and play to represent their school. Thinking of Esports as a traditional sport can help you understand why your child might be so passionate and help guide them in their development.
Getting to the top can be very difficult.Just like trying to get in the NFL, the field of Esports is very competitive and it can be extremely demanding on someone who is trying to play professionally. Many pro gamers claim they practiced up to 12 hours a day and some even have video game related injuries such as carpal tunnel. It’s good for parents and students to know that just because playing video games might be fun to the student, playing professionally will require extreme diligence and training. If that sounds discouraging, don’t worry! Your child can still pursue a career in Esports, but know that if playing professionally doesn’t work out, there are a lot of other options out there for them where they can use their gaming experience.
You aren’t limited to just playing video games.Just because the professional gamer status might be difficult to achieve, it doesn’t mean your child can’t pursue their passion! Other job options include technical gaming careers such as video game designer, software developer, animation engineer, and more. Other Esports career options are industry jobs which can be a producer, marketing manager, market researcher, or sales representative. Check out this blog to get some more information about these job options.
The Path to Esports can involve a lot of great learning opportunities.Esports is an entire industry and it is growing rapidly. This means that the jobs that surround Esports are continuing to become much more plentiful, similar to the growth experienced by other professional sports. Really focusing on the skills or interests your child has can help you guide them along with other options within the Esports industry.
- Soft skills you can gain along the way: thinking strategically, working together as a team, people skills, communication
- Technical skills you can learn: coding languages, technical understanding of software and code, computer hardware components and maintenance
- Traditional skills: project management, organization skills for event management, strong attention to detail
It’s ok to limit how much your kids play.Traditional sports often have limitations when students can play; they usually practice with a team or only certain times of the year. Esports is different because your child can play all year, day or night, by themselves or with others. There really aren’t a lot of physical limitations to when Esports can be played. Because of this, games can become addicting to some students and their desire to win can cause them to play for hours on end. It’s important for them to be committed, keep trying when they don’t win, and to be self-motivated enough to practice, but just remind them that it’s still important to be well rounded.
- They should have other interests and hobbies. Spending too much time doing the same thing, no matter what it is, can be bad.
- Make sure your child is getting enough exercise outside of the hours they are playing video games. Even Esports players need to be in good shape to play for long hours.
- Limiting screen time is ok. Even if you want to encourage your child in their pursuit of an Esports career, it’s ok to limit screen time. Spending time with friends, socializing, and schoolwork, are all important for kids to thrive.
- Pro gamers do report injuries from repetitive strain and stress. This is just another reason you should be careful to monitor how much they play.
Remember, the Esports Industry is growing very quickly and no one knows what this could look like in just a few years. In the past 5 years, the average salary of Esports pros has grown dramatically. All signs show that this rapid growth is going to continue and there are going to be more and more opportunities for young gamers to find a place in the industry.
If your child is really serious about entering the professional world of Esports, a summer camp might be a great option for them. It's a great place to connect with other gamers, learn more about the industry, and get a sense if they have what it takes to do it for a living. NSG summer camp in Philadelphia provided by JKCP is held at Villanova University and Haverford College. N3rd Street Gamers (NSG) is an esports network that serves semi-professional and beginner gamers. To Learn more about the summer program, click here.