Esports 101 for Parents

Esports-101-for-parents

If you are new to esports then this is a great place to start. Let’s start by defining what esports is.  Esports is an organized competitive gaming format with prizes and goals such as prize money or valuable gaming products. Goals in esports can be anything from the prestige of winning a championship title or moving up in rankings. Many parents are familiar with some version of gaming. In the 1980’s and 90’s most games were played on gaming consoles like  Atari, Sega, Nintendo, or Playstation. Today, games can be played on desktop computers, laptops, mobile phones or gaming consoles that are connected online.  The online component of gaming today is what makes gaming accessible to every human-being around the world. The ability to play a game online with friends and family anywhere in the world makes esports an extremely unique and lucrative business. 

The business of esports starts with professional players and their fans. The value of esports is driven by the fans that attend events in person and/or watch matches online (Online streaming).  Viewing games online is a form of entertainment as well as a way to improve one’s gaming experience by watching experts that give advice and tips on how to improve.

Some teens watch online streaming for the social aspects while others find the streamers entertaining. The primary way to view online streaming is through twitch.com and youtube.com. These websites are the primary broadcast for esports fans to watch professional esports competitions. Millions of esports fans around the world can watch esports matches on these platforms.

As a parent, It’s important to know that not all gamers are alike. Some gamers prefer to play games while others prefer to watch. Some gamers enjoy playing certain games and watching others play games that they have no inclination to play.  As a parent of a gamer, my daughter enjoys watching her friends play minecraft. She also enjoys watching a highly entertaining streamer on twitch.com while she engages with her online friends in the streaming chat. Parents of gamers can inadvertently become gamers themselves. Playing Candy Crush or Words with Friends on your phone is just a couple of examples of how inclusive the title “gamer” can be. Parents that sit and watch their teens play games are considered gamers.  Regardless of your age, gender, game choice, online or mobile…congratulations, you are a gamer.

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FITGMR Tip for Parents

Parents play a crucial role in helping their children improve in esports. There is an old saying that “children will listen to you when they feel listened to”. It’s much easier for a parent of a teen to encourage their gaming in order to give advice on how to balance other important aspects of their lives.  Parents bring unique insights that are important to the balance between gaming and school, family, responsibilities and personal health. Parents can help them not only succeed in their esports of choice, but set them up for future success that contributes to a healthy adult life. 

Start by watching them play. Ask if they mind you watching them spend half an hour or so observing them. This will undoubtedly raise questions about the game, how it works, and the strategies they are using. It will also give you an insight into the physical and emotional effort they invest on a daily basis. You will begin to understand their love and passion for the game.

It’s okay to be concerned about the amount of time your child is spending on the computer or in front of the screen. Make sure to set some ground rules and talk about the importance of balance. Just like in traditional sports, it’s important to take time off and rest.

Sources:

https://edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2019/06/esports-can-increase-stem-equity-higher-education

Author Matt Powell

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