Gym class was always the absolute worst at school. To this day, I still have nightmares about the bleep test, a system seemingly designed to inflict torture onto students.
For this reason, I’m insanely jealous of high school students in Norway right now. Particularly those who attend a particular public high school in Bergen. From this August, students will be given the opportunity to take an elective class in eSports. Yep. No longer will they have to break a sweat out on the playground (or ice rink, cos, y’know, Norway). They’ll be able to pitch up a seat in the warmest computer room and flex their fingers until they can feel the inevitable strains of RSI settling in. I’m so jealous right now.
eSports in schools? Are they having a laugh?
Not a jot. eSports is big business, after all. Games like League of Legends, Hearthstone and Call of Duty are no longer reserved for nerds who spend days on end holed up in their bedroom. Some of the most popular players can earn six-figure salaries. Tournaments at some of the biggest arenas around the world regularly sell out.
In fact, you’ve probably got more chance of making it big in the eSports world than you do in the actual, physical sporting world. So, if you think about it, it actually makes sense to give students the option to study eSports in schools.
What would the class involve?
If you’re thinking that the eSports class would just involve staring at a screen for hours, then you’ve got another thing coming. Students have to go through gruelling training worthy of a Rocky-esque montage all of its own.
Students will spend five hours each week studying eSports. The school hasn’t decided which games will be offered, but League of Legends, DOTA 2, Counter-Strike and Starcraft II have all been put forward. 90 minutes each week will involve ‘physical training’ designed for the specific game being played. So, uh, finger stretches? And learning an array of insults to shriek at the screen?
Each student will be graded on their performance in the games, so there’s no excuse for dodging practice at home. Now that’s the kind of homework I could have really got behind, dammit.
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