The Role of Esports in Modern Education: A Guide for Digital Parents

July 8, 2024

As esports continues to grow in popularity, it’s essential for parents to understand its impact on their children. In a digital age where gaming has become a significant part of adult and youth culture, being informed about esports can help parents guide their children toward healthy and productive engagement with this emerging field.

Understanding Esports

Esports, short for electronic sports, refers to competitive video gaming that typically includes cash prizes or scholarships. It encompasses various genres, including strategy games, sports simulations, and first-person shooters, each offering unique challenges and learning opportunities. Esports has seen exponential growth, with 204 Million esports enthusiasts out of 3.3 billion gamers worldwide. This popularity stems from the competitive thrill, the sense of community, and the opportunity to develop skills and careers that are transferable to real-world scenarios. 

Benefits of Esports in Education

One of the most compelling reasons for parents to embrace esports is its educational benefits. Studies have shown that students involved in esports programs often experience academic improvement with an increase in GPA of 1.7 and attendance of 10%. This is due mainly to the structure of having a safe environment with an adult and other students to connect with. Additionally, many esports programs are integrated with STEM/STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) education, making learning more engaging and practical.

Beyond academics, esports fosters the development of soft skills. Teamwork, communication, and strategic thinking are core components of gaming that translate well into academic and professional settings. Players learn to collaborate, develop strategies, and communicate effectively under pressure, all of which are valuable skills in any career.

Moreover, esports supports social-emotional learning. It teaches resilience through overcoming challenges, empathy through teamwork, and emotional regulation as players manage the highs and lows of competition. These skills are crucial for personal development and mental well-being.

Esports Scholarships

There are hundreds of colleges with esports programs in North America and over $25 million in scholarship money. Sadly about $5 - $8 million of those dollars go unused each year because there are not enough students in the pipeline to recruit. This means students who are gaming regularly and are looking to pay for college have lots of opportunities to get an esports scholarship.

Middle school and high school students can find ways to compete in online school-based esports leagues through Generation Esports, where they have paid out over $500,000 in scholarships since 2019 with the support of the Videogames and Esports Foundation.

Implementing Esports Programs in Schools

Integrating esports into school curriculums can significantly enhance the educational experience. Schools can offer esports as part of their technology or physical education programs, creating a structured environment where students can learn and compete. This integration can also make learning more relevant and enjoyable for students who might otherwise disengage from traditional educational methods.

Afterschool esports programs are another excellent way to keep students engaged. These programs provide a safe and supervised environment for students to play and compete, reducing the time they might otherwise spend unsupervised. They also offer additional opportunities for social interaction and community building. 

Safety and Wellbeing in Esports

While esports has many benefits, ensuring the safety and well-being of young players is paramount. Digital safety is a critical concern, and parents should educate themselves on the platforms and games their children are using. Understanding the potential risks, such as cyberbullying and online predators, can help parents implement protective measures.

Balancing screen time with physical activity is another important aspect. Encourage your child to take regular breaks, stay active, and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Monitoring their gaming time and ensuring it doesn’t interfere with their responsibilities, such as homework and chores, is essential.

Creating a positive gaming environment is equally important. Foster an inclusive and respectful gaming culture by discussing the importance of good sportsmanship and respect for others. This helps to mitigate toxic behavior and promotes a healthy gaming community.

Parental Involvement and Guidance

Parental involvement is crucial in ensuring a positive esports experience for children. Start by learning about the games and platforms your child uses. This not only helps you understand their interests but also allows you to have informed conversations about their gaming activities.

Setting boundaries is another key aspect. Establish clear rules about gaming time, balancing it with other activities and responsibilities. Ensure that gaming is part of a well-rounded lifestyle that includes physical activity, social interactions, and academic pursuits.

Supporting your child’s interest in esports can have a significant positive impact. Attend their competitions, celebrate their achievements, and encourage them to pursue their passion responsibly. This support can strengthen your relationship and provide a positive framework for their gaming activities.

Case Studies and Success Stories

To illustrate the benefits of esports, studies from the High School Esports League have shown that 82% of students participating in esports and using the Gaming Concepts Curriculum say they have never participated in any other extracurricular activities. Through esports, students find a sense of belonging and purpose, which translates into improved grades and social skills. Schools that have integrated esports programs report similar success stories, demonstrating the positive impact on student engagement and achievement.


Esports offers numerous benefits for educational and personal development, making it a valuable addition to modern education. By understanding and supporting their children’s involvement in esports, parents can help them harness these benefits while ensuring a balanced and healthy lifestyle. Engage with your child’s esports activities, advocate for their inclusion in school programs, and create a positive and safe gaming environment.

Written by

Bubba Gaeddert

Bubba is a professional broadcaster, host, consultant, entrepreneur, higher education professor, content creator, and veteran event manager. His main focus is on gaming, esports, education, and technology. He has worked in radio, television, live streaming and is the founder of the Jolumi Media firm (Joe-lou-me), where he consults for multiple esports, gaming, sports, tech, and education companies. He has been a gamer and self-proclaimed NERD ever since he was a kid when his dad managed Radio Shacks in Oklahoma. Bubba has been a professor in higher education since 2013 and is a current Senior Instructor at the College of Esports in London, UK. He has worked in the non-profit and traditional sports industry for over 24 years with the YMCA, NCAA, NAIA, Parks and Recs, Sports Commissions, and the Chamber of Commerce. In 2018, he helped create the non-profit 501(c)3 charity the Videogames and Esports Foundation (VEF) as the Executive Director and now serves as the President Co/Founder.