Some Swedish High Schools Are Adding ESports Classes To Their Curriculum

The growth of eSports is staggering, but even its most ardent supporters wouldn't be expecting it to make an appearance in the high school curriculum any time soon. Unless you're in Sweden.

Outside of South Korea, Sweden is probably one of the most passionate countries for eSports. It's been the home of many professional gaming organisations—the famous Schroet Kommando, better known as SK, comes to mind—and successful players from games for well over a decade.

It's probably not that large a surprise, then, that three high schools have opted to introduce classes in upcoming semesters that will allow students to practice, learn and study the ways of games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and DOTA 2.

According to a report by Gosugamers, the eSports subjects will be handled in a similar fashion to athletic education units, with school teams established, rooms designated for practice and study and guest lectures given by professionals and personalities from within eSports.

Magnus Alehed, principal of one of the schools introducing the new courses, said part of the idea was to vanquish the stigma with which contemporary society holds video games.

"We're looking to dispel the myth that this would be a bad thing and it is about respect for this group of students," Alehed said, according to a Google Translate of the original Swedish article.

What do you think about the idea of eSports being treated in school the same as regular sports? I'm worried whether or not the students will learn how to properly look after themselves.

I know too many people whose "careers" and lives have been put on hold or damaged because of wrist/nerve injuries they sustained from chasing the eSports dream as teenagers. But whether education should value eSports in the same vein? Even I'm not sure.

Image courtesy of Digital Trends

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Comments

    I hope they do this all around the world, beacause it'd be nice to see a world of pro gamers in the future

    Last edited 10/08/15 8:04 pm

    ahh schooling, taking something fun and turning into a pain in the arse.

    dont mind me im just bitter and fucking hated going school for 19 fucking years

    This will be interesting to see how it's added into the C2C in Australia. I seriously doubt it will be any time soon or in any major fashion tbh in the foreseeable future outside of being an extracurricular activity for students and not necessarily an actual subject for them to take.

      Yeah, I wouldn't bet on this happening within the next 15 years.

      I work as a teacher in a private school. Anything I ever mention that includes the word video game in curriculum gets turned down.

    Sweden is seemingly a giant petri dish for education approaches. I doubt it'd be implemented here as long as the older generation are in charge.

    Last edited 11/08/15 12:14 am

      It's not just a case of adding it, there's a lot of people in Education who aren't 'the older generation' who are changing the curriculum right now. The whole system has undergone a giant change in the last 5 years alone for instance, with everything being pulled into one unified Australian curriculum as opposed to a state by state curriculum. The first question is: What actual merit does this have? Health and PE's merit is set in health, science, biology, a whole plethora of aspects. While this would definitely be a fun subject to take, what would be the actual application of it? How would you measure it? One inherent problem is devising assessment for it no doubt? Not saying you can't, but this definitely sits among the more 'out there' subjects.

        Well one thing they would definitely have to teach is how to play without injury or strain. Even if you won't play professionally most will play for fun and I'd be willing to bet more people than not are doing harm to their neck, back and wrists through lack of education.

          That's not exactly something you can apply across a whole year long course unfortunately. Maybe a lesson or two? I don't doubt there's some merit to something like this at this point but beyond being a 'sports gaming' course, what else could it teach? I understand a lot of people see 'We can include games in school!' and want it to be so, that's great, but what educational value does it actually carry with it is the question? Why should something like this, take precedence over something, to be quite frank, more important than say, a lifeskills course about learning the basics of life such as doing your tax, setting a budget, basic life responsibilities etc?

            Yeah my Highschool ran Life Skulls classes and they're definitely something that every school should have. Personally, a proper esports class would be more inclusive than other sports events for kids.

              A few schools implement lifeskills courses now independently, they're fantastic. More and more schools should adopt them. But on the point of the esports, It's all dependant. If a child isn't into games (they do exist), then it wouldn't be very inclusive, or if they're not into the particular games they're playing etc. It can be as offputting for those kids as PE is for those who hate that class. There's room for it to some degree, the question is, what is that degree?

              Last edited 12/08/15 1:35 am

                As purely anecdotal evidence, the kind of people I know that don't like PE love games, so at the polar opposite points you've accommodated people, but of course there's going to be people who don't enjoy either.

                I do see what you're saying though, it's a skill that has a very limited range of applications. Aside from going into game development or professional ESports there's not a whole lot the course would offer.

    Is the author worried about the various physical injuries that arise from playing non esports? It's not like they didn't have to take a P.E. or Health class at some point over their entire schooling.

    Last edited 11/08/15 8:24 am

    We used to play Startcraft and CS 1.5 for our friday electives at High School. It's cool when you have a gamer as your HOC for IT.

    It would be good as an elective subject but I couldn't see this working as a full time subject at schools here. They should concentrate on programming, 3D printing & networking.

    But I would love to see the curriculum on CS:GO.
    "Today class we are going to learn how to t-bag and greif your opponents and if we have time we will learn the best mum jokes to use"

    What do you think about the idea of eSports being treated in school the same as regular sports? I’m worried whether or not the students will learn how to properly look after themselves.

    I get that will be a knee-jerk reaction to MANY, but I don't think PE classes are particularly good at teaching students how to properly look after themselves unless they've changed dramatically since I was at school.

    When I was at school, PE classes were typically about learning how to play specific rulesets of various sports, or simply forcing us out to get some exercise. It wasn't 'teach a man to fish'/look after his body as much as handing us fish/making us run. There were some biology fundamentals in there at some point, but if you really want to design a class around teaching kids to look after their bodies, I don't think 'PE class' fills that role.

    A 'body maintenance' class is probably a great idea, though. Teach practical (rather than biology/chemistry theory) information about the different diets that are out and about, the difference between how your body uses carbs, proteins, sugars, about lactic acid, about muscle repair, rest days, warm-ups and cool-downs, how to use gym equipment, what 'activation' means when lifting, the benefits of resistance training over pure cardio, the necessity of daily stretching and the different types of stretches...

    Better than: 'Fuckit, just send some kids out on the oval and chuck a ball around or make them run laps.'

    I'd like to see a focus on things such as teamwork, communications, strategy and implementation, and leadership.

    You could also bring in some degree of analysis, having students learning the strengths and weaknesses in game of their team mates. Playing a game like Portal or Portal 2 can introduce puzzle solving, and forcing a minor degree of adaption.

    Now yes, this is all in games, and these skills may not transfer well to the real world, but that's why you use it as part of the curriculum. You see what skills are growing from the games, and provide ways for those skills to flourish in other classes.

    I don't think this has any right to take over something like any of the STEM related classes, but I do believe there is a potential place for it in schools, just not a huge one.

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