Image: Alex Walker / Kotaku Australia
South Australia has a bit of a track record when it comes to the practical use of video games, ranging from supporting conventions, the game’s game development industry, and even using Minecraft to redesign the state’s national parks.
And the state isn’t done. In a new post, South Australia’s Commissioner for Children and Young People has confirmed that their office is actively supporting a push for a “youth led gaming convention”.
On Friday, Commissioner Helen Connolly used her office’s Medium page to publish a post about how the digital world that children are growing up in today. Part of that digital world includes gaming, something the commissioner admits she didn’t understand, but has come to appreciate since her appointment last year:
Since commencing as Commissioner for Children and Young People I have been completely blown away by the number of children and young people who have told me how important gaming is to them, not only as a recreation activity but as a connector to a social community. From my conversations with children and young people on the meaning of gaming in their lives I was naive to the positive aspects of gaming to our children and young people.
The Commissioner went on to reference how a student transformed their attitude and outlook by joining a gaming club, which helped stave off expulsion and improved their engagement with school in general.
“For the overwhelming majority of the young people I speak to, the positives and potential of gaming is immense,” Commissioner Connolly argued. “They want more structured competitions and pathways to elite gaming and related gaming careers. They want schools and community groups to have gaming clubs like other sports clubs.”
At the end of the post, the commissioner noted that her office was “already doing some groundwork for a youth led gaming convention in Adelaide”. Her office would also be supporting “the development” of esports tournaments across the state, giving young South Australians a chance to highlight their skills in the limelight.
“The careers in gaming are out there too and some of the ‘jobs of the future’ that everyone is talking about in South Australia. If we make the effort to understand what games our young people are playing and encourage a healthy relationship with gaming, we will see its benefits too.”
The Commissioner’s post can be read in full over at Medium.