Game Changers: Business and Research Opportunities in K-12 eSports

Game Changers: Business and Research Opportunities in K-12 eSports

Christopher Adam West, J. Vincent Nix, Krystal M. Hinerman
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-7300-6.ch010
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This chapter examines the literature and business opportunities surrounding K-12 eSports, competitive events where athletes play video games against each other. Topics include an overview of existing scholastic eSports offerings and organizations that facilitate competition, the effects on student athletes' physical and mental health, the growth of eSports venues, and the identification of research gaps and business opportunities related to increasing eSports access for younger student athletes and their communities.
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There is significant research on the impact of video games on children and young adults. However, there is limited academic literature examining the effect of those games in the context of eSports. Additionally, the impact of eSports on student athletes in an educational setting remains mostly unexplored. As of 2018, Reitman et al. (2020) was only able to find 150 articles on eSports. Subsequent years have seen a marked increase in eSports research and publication (Reitman et al., 2020). Essentially, the current body of academic literature is emergent and broad in scope (Bányai et al., 2019; Hamari & Sjöblom, 2017; Mora-Cantallops & Sicilia, 2018; Pedraza-Ramirez et al., 2020; Reitman et al., 2020). Researchers have asked if society should allow eSports in schools (Shum et al., 2020). Yet, they have not explored the post-integration implications once students become competitive eSports athletes. Creating a situation where negative implications have gone largely unexplored in a school setting.

Key Terms in this Chapter

League: An eSports tournament where teams compete against one other over an extended period.

Spectating: Watching eSports matches or gameplay in person, via live-stream, or recorded footage.

Streaming: Broadcasting live or prerecorded footage via the Internet. is a popular platform for streaming eSports content.

Esports: Video-game-based competitions between individuals or teams.

Shoutcasting: The act of providing play-by-play commentary during an eSports event.

Team: An eSports organization consisting of one or more eSports squads.

Squad: eSports athletes who compete as a unit.

Student Athlete: Kindergarten-through-college-level students who participate in organized competitive sports.

Traditional Sports: Athletic competitions generally accepted as sporting events (e.g., football, basketball, baseball).

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