OPINION | Esports would make a valuable addition to school contests


Events between the Interscholastic Association of Southeast Asian Schools take place every year when students from other IASAS schools compete with each other in one or more of the four categories: sports, a cultural convention, a Model United Nations conference, and virtual IASAS events. Virtual IASAS is a category that entails the events of math, film, and chess. From years of speculation, there are students who greatly desire the addition of electronic gaming to IASAS. Electronic gaming would logically fit under Virtual IASAS, as it challenges students to develop teamwork and think critically from neurological stimulations, a great addition to Math, Film, and Chess.
Students’ desires to have IASAS esports, are reasonable and should be initiated. Electronic sports is similar to the combination of math, film, and chess. Not only is it a hobby for some students, esports provides an outlet for some students to compete it requires critical thinking, a hobby for some students, and an outlet for students to compete their intelligence and grit with other international students. Even to this day, there is not a clear answer on the initiation of IASAS esports.
First off, electronic gaming is very similar to real-life sports, as both develop an emotional bond between teammates. For example, when one person scores a goal in soccer, the whole team scores because it requires team effort to get the ball into the goal. Similar to online games such as League of Legends, the team would not be successful if no one stood by to defend the towers while their teammates demolished the opponent’s towers. According to Albert Huang (‘19), “The feeling of accomplishment is somewhat similar to the feeling of playing a sport. You compete against others, with both of you giving all you have to try to win against each other. The thrill in doing so and the feeling you have when you win is able to shed light and hope into other things that may be not as smooth in life.” This shows that esports is no different from physical sports, as some students devote their sweat and tears to become victorious as a team.
Furthermore, similar to other forms of entertainment, video games allow students to cultivate creativity. According to Jane McGonigal, a game developer and an author, [humans] have a “real sense of optimism in our abilities and our opportunities to get better and succeed, and more physical and mental energy to engage with difficult problems,” McGonigal explained, “and that is actually the physiological and psychological state of game play.” This development of the ability to solve problems can be applied to other aspects of student life, such as overcoming poor time management.
For now, students who wish to participate in IASAS, we already offer art, music, debate, math, film, and chess. However, the addition of electronic gaming would bring in a new wave of students who wish to challenge in a new area of expertise.