BATON ROUGE, LA (BRPROUD) – E-Sports is a growing industry across the nation and now local kids and teens have a chance to get involved. Carly Laing had details in this weeks Healthy Living.
“It’s actually the fastest growing sport In the world.”
When you think of sports, typically your mind goes to something physical like basketball or soccer, but a new type of sport is coming to the capital city, E-sports.
“This is really an opportunity for us to engage in that work and meet people where they are. And for a lot of kids, going out and playing basketball or flag football or whatever is not their thing and gaming is. This gives us that opportunity to create that social environment in a controlled atmosphere.”
YMCA President and CEO Christian Engle said E-Sports offers multiple benefits for kids and teens interested in gaming.
“I think we discount the social aspect of it all. A lot of these kids have their head sets on, they’re talking to their friends. And it’s how they’re communicating and interacting with each other. At the same time, eye-hand coordination. They’re learning how to design their own games, a lot of times the kids are going out and buying parts and building their own computers so they can participate. So it’s building a lot of other skills that we just don’t really pay attention to.”
Participating in E-Sports can also be a fast track to a college education or even a career.
“It’s one of the top tools right now being used by the military recruitment. It’s a big college recruitment tool right now. A lot of colleges are using it as an aspect to get more kids into STEM. So, getting them more involved in computer design and game design. Even here locally, at LSU and Southern, they both have e-sports teams and very large competitive programs,” Engle said.
Engle said it’s a great way to stimulate the mind.
“I think in a lot of ways it’s almost like the new chess. If our child would have picked up chess we would have been oh this is great, he’s going to learn strategy, he’s going to learn how to use his brian in a different way, he’s gonna learn math. Gaming is kinda that new chess now. They’re playing this online with their friends. But it all involves strategy, it involves learning, remembering what you did yesterday and brining it in today. And again, not every kid is an athlete. not every kid wants to go out and do those things.”
Registration is now open. If you would like to register your child, visit the YMCA’s website.