When I was growing up, gym class was thought to be the kryptonite to anyone with slightly nerdy interests. Phys Ed was to be avoided like the plague if you were a gamer. But now, thanks to some ingenuity by a Norwegian school, gamers will be lining up around the block to enroll in phys ed.
Garnes Vidaregåande Skule in Bergen, Norway has revealed they will be adding eSports classes to its physical education curriculum. Though the details of how these courses will be conducted and assessed have yet to be finalized, representatives of the school have revealed that students will be able to take the new eSports classes from the start of the next academic year.
The school is designing a special game room, which will contain 15 high-end gaming PCs and will be able to hold up to 30 students at a time. The plan is to split the class of thirty in two, with 15 students playing video games while the other 15 take part in a range of physical exercises designed to enhance key skills required for eSports success, such as concentration and reflexes.
These will be the first eSports classes of their kind in Norway. Petter Grahl Johnstadt, the man in charge of the school’s science department, told Datoblast that receiving permission to launch the new courses was facilitated by the fact that the same curriculum requirements for other phys ed classes also apply to the eSports classes. Students will be graded on attributes such as their ability to communicate while playing team-based games, as well their mastery of tactics and strategy. Just like how they would be graded when playing soccer, for instance.
The school has assembled a list of games that it considers suitable for the classroom and has asked students to choose their favourite. The two most popular games will be the ones taught in the classes. All of those on the list are team games, such as Dota 2, Counter-Strike and League of Legends.
Students who opt to take the classes will receive five hours of tuition a week, with the school currently in the process of recruiting expert teachers. In addition, they will be expected to make use of the gaming facilities in their free time in order to hone their skills. It is hoped that students will then form teams in order to compete in both national and international eSports tournaments, which often offer lucrative financial prizes.
While this idea to teach eSports classes may seem somewhat silly now, Deloitte’s annual technology trend forecast for 2016, released Wednesday, estimates global eSports revenue this year will be $500 million, up 25 per cent from 2014. If eSports continues to grow in popularity and profitably, who is to say eSports classes won’t catch on elsewhere in the world?
[H/T: IFL Science]