We shouldn’t tell kids that video games and esports are a waste of time. We don’t say that about traditional sports or the arts, which have many of the same characteristics and benefits.
At SXSW Edu 2019, speaker James O’Hagan of The Academy of Esports said that esports honor the importance of play. He elaborated that there are two ways to push against childhood mental health:
- Positive interactions with adults
Video games and esports provide kids an outlet for play, both by themselves and with others. In addition to possibly mental health benefits, playing video games and esports teaches young people social skills, communication skills, teamwork, the value of training and dedication, quick decision making ability, and much more. That doesn’t sound like a waste of time to me.