eSports make gaming a safe place for Anglican students

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As part of the Anglican Schools Commission’s commitment to educating school students about cyber safety and respectful online behaviour, eight Anglican schools have signed up for the new Anglican eSports League, with students competing together at QUT’s eSports Arena and learning the 4Rs of online safety

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Sporting champions no longer, it seems, are to be found exclusively in games like rugby, soccer, tennis and netball. These days they might be in front of a computer screen!!

This month, teams from Anglican schools across Queensland are meeting at QUT to compete in the new Anglican eSports League.

Rather than being stuck alone in their rooms playing online games, the students are using their skills to play in teams where the emphasis is on the ‘4Rs’ of online safety: Respect, Responsibility, Reasoning and Resilience.

Steve Window from the Anglican Schools Commission explained that the eSports League is being developed alongside a cyber safety and wellbeing program for its schools.

“The eSafety commissioner research report ‘State of Play 2018’, highlighted that many child gamers are at risk of online abuse through cyber bullying, online harassment and unwanted contact. The eSports League is all about the positive influence gaming can have on students and student communities,” Mr Window said.

“QUT eSport competitors develop industry skills for roles such as coaches, mentors, strategists, commentators and artists.

“Respectful competition promotes personal wellbeing and for some it provides a pathway to further education at university in areas such as ICT, psychology, business communication and sports administration.”

Steve Window is the Anglican Schools Commission’s Cyber Safety and Digital Wellbeing Advocate

There is even talk of eSports one day becoming an Olympic event.

And the verdict by Anglican school students after the first week of competition? They love it and will be back for more!

“It’s such a good environment playing as part of a team in this incredible eSport Arena at QUT compared to playing in your bedroom,” said Eli Myers of the Springfield Anglican College.

“You meet people, you know the people in your team, you’re able to strategise with them and it’s more positive and healthy. With everyone being kept in line in terms of online behaviour, the game is so much more fun and engaging.”

Jeremy Huang of The Southport School said: “I think it’s a really good opportunity to build relationships – good relationships with other players from other schools. You get to meet students you didn’t know before from other Anglican schools.”

eSports students are also required to play regular sport at school during the week

QUT now offers scholarships for eSports players to attend university and study various elements of the industry from game development and design to software engineering.

QUT eSports Coordinator Nick Lynch said that the QUT program provides student participants with opportunities that can benefit them now and in the future.

“QUT eSports provides a pathway to all aspects of the eSports industry. By focusing on community, competition and academics, QUT eSports develops your passion for eSports and provides opportunities, industry connections and inter-university competition.

“The Anglican Schools eSports League extends this support to students looking to kick start their skills and get a practical advantage in eSports industry.”

Last weekend saw teams compete from Matthew Flinders Anglican College (Sunshine Coast), Hillbrook Anglican School (Enoggera), Springfield Anglican College and The Southport School.

This Saturday, teams from Fraser Coast Anglican College (Hervey Bay), Canterbury College (Waterford), Toowoomba Anglican School and St Luke’s Anglican School (Bundaberg) will be competing.

Anglican school students learn the 4Rs of eSports, including respect

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