Explaining esports to a parent/guardian, carer, or teacher

Explaining esports to a parent/guardian, carer, or teacher

9 min read | 17 Jan 2022

Whilst esports is an ever-growing industry, not everyone knows everything about it.

Is esports something of interest to you, but you don’t know how to explain it to a parent, guardian/carer or teacher? We have put together this guide to help with that process, and spread the word about the wonders of esports.

Clearing up misconceptions:

Firstly, when explaining esports to someone, it is important to clear up that it is not just spending your time playing games. This is a common misconception that many people have, and the ways in which esports is presented in the media support this.

Whilst this is a huge element of the industry, there are so many opportunities and avenues behind the scenes that allow the industry to run and develop.

The term ‘esports’ (electronic sports) refers to competitive video gaming, where two or more people compete against one another to fight for the win. This definition of the term only really explicitly covers the gaming element of the industry, which can limit people’s understanding of everything that goes on in the wider world of esports.

Various career options are available in creation and production sectors (as well as so many others as explained later in this guide) to allow for anyone to turn their passion into a job. 

What makes a game an esport?:

There are loads of different video games out there, but a lot of people are unaware of what actually makes a game an esport.

For a game to be considered an esport title, it needs to have a competitive element in it that can provide the opportunity for people to play competitively for a prize. It doesn’t matter if the prize is a certificate, or a massive sum of money – as long as it has an objective to win then it can work to become an esport.

Alongside the actual nature of the game, the community built up around a title is really important in establishing it as an esport title. If the game has notable professional players, frequent events and an active following, then it is easy to say the title can be considered an esport.

It is worth breaking down some of the different genres of games for someone who is new to esports, to give them an understanding of the wide range of titles that are available to compete in. 

Talk about the likes of:

  • First-Person Shooters (FPS)- Like COD, Valorant, CS:GO, Overwatch
  • Multiplayer-Online-Battle-Arenas (MOBA) Like league of legends and Dota
  • Fighting games – Like Street Fighter V or Mortal Kombat
  • Real-Time Strategy (RTS) – Like Starcraft

Allowing yourself time to inform someone about the different genres of esports can put into perspective how massive of a range of titles are out there for players. This way, individuals are able to learn more about the industry and the different types of gaming that takes place competitively.

Benefits of esports:

A lot of people are unaware of the endless list of benefits that esports can have on individuals, and this is something that needs to change.

By having a negative perception of gaming and esports, parents and teachers may be reluctant to learn more about the industry – but by showing them the actual benefits it can have on skill development and mental/physical health can make all the difference.

As outlined in the British Esports Parents and Carers guide, there are many benefits that esports can have, including:

  • Confidence improving
  • Strategic thinking developing
  • Developed reading comprehension
  • Improved social and communication skills
  • Increased concentration
  • Promotes positive mental health and wellbeing

Playing games in moderation can have a really positive effect on individuals – especially young people. Having this opportunity to relieve any stress built up is really beneficial, and gives people the chance to unwind doing something productive at the same time.

Giving a parent or teacher the opportunity to learn about the benefits of esports can allow them to understand more about the industry – and how they can support your involvement. 

Career options:

As mentioned before, there are a wide variety of career pathways available in esports to accommodate any specialist area.

Some of the career areas available are:

  • Content creation / Journalism
  • Admin / Referee
  • Social Media
  • Caster / Host
  • Professional Player
  • Broadcast / Production
  • Event manager

A full list of different roles available in esports can be found in our Careers Hub. As well as this, you can find an updated list of job openings in esports over on Hitmarker (a leading gaming and esports job platform).

There are several jobs available across various sectors in the esports industry, but how can you explain to someone that you want to start a career in one of these areas?

The most prominent career in esports is a professional player, and many parents and teachers would be put off by the idea.

However, speaking about the mental and physical benefits of playing video games, as well as showing you are passionate about the career, can make it easier to recognise why someone would want to dedicate themselves to it. 

Get them to give it a try:

If you are struggling to explain all of the amazing things about esports to a parent or teacher, why not get them involved in a game or two?

Take a title that is fun and easy for beginners to learn (Rocket League for example), sit down with them and let them have a go. It doesn’t have to be the best gameplay in the entire world, but giving them the chance to connect with your interest and experience it themselves can make all the difference.

Having a supportive parent, carer or teacher when trying to get into esports is incredibly important, and any way you can get them involved will ease the process to get them on board.

Letting them witness the thrill and fun of a game first-hand will expand their knowledge and give you something to bond over. Doing this can make it a lot easier to explain to them about why you are passionate about esports, and why it can be beneficial to get involved in. 

This is only a rough guide on how you can explain various aspects of esports to a parent, carer or teacher – with everyone having their own ways of doing it.

Have some tips of your own? Share them with us on the British Esports social channels.

Also, check out our Parents and Carers Guide which provides all the information you need to know about esports.

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