Over the last few decades, eSports has gained massive, world-wide popularity with both spectators and players. Today, most students are either familiar with or have participated in some type of electronic game competition. This form of competitive play yields surprising benefits and has educators and design teams taking action.
The take-aways from gaming are powerful. Important development and social skills such as collaboration, teamwork, critical decision-making, career readiness, and greater inclusivity are among the many benefits realized by gamers, prompting schools to include some form of gamification in their curriculum.
The most successful designs for electronic gaming are envisioned through a clear understanding of how players fully utilize the space.
Large or small, gaming space should reflect an open-concept with unobstructed views of all playing areas. Depending on venue size, group play modules, separate competition modules, associated tiered spectator seating and lounge areas for casual gamers and observers may be needed. If televising, incorporating space for a broadcast booth is also suggested.
Because this sport relies on electricity, all power elements should be robust, dependable, easy to access and fully integrated into design. Floor box receptacles or under-carpet power grids yield the greatest flexibility and eliminate common trip hazards, while providing a clean, desirable aesthetic.
Screen glare presents a problem for gamers, making strategic lighting a key design component. While an ambient and dimmable system is most often preferred, should the space need to serve as an additional classroom, the design should include natural light that can be shaded during game time.
Player Health, Comfort and Mobility
To support player health and provide maximum flexibility during game play, a focus on ergonomics within these spaces is critical. For instance, rolling chairs with solid back support and tilting seat pans are designed to move with the player, which can enhance comfort and bolster performance. Additionally, adjusting computer screens to participant eye-level and incorporating large, overhead tally screens can help minimize neck and eye strain.
Make Some Noise
Play and tournaments can be loud and frenetic, which makes acoustic control a must. Specialty treatments like ceiling clouds, wall mounted perforated panels along with textured, resilient flooring help reduce and absorb noise.
Since playing promotes comradery, why not promote school pride, too? Logos and mascots on walls, seating, monitors, broadcast booths, screens, and more, can be purposefully placed to boost competition, identify teams, draw enrollment, and foster unity and spirit.
Electronic gaming offers many of the same advantages as traditional team sports and extra-curricular clubs, with the added benefit of greater inclusivity and world interest. As more schools begin to recognize the benefits of play, we anticipate they will integrate the sport into their curriculum, much like other STEM/STEAM based programs. The value of eSports engagement is clear, and this growing arena welcomes all.