Esports Meets the Classroom at Kingwood
Kingwood High School and Humble Independent School District introduced a new, unique academic activity for the 2020-2021 school year: Esports. Esports is home to a rapidly growing, billion dollar global industry. Esports can be described simply as competition through video games. What place does it have in the classroom? Modern-day high schools typically offer many elective courses. Kingwood has classes ranging from floral design to aerospace to football to choir. So, why not implement Esports?
Though it may seem as if an Esports class would be chalked down to kids playing video games for an hour during the school day, there is a lot more to the class. Students in Mr. Bryan Whitworth's classes explore a variety of aspects related to the topic. Whitworth is the founding instructor of the Esports program at KHS. He also teaches graphic design and A/V.
According to Whitworth, the program strives to teach students, "how to become part of [the] ever growing industry in gaming" and, in the long run, put together a competitive team to rival other schools. Teams will be arranged similarly to those of more traditional sports. Players will be placed in compatible teams, "where they can play to work their strengths."
Once the team gets established, Whitworth says they hope to coordinate a competition against Atascocita High School. Atascocita's program is now on its third year. In this time, the program has grown quickly and become active in multiple Esports leagues. Kingwood hopes to build a similar program. Currently, Kingwood does not have an extracurricular Esports club open to students outside of the class, but an after-school club is in the works.
The class itself is more so aimed at the business aspects and history of the Esports industry. They already conducted a Super Smash Bros. tournament in class to, "go through the mechanics of running a tournament." In the future, they look forward to organizing a tournament open to the rest of the Kingwood High School students.
Whitworth wishes to highlight that gaming is an, "ever growing industry" and a "major gateway to not only bringing entertainment to others, but also bringing others together."