Information for Parents
WHAT IS ESPORTS?
Esports or electronic sports are the result of when the gaming world and the sports world collide. Esports are competitive video games that have morphed into sports and are now watched, played and adored by almost 500 million people across the globe. They capture the imagination and have great appeal for the new generations, who live in a digital world and have pastime activities closely related to it.
Watch this video by CNBC on the world of esports
ESPORTS IN SCHOOLS
See why NZ schools are engaging in esports
Gaming is becoming a major aspect of our children’s lives. Our kids are constantly surrounded by technology and the internet has become their social gathering place. Esports is now in over 80 secondary schools around the country who are using esports to help develop healthy gaming habits and confident, successful students.
HOW TO SUPPORT YOUR CHILD
1 Connect with a local esports organisation.
One of the best ways to understand the world of esports, is to attend a live event. Our member organisations host live events throughout the year and we have many parents who can credit these events for helping them truly understand the passion, the skill and the community of esports. You can use the link below to connect with a local organisation
2 Learn about the game.
Understanding what your child is doing is a major step to being able to support, connect with and protect your child in the digital world. Our knowledge base is full of additional articles for parents to understand the world of esports to help you make the best decisions for your child. You can also visit our front page for detailed information on a few popular esports
3 Set Boundaries.
Just like you can over-train in any other sport, esports should be allowed in moderation. Research suggests diminishing returns on cognitive benefits after 2.5 – 3 hours. Consistent sleep, physical exercise, and other sporting activities are all valuable tools to improve performance and maintain a play life balance.
4 Become a member.
The New Zealand Esports Federation is a volunteer driven community filled with passionate individuals who are happy to share their experiences and expertise. Becoming a member not only helps support us, but connects you to our community, delivers up to date esports news, and resources straight to your inbox.
BENEFITS OF ESPORTS FOR YOUR CHILD
Esports is a new and emerging activity in our country. For many New Zealanders, it’s a new world that we don’t know a lot about and it can be intimidating to engage with.
However, esports is a positive vehicle to help your child engage in gaming safely and to develop healthy gaming habits.
Below are a few of the most common benefits of esports
BENEFITS OF ESPORTS
Esports is primarily a competition of the mind. It is well documented that esports have many positive cognitive benefits that can also transfer into an academic setting.
A systematic review examining the neural bases of video-gaming found that video game players show enhanced attention functions, increased visuospatial functions, enhanced cognitive control, or the ability to manage tasks or information simultaneously (Palaus et al., 2017).
Various other studies cite an enhanced range of other cognitive abilities such as; processing speed, deductive reasoning, mathematical intelligence, greater sensitivity to contrasts, better eye-to-hand coordination and superior memory.
Although it may not seem like it when you child is alone in their room gaming, esports in itself is a very social activity. It’s built around inclusive participation and breaking down social barriers.
The #1 reason why kiwis participated or attended esports events in 2021 was for the sense of community and belonging.
73.8% of the 896 kiwi gamers surveyed said they built friendships while gaming that extend beyond the game.
During the pandemic lockdowns, Digital New Zealand 2022 report indicated that 76% of parents played games with their children as a way to connect with them, and 3/4 kiwi games who play video games do so to stay connected socially.
The unique characteristic of esports is that when you pick up a controller, it no longer matters if you’re tall, short, young, old, male, female, what city you’re from, ethnicity, or race. You are competing and connecting with people on an equal playing field and making social bonds.
Double Paralympic Gold Medalist Rowan Crothers says it best:
“Esports has the potential to be absolutely massive for young people with disabilities, the ability to compete with their peers, on a fair playing field, non-contact, in a variety of engage sports, both team and individual, Just incredible…
…I got bullied so much in school. If I had esports as a way to compete with my peers, I could’ve formed friendships and found common ground with kids who otherwise saw me as an alien. I believe it has the potential to be a literal lifesaver for so many young people with disabilities.”
Esports specifically has many additional positive academic effects we’ve already mentioned, such as an enhanced range of other cognitive abilities such as; processing speed, deductive reasoning, mathematical intelligence, and superior memory.
However, games in general provide many positive impacts in academic environments. DNZ 22 findings:
- 78% of kiwi gamers say esports helps school remain relevant.
- 76% say gaming helps students connect to one another
- 83% say gaming helps overcome learning difficulties
- 80% say gaming inspire students to be creative
- 72% say gaming helps students pay attention
In a survey conducted in 2021 that involved 896 New Zealand gamers, we discovered;
- 81% of respondents were more open to participating in sports with friends they played games with.
- 44% of respondents had participated in sport or active recreation with friends they had first met while gaming.
Esports helps build confidence and connect students regardless of social barriers. This is the opportunity for the 1st XI Rugby captain to interact, connect and compete with the captain of the Robotics club and form friendships that wouldn’t have otherwise existed.
Some studies indicate that esports is a tool to engage traditional sport participation but formal research is still being explored. Early data released by FIFA indicates that as many as 20% of US players became interested in the sport of soccer through the FIFA video game.
The World Health Organization included gaming disorder in the 11th revision of its International Classification of Diseases (ICD). As defined by the ICD-11, the main criterion for this disorder is a lack of self control over gaming. It impacts 1-3% of those who play video games.
However, esports is one of our most powerful tools we have to help combat this disorder. In the same way sport helps us learn about healthy habits, esports helps us learn about healthy gaming habits.
We live in a time where our students are particularly vulnerable to digital addiction of all forms, through social media, gaming, and streaming entertainment. Esports is a way to effectively engage students, and teach them the importance of proper sleep management, gaming in moderation, and provides a supportive built around esport values of leadership, inclusivity and the sporting spirit.
The DNZ 22 report suggests that 1.2 million NZ households use 2+ game devices, and that 73% of New Zealanders play video games.
Esports is an opportunity to engage with children in a structured, supervised and positive way. To teach safe and healthy habits associated with gaming, and rally them around the sporting values of teamwork, the sporting spirit, the importance of physical health and proper sleep management.
One of the ways you can confidently allow your children to participate in safe esport events is to look for the NZESF accreditation mark.
For tournament organisers to have an NZESF accreditation mark, they must meet a strict set of requirements that includes police background checks for individuals dealing with children, appropriate health and safety protocols, and privacy policies designed to protect NZ students data in line with the NZ Privacy Act 2020.