BATESVILLE, AR (KAIT) - Students in high school that attend Batesville School District now have the option to join a competitive video game program.
It’s called Esports and it’s gaining attention in schools across Arkansas.
The video game program provides a unique learning experience for students in grades 9-12, who are 13 years of age or older.
Corey Benton, who is a 9th grade student at Batesville High School, plays Rocket League and he said he enjoys the experience.
“It gives them team building exercises," Benton said. "So, just have fun with it, that’s pretty much all you do is have fun.”
Esports advisor at Batesville High School, David Moore, said the games are set up as round-robin and the students enjoy playing against other teams from different schools in Arkansas.
“So they are really thinking through and planning out strategically their next move and that’s really helping them think," Moore said. "And I think it’s helping them grow as learners.”
Right now, Batesville School District offers two games through Esports - Rocket League and League of Legends.
“It just gives them another alternative to be in school," Moore said. "And hopefully, for some of them, gives them a reason to come to school and be excited to be a part of that team.”
Zander Johnson, who is an 8th grade student at Batesville School District, is a League of Legends gamer and said it provides him with a way to be involved and make friends.
“Well, I’m not very athletic. I don’t enjoy athletics and I don’t know really know anything about athletics," Johnson said. "I do this because I can do something besides just sit on my butt without friends, so it lets me make friends with people I usually wouldn’t make friends with.”
Moore said there are several schools in the state that are looking at building Esports programs and said scholarships could be offered in the future.