The High School Esports Curriculum project brings together collegiate esports leaders, academics, practitioners, and K-12 educators to coordinate efforts in developing the first college prep course sequence in high school focusing on esports. Building on our recently launched Orange County High School Esports League and the larger esports ecosystem, this project brings together students who have an interest in esports and connects them with relevant academic content to help esports players and fans connect their interests with enduring academic and career-ready knowledge, skills, and dispositions.
In this project, with the help of the Samueli Foundation, we are developing the first ever four-year college prep course sequence that combines English Language Arts with key areas in Career Technical Education (such as marketing, entrepreneurship, and game design) to create an esports curriculum for high schoolers. We engage and mentor students in the entire esports enterprise, not just the competitive teamwork required for successful gameplay but more crucially the broader forms of esports participation that make esports the booming industry and pastime it has become: from game analysis, business management, and coaching to social media marketing, event organizing, and games journalism. Given its widespread popularity and robust ecosystem, esports provide an opportunity to engage and retain currently underserved populations and disaffected students, opening a pathway to future college and careers across multiple STEM sectors. Our goal is to use the energy and enthusiasm of esports to connect students’ academic content to real life activities and aspirations.