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High-School Star League Brings Gaming As Sport to Teenagers 87

Posted by timothy
from the buncha-jocks dept.
An anonymous reader points to this "This is an interesting interview with the creators of the High School Star League, an organization dedicated to furthering eSports as a viable hobby and even a career for children and young adults. The HSL has been active in the U.S. for a while but is now making a headway into Europe, where it's finding Counter-Strike is proving much more popular than RTS and MOBA games. There are a significant number of girls getting involved as well — as many as seven percent of competitors. It's a start, right?"
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High-School Star League Brings Gaming As Sport to Teenagers

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Teach them how to have fun? Or is this an effort to kill computer games by associating them with school?

    • by NotDrWho (3543773) on Thursday May 01, 2014 @10:32AM (#46889311)

      No, it's designed to give them false hope of a career in professional gaming--to go along with their false hopes of careers as movie stars, rap/rock stars, fashion icons, and sports legends.

    • by hendrips (2722525)

      It hasn't worked for football very well, has it?

  • by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Thursday May 01, 2014 @10:01AM (#46889035) Homepage Journal

    Oh, fantastic - yet another "sport" to distract the future generations of our planet from receiving an actual education.

    Maybe it's time we consider creating separate "athletic schools" for the kids who want to be sports-stars, so the rest of the population can focus on, you know, learning important shit.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      The ancient Greeks had the philosphy of mind, body, and spirit - like on the YMCA signs. Then in the 1930s the whole dumb jock thing started.

      Why?

      Racism.

      When the African-Americans were allowed to compete with whites, many did well and disturbed some people's idea that white people were superior. So, they (racist whites) made up the lie that really talented atletic people are stupid - as an attack on Black people.

      It's a shame that we don't have an education system that values Greek ideals.

      Not everyone can b

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Funny, I learned of the 'dumb jock' meme from watching Revenge of the Nerds back in the 80s. Throughout my entire life, I have not seen the meme aimed at the abundantly melanin endowed populations, only the low melanin jocks.

        Or maybe it isn't so much about racism as a reaction to the actual dumb white jocks (and wannabes) who were bullies to everyone who didn't care so much about sports.

      • by ranton (36917)

        The ancient Greeks had the philosphy of mind, body, and spirit - like on the YMCA signs. Then in the 1930s the whole dumb jock thing started.

        Why? Racism.

        When the African-Americans were allowed to compete with whites, many did well and disturbed some people's idea that white people were superior. So, they (racist whites) made up the lie that really talented atletic people are stupid - as an attack on Black people.

        Correlation does not equal causation. While some change in attitude may have changed in the past 100 years, plenty of other factors were at work other than the end of segregation. The primary cause was the increase in money going into sports and increased popularity of professional sports as a result of television. Before that sports were just hobbies of students. But once money started to pile in, sports became the focus. Once kids with no hopes of even being accepted into college could get full scholarshi

      • When the African-Americans were allowed to compete with whites, many did well and disturbed some people's idea that white people were superior. So, they (racist whites) made up the lie that really talented atletic people are stupid - as an attack on Black people.

        That doesn't explain why the majority of athletes at my old high school back home, which was populated 99.999% with white kids, were abject morons who slept through class and still got B's. They didn't learn shit, because they didn't have to; race had nothing to do with it*.

        Seriously, I remember one guy, the "star" lineman for our terrible, terrible football team, who graduated without being able to spell anything other than his own name.

        * The black kid (no, really, we only had the one) was actually a very

    • by sycodon (149926)

      Video Games are not a "sport".

      • That's right, some video games can be played as eSports.

      • by Warhaven (718215)

        Video Games are not a "sport".

        Josh: I'm much better at video hockey.

        Paul: That's not a sport.

        Josh: It requires hand and eye coordination.

        Paul: It's not a sport if you don't sweat.

        Josh: What about golf? It's a sport and you don't sweat.

        Paul: It's not a sport if you let a machine do all the work.

        Josh: What about car racing?

        Paul: Shut up, Baskin.

        • by sycodon (149926)

          You have obviously never lugged a set of clubs up and down the hills of a golf course in 90 degree heat, nor been in a race car during a typical race.

    • by genner (694963)
      Half the curriculum in High School is far from important anyway. At least this is useful to the small segment of the population that can make a living off it.
      • Half the curriculum in High School is far from important anyway. At least this is useful to the small segment of the population that can make a living off it.

        ... and useless, if not harmful, for the large segment of the population who thinks they can make a living at it, but in reality are merely wasting time. Time better spent learning real, useful life skills.

        • by genner (694963)

          Half the curriculum in High School is far from important anyway. At least this is useful to the small segment of the population that can make a living off it.

          ... and useless, if not harmful, for the large segment of the population who thinks they can make a living at it, but in reality are merely wasting time. Time better spent learning real, useful life skills.

          Useful life skills like memorizing Chaucer.

          • Half the curriculum in High School is far from important anyway. At least this is useful to the small segment of the population that can make a living off it.

            ... and useless, if not harmful, for the large segment of the population who thinks they can make a living at it, but in reality are merely wasting time. Time better spent learning real, useful life skills.

            Useful life skills like memorizing Chaucer.

            Your opinion of one thing you had to do in school that you didn't like nor found useful notwithstanding...

            I was thinking more along the lines of things like Grammar, Science, Civics, Mathematics, et al. My bad for assuming that I didn't need to spell that out to this particular crowd.

            I presumed we were collectively smarter than that, this being a "News for Nerds" site, and I apologize for overestimating the intelligence level of the group.

            • by genner (694963)

              Half the curriculum in High School is far from important anyway. At least this is useful to the small segment of the population that can make a living off it.

              ... and useless, if not harmful, for the large segment of the population who thinks they can make a living at it, but in reality are merely wasting time. Time better spent learning real, useful life skills.

              Useful life skills like memorizing Chaucer.

              Your opinion of one thing you had to do in school that you didn't like nor found useful notwithstanding...

              I was thinking more along the lines of things like Grammar, Science, Civics, Mathematics, et al. My bad for assuming that I didn't need to spell that out to this particular crowd.

              I presumed we were collectively smarter than that, this being a "News for Nerds" site, and I apologize for overestimating the intelligence level of the group.

              You missed my point. High School is full of useless topics. It's disingenuous to pretend time will be well spent if sports ceased to exist.

              • In that case, yes, I did miss your point. Mea culpa.

                I agree that what's taught could use some serious rethinking and paring down; for instance, why is it considered more important to memorize the date that Lincoln gave the Gettysburg Address, than it is to understand the his reasoning for giving it? At least, that was my experience in school.

    • by excelsior_gr (969383) on Thursday May 01, 2014 @10:39AM (#46889377)

      This is how it is actually done in many european countries. All schools have sport in the curriculum, and although there are competitions between schools etc it is not taken at all seriously. If, however, an individual shows potential, he/she is being forwarded to a sports-school for continuing his studies. In this way, the athlete can also get more professional attention and focus on the sport. Everybody wins.

    • Oh, fantastic - yet another "sport" to distract the future generations of our planet from receiving an actual education.

      Maybe it's time we consider creating separate "athletic schools" for the kids who want to be sports-stars, so the rest of the population can focus on, you know, learning important shit.

      It's too late for that. Only a handful of top schools do not put athletics before all else. A good start would be to make all schools give any athletics profits to charity, instead of using it to fund a never ending cycle of high priced coaches and player kick backs.

    • While we're at it, lets get rid of English and Art classes as well. Or at least make them electives. The class they need to make required is some sort of home-finance class. The biggest problem with recent high-school grads is their complete lack of understanding when it comes to credit cards, loans, insurance and retirement. Hell, most of the adults I know are clueless in that regard. Then predatory companies like Chase jump on them with insane interest rates and insurance companies con them into multi-mil

      • While we're at it, lets get rid of English and Art classes as well.

        Judging from the majority of commentary I see these days, both online and in traditional media, we need English classes more now than ever. Art has already been shuffled to the wayside thanks to the ever-increasing funding "needs" of athletic programs.

        The class they need to make required is some sort of home-finance class. The biggest problem with recent high-school grads is their complete lack of understanding when it comes to credit cards, loans, insurance and retirement.

        Agreed, that's a major issue, and I find it both amazing and appalling that such a class hasn't been made mandatory yet - we were bitching about the lack of personal finance education over a decade ago, when I was still in high school.

    • 100% Agree. I've shipped numerous games and am completely disgusted at "eSports". Sitting on your ass all day gaming is not a "sport." Sports involving, you know, going gasp outside getting some physical activity.

      Students should be doing a balance of mental and physical activities: Mathematics, Philosophy, Science, Reading, Writing, Thinking, Music/Singing, Checkers/Chess/Go, Sports that involve physical activities -- even Martial Arts/Yoga; all with a focus on:

      * Inspiring people to pursue their passion
      *

  • How viable as a career is "eSports" anyway?
    How many career competitive gamers are there in the US?
    Will you be able to earn enough money during your active career to last you your entire live?

    • by Sarten-X (1102295)

      Is it particularly different from professional physical sports?

      A career in any sport is viable as long as there are people willing to pay for someone else to play. Physical sports have a clear lead here, as the fan base is much larger.

      Similarly, with so many fans, there's also a greater number of professional players. Percentage-wise, though, there's still only a very small number who make it to the big leagues.

      I used to work in a financial company, that had several professional athletes as clients. Most we

    • by Hussman32 (751772)
      Depends if you limit yourself to the United States. During a business trip in Korea, I watched not one, but two channels of Starcraft competitions and those players were simply rock stars, and they made serious bank. If the gaming companies find viable ways to set up sponsored competitions, then sure, the best players could live comfortably, and as you would expect, the average players would get nothing.

      I bet with the right marketing there could there be more players than the 1600 professional footb
    • Viable as a career seriously depends on the individual. I'm coming at this from what I've seen in League of Legends, so you know the perspective. Just being a player is definitely worth it as a job considering there's a guaranteed salary and potential huge payouts for winning large tournaments, but not a career. Most pro players have something else lined up afterwords, and this was one stop along the way. I wouldn't fault someone for having it on their resume. Being on one of the top teams and making a livi

  • by Anonymous Coward

    You have been recruited by the Star League to defend the frontier against Xur and the Ko-Dan armada.

  • In America? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by bazmail (764941)
    Pizza is considered a vegetable [nbcnews.com] in the US so nothing surprises me any more from a country that measures food quality in calories per dollar.

    Who knows maybe on future the US Olympic organizers will petition for "Eating Cheet-ohs" to be admitted as an event.
  • The anonymous submitter has a very different idea of what constitutes significant than I do... 7% girls may be infinitely more than 0, but is still not very much over all!

  • A large number of kids at my kid's highschool are failing courses. My son failed one and we traced it to his smart phone. We took it away and after months of complaining, he actually thanked us. Smart phone apps and video games are designed to be addictive. Kids (and many of us) are now addicted to checking apps and playing games 24/7. Attention spans are shortening and nerves are fraying. Real sports (hockey, soccer, football, etc) are temporary respites from the "always on" world. Replacing these w
    • by mlts (1038732)

      Expanding on this, how about high schools focusing on life after graduation? Sports and e-sports are a nice sideshow, but a US kid fresh out of high school will be competing for jobs with someone from Germany, China, Chile, or Russia whose government has paid for not just the college education, but likely graduate level work.

      I'd probably suggest having trades as an option, be it basic electrical, welding, plumbing, even PC troubleshooting and obtaining certificates in the IT world. None of these are glamo

  • Title IX Of Course (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Bigbutt (65939) on Thursday May 01, 2014 @11:31AM (#46890101) Homepage Journal

    Title IX of course. Since there aren't as many women and girls in Video Gaming, once they're 'Sports', Title IX can be used to "encourage" girls to play. Then there'll be more girls in Video gaming!

    It's just like real sports where Title IX has brought the participation of women up to close what mens participation is (like 45/55 I think was the last stat I read).

    I've also heard Title IX is being examined to apply to STEM courses as well to ensure more women are represented in STEM courses.

    http://www.dailyherald.com/art... [dailyherald.com]
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/... [huffingtonpost.com]

    [John]

    • by Triklyn (2455072)

      if it worked, i would applaud it. I view gaming and pc gaming in particular to be a gateway drug to programming. so, you know, hopefully.

    • Since there aren't as many women and girls in Video Gaming

      Who says there aren't? The ESA begs to differ with you:

      http://www.theesa.com/facts/pd... [theesa.com]

      Adult women are a larger gaming demographic than teenage boys!

    • by Draugo (1674528)
      Title IX is also used to throw male students out of higher education based on rape claims that police have investigated and deemed fake or that have even been anonymous without any proof or involvement from officers of law. These men have been given no chance to defend themselves from these claims but instead their futures have been destroyed because of anonymous or provably false rape claims. It is a sign of our culture that a false rape claim can destroy mans future more thoroughly than false murder claim
      • by Bigbutt (65939)

        Well, Title IX is being used to ensure colleges actually follow up on rape accusations vs sweeping them under the rug or performing a delaying action until the case times out (180 days). There have been a few fakes that I've found in searching. But I do also find it astounding (in my reading) that a woman can say she agreed to the sex, (went back to his place, said 'yes', etc) but felt that she was under duress and can call it rape. Makes you want to just avoid contact with women entirely.

        [John]

  • ...will they be able to defend the Frontier against Xur and the Ko-Dan Armada?

    • ...will they be able to defend the Frontier against Xur and the Ko-Dan Armada?

      OOOOh if only I had some mod points. One of my favorite corny sci-fi movies as a youngin. Look out for those Xan-do-Xans as well

  • Why should we care? Why? If they want to join and play competitively as a hobby good for them, if they don't want to then it doesn't matter either way.

The reason that every major university maintains a department of mathematics is that it's cheaper than institutionalizing all those people.

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