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Education Games

College Offers Athletic Scholarships To Gamers 102

Posted by Soulskill
from the prospective-students-zerg-the-admissions-office dept.
New submitter MdotCpDeltaT writes: Robert Morris University will be the first school in the country to offer athletic scholarships to students who play the video game League of Legends. It's a move that seems to stretch the definition of sports and athletes. Associate athletic director Kurt Melcher said, "It's a team sport. There's strategy involved. You have to know your role in the game. Obviously it's not cardiovascular in any way, but it's mental. There are elements that go into it that are just like any other sport."The article says, "Though the gaming scholarships are primarily designed to attract what the school calls an 'underserved male' population, they are open to all, and Melcher said some women have inquired about the program. Even if the awards end up going mostly to males, he added, it should not upset the school's scholarship gender balance, which already has strong participation in women's sports."
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College Offers Athletic Scholarships To Gamers

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  • Great (Score:0, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 25, 2014 @08:17AM (#47313935)

    Great, I just wish they would extend it to a game that is actually interesting to watch.

  • Chess (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 25, 2014 @08:47AM (#47314093)

    There are chess scholarships [chess-class.com].

  • Re:Hooray (Score:4, Interesting)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Wednesday June 25, 2014 @09:01AM (#47314177) Journal
    More pathetic? I suspect that LoL scholarship admits will cost far less, not require some grandiose jerkoff who calls himself 'The Coach' at 500K/yr or more, require no facilities more expensive than a few new video cards, and probably involve less "Well, yeah, the star quarterback is probably a narcissistic serial rapist; but what's more important? Winning The Game or a few unimportant people who were probably dressed slutty anyway" decisionmaking among theoretically responsible adults...
  • Re:Why LoL? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Joe Gillian (3683399) on Wednesday June 25, 2014 @09:16AM (#47314279)

    It's probably because of League's "mass-market" appeal. League of Legends runs on Adobe Air, and will run on pretty much any given set of hardware no matter how outdated it is. In contrast, most of League's competitors require a somewhat powerful computer to run or aren't free - Starcraft 2 is still $60 as far as I know (I never bought it) and requires significantly more resources to run, as does DOTA2. They also purposely market their game as "casual friendly", and it definitely works - many of the people I know who used to talk about how much time they spent playing Angry Birds are now playing League.

    I'd also be willing to bet a significant sum of money that this scholarship was not an original idea by the school. Riot Games essentially depends on popularity to make money - they do so by giving away the game itself, and then charging money to buy characters in the game to remain competitive. They tend to go for things that create headlines, things like starting their own tournament league (which they did several years ago). They also advertise the game heavily, especially on Twitch (where they're usually the #1 most streamed game, although there have been accusations of Riot using bots to inflate their viewer count over DOTA2).

    With all that taken into account, it's not hard to see why LoL got picked.

  • by Kelbear (870538) on Wednesday June 25, 2014 @10:50AM (#47314915)

    I think international enrollment may very well start to be a thing.

    But I would point out that in Europe, there's people crossing countries on a daily basis just commuting to work, while in the US, there are families who haven't left the country except for brief vacations, or not at all. Living in the US is all they know, and all they want, and the parents are already twisted up inside about having their kids leave home, to consider sending them halfway around the world adds to their stress.

    For many years college has been seen as the indispensable class gateway to access the middle-class life. No introductory price could be high enough to offset the prosperity the graduates would see on in their career. This vision changed VERY suddenly: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C... [wikipedia.org]

    The cost of college grew at a lightning pace since the time the parents had gone to college, the kids had never dealt in financial matters, and the intangible debts accrued were a problem for the future when the kids would already be enjoying a successful career that would allow them to pay it down...except that with the recent financial crisis and recent-graduate employment rates falling off a cliff as recently laid-off middle-age workers are taking up entry-level positions, the young graduates found themselves with significant debt but without the middle-class career path they'd counted on to help pay down that debt. I think that international enrollment will indeed grow in response to this problem unless something else is done to address it. It's just that this problem had hit so suddenly that the culture of choosing colleges hasn't shifted quickly enough to keep up. Colleges transformed from a gold mines to minefields in a short time span. We're seeing the opinions shifting now though.

    It's important to bear in mind that the massive spike in tuition is at least, a progressive pricing structure (though it has its flaws and gaps). US colleges defend their pricing by saying that the ridiculously high tuition is the list price that gets charged to the more affluent families, and that inflated price helps allow for tuition discounts to the less affluent families to get into the college.
    http://www.npr.org/blogs/money... [npr.org]

    There is some nuance to that pricing structure. TL;DR, if a student goes to a reputable STEM college to major in STEM, then that high tuition is funding the salaries of famous professors and their projects that make your STEM college reputable (and your degree as well). If a student goes to that college to major in art history, they're probably going to get a very bad deal out of it.

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