As video games become more popular and respected as a legitimate form of entertainment, and organized tournaments offer large prizes and global fame to world-class gamers, when can we expect to see high school teams competing against one another in virtual combat? High school students have many opportunities to get involved in their schools. While there are the standard sports of football, basketball, baseball, softball, and wrestling, many new activities are gaining popularity. Have you seen the cheerleaders today? Some schools teams that compete at chess; they debate one another, or even engage in mock trials. With all these activities, why not have a video game team?
This concept is not as far fetched as it may first seem. Craig Waechtler, a math teacher at Rocklin High School in northern California, has created a console gaming club. This team competes against a couple other schools in the Sacramento area. For the past two years, these tournaments have included GRAW, GRAW 2, and even Guitar Hero III. The club provides another opportunity for students to be a part of the school culture. Just like for sports, the team members must pass all of their classes in order to stay on the team. Furthermore, they also learn valuable skills such as teamwork and cooperation just like they would on a sports team.
As these clubs expand to other schools, how long until we see letterman jackets with a controller emblem on them? With network gaming available through services like XBOX Live, teams from all over the country, even the world, could compete against one another from the comfort of their own classrooms.
If anyone is a part of a school gaming club, let me know.