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Osage High School students joining in new 'E-sports' program

Students play non-violent video games like League of Legends and Overwatch, while also learning team work, criticial thinking, and communication skills, and also provides an alternative to physical sports

Posted: Jan 4, 2019 10:36 PM

OSAGE, Iowa - "Capture the enemy's tower!"

If you're up on your video game lingo, that may sound familiar, and soon, it will be commonplace for some Osage High School students.

Last month, the Osage School Board approved the formation of an 'E-Sports' or computer gaming club, and it's attracting a large crowd, with 30 students currently taking part.

Don't worry parents, the games played are action and adventure without all the blood and violence, including Overwatch, League of Legends and Super Smash Brothers Ultimate.

Seniors Wesley Smith and Wyatt Grady say that this type of program can benefit students, including those who may not feel competitive in physical sports.

"Not all kids excel in sports, so I think this definitely gives another aspect to competitiveness in schools."

Computer Science and Math teacher Chris Kyhl introduced his proposal to school board members, and is also a football and basketball coach, noting that electronic gaming can bring out the competitive spirit. He highlights that the club can help with communication skills, as well as introduce students into technology related careers.

"Kids need to learn how to communicate and if we can teach them how to communicate and work in a team and problem solve in a team, that's really going to be beneficial for them in life."

It's not just Osage who has an E-Sports program; St. Ansgar High has one as well, and it's attracting the attention of other districts.

"I think there are other school districts who are thinking about bringing a club into. St. Ansgar has a team already, so that would be more competition," Smith and Grady add.

"We would be at a basketball game and they're like, 'you're the one running E-Sports right? I'm like yeah, and they're like, I wish we had that."

Members meet after school for practice, and are set to take part in tournaments against other schools in the Central Rivers Area Education Agency.

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