Esports are big business, with the global esports industry expected to top $50 billion in revenue this year.
But esports and related video games can also be a pipeline to STEM education, said Jeff Vinik, Tampa Bay Lightning owner and co-executive chairman of aXiomatic, a Los Angeles-based firm with a portfolio of holdings in the esports and video gaming industry.
While there are people who believe that video games are a poor use of time, and incite violence, there also are studies that come to different conclusions, Vinik said at the inaugural eSports Summit, sponsored by the University of South Florida’s Muma College of Business’ Vinik Sport & Entertainment Management Program.
“There are plenty of studies that show it doesn’t incite violence. In terms of learning, quick decision-making, programming, there’s a lot of information that this can be blended into curriculum in high school. There are dozens of colleges that now offer esports. So it is going to get more integrated into education,” Vinik said. “Hopefully when that’s done the games played and the way in which they are played will be geared toward education. It’s definitely an opportunity to get a broad mass of students to learn computer science, math, other skills.”