Brett Sullivan teaches ICT at Tranby College in Baldivis, Western Australia. We asked him to share his story.
It didn’t take long for me to realise that students at my school were keen to start a League of Legends club. I saw this as an opportunity to reinforce behaviours and academic outcomes, and teach students how to build a positive and proactive gaming community.
The club started in early 2015 when I sat with a colleague and described the passion I share with the students towards esports and games like League of Legends. It didn’t take long for our proposal to reach our school leaders, where they embraced the idea and permitted the first school-wide esports tournament.
We had twenty players and every Friday night we would have matches in League of Legends. This led to our first college esports champions. It was exciting to see the positive energy in the school throughout the competition, where students who, in different circumstances, might have been disengaged or disconnected found self-confidence and worthiness in their achievements by playing League of Legends.
Students from all age groups came together to share something relative in their lives, and it is amazing to see the social norms of school collapse when a younger student is being praised by the senior students for their courage in their latest League of Legends matchup. The students find the experience to be an area to explore their own individuality without prejudice, and I see this having a profoundly positive impact on their self-esteem. It was a big success that led us towards hosting more club competitions soon after.
Success was not measured in the numbers watching them live, or the amount of online respect they gained, it was what they brought back to school the next day. A feeling like they were part of something bigger, and something they had to work hard for. The impact it had on their learning clearly showed that with purpose in their lives, they could find the purpose in other aspects of their life.