The segment of Esports is a special part of our society since it pays no attention to nationality, gender, age or physical condition. In the digital world, everyone has the same chances. Esports can make it possible to bring together people with and without disabilities if the set-up is adjusted for disabled gamers. Esports and its accessible entry has a high potential to enable people with disabilities to participate, communicate and interact.
Gamers’ individual disabilities require input devices that are adapted to their needs. The considerable advantage of Esports is that, regardless of the person and its controller in front of the screen, the input within the game is the same. This means that no advantage or disadvantages can arise.
An Inclusive Gaming World
In addition to the inclusive hardware it is also necessary to adapt the games themselves in order to meet the needs of impaired gamers.
Higher Education Esports Bridge the Divide
California State University Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) is focused on Esports to the next level, investing in Esports Association degrees and facilities to encourage students to join the gaming movement and, subsequently, to pursue STEM – related careers. Preparing students for the careers in the future workforce.
Esports Arena Offers New Opportunities for Inclusion
Esports arenas can be more than places that host collegiate competitions. They can also serve as gaming community centers, where all students can join together for practices, friendly matches and STEM-related events.
Competitive Gaming Opens Doors for Learners
Students with cognitive disabilities can benefit from higher education’s growing interest in esports. Video game competitions determine and showcase a player’s learnings. Showcases a level playing field, where improving social and academic proficiencies.
Collegiate Esports has been growing for well over a decade and we are now at a pivotal point where institutions can step up and help make sure the future of competitive gaming on campuses will be inclusive to a range of participants and driven by values-focused goals rather than being led by commercial interests. Collegiate Esports are not just a media product to be handled by marketing teams but vibrant spaces of competition, community building, and personal growth that universities as a whole should be attending to.
There are a number of basic things campuses can be doing to make sure diversity and inclusion are front and center to collegiate gaming going forward: 1. Perform a diversity audit and create a plan for inclusion. 2. Take preventative approaches before punitive ones. 3. Provide a code of conduct and enforce it. 4. Develop programs for diverse levels, and forms of participation. 5. Encourage co-ed play. 6. Establish networks of support. 7. Use inclusive language and establish non-discriminatory policies. 8. Offer meaningful diverse representation in media broadcasts. 9. Formulate holistic selection criteria for varsity teams. 10. Invest in moderation infrastructure. 11. Provide formal training for bystanders and allies. 12. Incentivize and reward good social leadership.
Collegiate Esports is here to stay. Gaming is integrated into student’s lives and has become an important part of campus culture. Esports can be a positive space of personal expression and growth, as well as a powerful place for community building. If a school is following the recommendations provided here, and more generally guided by the spirit of them, they will be well positioned to address this tremendous opportunity in ways that align not only with Title IX, but broader values of diversity and inclusion.