Video game enthusiasts argue that hours spent in front of a TV with a controller in hand aren't a waste of time—and in many ways, they're not wrong. Studies have shown that video games are linked to increased fluid intelligence along with a host of other brain benefits.
While not everyone is convinced that Halo or Mario Kart are good for you, one Norwegian high school is jumping on the pro-video games bandwagon. According toArs Technica, Garnes Vidaregåande Skole public high school in Bergen, Norway, will begin offering its students an elective class in e-sports this August.
Instead of participating in more traditional sports like soccer or handball, the 30 or so students in the e-sports class will spend five hours a week studying their unconventional extracurricular of choice. But the pupils won't just spend the entirety of the three-year program just sitting around playing video games.
Dotablast reports that the course will include 90 minutes of physical training designed to improve reflexes, strength, and endurance—in short, the sort of physical skills and attributes that separate a great gamer from a so-so one. Teachers will also assess and grade students’ game knowledge, as well as things like teamwork and tactical abilities.
Computers, gaming chairs, and video cards will all be provided, but students will bring their own mice, keyboards, and headsets based on personal preference. A classroom has been set aside, but a curriculum hasn’t been determined quite yet. Games like Dota 2, League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, or Starcraft II are among the games currently under academic consideration.