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“John's Passion For Esports”

From a young age John has enjoyed competitive video games, however it took a while for him to find the patience and perseverance to improve at them. He has always had a busy life with various hobbies and pursuits and has had to fit video games around that, but over the years he has worked at them and built considerable progress.
 

Outcome
Choosing Sports and Fitness University degree, to be prepared for career in esports.


This outcome arises from the following 7 milestones over the span of 7 years, from 8 - 15 years-old:

DetailsPathway Details

Name: John Edwards
Stage of Life: 8 - 15 years-old
Genres: Action, Fighting, Open World, Platform, Puzzle, Race, Shooting, Simulation and Sports
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Wii U, PC and PlayStation 4
 

 

Winning Hide and Seek

Age: 8-years-old / 01/01/2013 / 9 years ago

Play Styles: Child Plays Independently (Independent Play)

Platform: Nintendo Wii U

We enjoyed playing competitive games as a family. John, in particular, loved the challenge from working as a team in Nintendo Land. This offers a few different competitive and cooperative challenges.

In particular he loved Mario Chase where three of us play on the TV to try and find him, and he uses the Wii U tablet controller to hide. He got really good at using the map on the tablet screen to sneak around corners once the seekers had passed.

John was inspired to organise games of hide and seek in the playground that led to his peers playing together across ability and gender rather than the previous separate groups of girls and boys.

Activities: John found that the following related activities worked alongside playing Nintendo Land:

John enjoyed the playground fun (and winning) of games of hide and seek that he would instigate with friends.

Dipping Toe in Competitive Play

Age: 10-years-old / 01/01/2015 / 7 years ago

Platform: Nintendo Switch

After playing the game at a friends house John enjoyed the competitive and reaction based play of the Towerfall game. We got the game on our Switch at home and enjoyed playing at weekends as a family. On that version we could play with up to six people. John didn't always win, but often did and rose to the challenge by practicing the improving between our sessions.

John discovered he enjoyed the feeling of winning.

Activities: John found that the following related activities worked alongside playing Towerfall:

John enjoyed watching videos that showed how high end gamers could achieve almost unimaginable mechanical prowess in game he played.
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Competitive Splatting

Age: 11-years-old / 01/01/2016 / 6 years ago

Play Styles: Competitive Online

Platform: Nintendo Wii U

John discovered Splatoon after going to a friend's party where they played the game. He quickly took to the idea that this was a skill challenge he needed to practice at to get better.

We played through the co-operative levels together before he started playing online while I watched. He enjoyed being able to take on players from all over the world as well as the teaming up aspect.

John enjoyed the physicality of running around and also aiming at the same time. This was expressed not just in the game but in the paintball session.

Activities: John found that the following related activities worked alongside playing Splatoon 3:

John enjoyed trying out some of his video game tactics in the real world of competitive paintball.
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Taking Competition Online

Age: 12-years-old / 01/01/2017 / 5 years ago

Play Styles: Competitive Online and Child Plays Independently (Independent Play)

Platform: PlayStation 4

John was getting into football at school and started playing FIFA. This started as a competition between him and his dad but he soon got too good. After some discussion we agreed that he could play online against other players, so he could find competition at a similar ability.


Skill
Tactical Play
TRANSFORMATION

John developed the skill of playing online, learning other player's tactics and planning ways to practice and improve.

Trying Online Teamwork

Age: 12-years-old / 01/06/2017 / 5 years ago

Play Styles: Competitive Online

Platform: PlayStation 4

Watching streamers play shooting games led to John wanting to find a competitive game he could play that was more of a battle than FIFA. While his competitive FIFA play continued, he discovered the tactical building and shooting of Fortnite.

This led to him teaming up with other players in matches where they cooperate and communicate to do well. This was often friends from school, but also people he didn't know online. At first we were cautious about this, but after talking it through and setting some boundaries this actually became a positive part of his online play.

John worked on his response to losing. At first he found it hard to cope with a knife edge battle that he then lost, but over time he got better at seeing this as something to learn from (while still getting a bit cross about it sometimes).

Activities: John found that the following related activities worked alongside playing Fortnite:

John enjoyed engaging with the wider community around Fortnite. Sometimes in chats and sometimes watching streams.
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Finding His Game

Age: 13-years-old / 01/01/2018 / 4 years ago

Play Styles: Competitive Online

Platform: PlayStation 4

After getting fed-up with FIFA and how the different player's in-game stats affects their performance, he was looking for a more skill based game. Rocket League fitted that perfectly. It was an online game that was entirely determined by the player's ability to control the car and work with team mates.

John took on the identity of someone who competed at Rocket League and was willing to practice to get better.

Perfecting His Performance

Age: 15-years-old / 01/01/2020 / 2 years ago

Play Styles: Competitive Online

Platform: PC

As John progressed in Rocket League he identified that the PC offered an advantage to players. There was more flexibility in controls and his view of the action would be higher resolution and more flexible. Also, professional competitors were all on PC. It was where the Rocket League scene was strongest.

John grew in knowledge about how the Rocket League esport functioned and how Discord servers were important.
John worked to start his own server with friends and started to build a community. A place where they offer coaching and competitions for 3000 younger players.

Activities: John found that the following related activities worked alongside playing Rocket League:


Started Discord Community
SOCIAL GATHERINGS

John started a group on Discord that grew to over 5000 members. It supports new players and offers coaching.
More information
John enjoyed reading the sports psychology book to help his mental approach to games.
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Pathway Outcome

The culmination of the milestones in the pathway lead to John choosing Sports and Fitness University degree, to be prepared for career in esports. We have described it as a linear journey, but of course, there is always a fair amount of back and forth between the games they played.

Along with the main outcome John also changed in the following ways:

  • Behaviour: John worked on his response to losing. At first he found it hard to cope with a knife edge battle that he then lost, but over time he got better at seeing this as something to learn from (while still getting a bit cross about it sometimes).
  • Disposition: John discovered he enjoyed the feeling of winning.
  • Identity: John took on the identity of someone who competed at Rocket League and was willing to practice to get better.
  • Knowledge: John grew in knowledge about how the Rocket League esport functioned and how Discord servers were important.
  • Physical Health: John enjoyed the physicality of running around and also aiming at the same time. This was expressed not just in the game but in the paintball session.
  • Skill: John developed the skill of playing online, learning other player's tactics and planning ways to practice and improve.
  • Society: John worked to start his own server with friends and started to build a community. A place where they offer coaching and competitions for 3000 younger players.
  • Society: John was inspired to organise games of hide and seek in the playground that led to his peers playing together across ability and gender rather than the previous separate groups of girls and boys.

We focus on how games contribute to this outcome, but also include related activities that play a part of this journey:

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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