Fairfax County Public Schools is preparing to level up its esports offerings, expanding an activity that started last year with a handful of rogue student clubs into a full-blown program.
The esports club at Fairfax High School started as a general-interest group while students were learning virtually in 2020. It was run from students’ homes and through an online messaging and voice website, Discord.
Students have still kept their academic priorities, but with in-person learning expanding to five days a week this fall, in-person events became more prevalent: a tournament organized last week involving Nintendo’s Super Smash Brothers drew dozens of students.
“It’s the largest club in our school,” said Fairfax High School English teacher David Greene, the club’s advisor, noting that the group has over 200 active members. “A lot of the students who came into the room were not even part of the room yet and were asking how to sign up.”
FCPS plans to make esports available this spring for all 25 high schools and has spent the past few months recruiting coaches.
The expansion will require some adjustments for students in the existing clubs, which include one at Centreville High School.
Where Fairfax High School offered a variety of video games for students to play, FCPS has said its esports program will be limited to the soccer-like car-driving online game Rocket League. The Virginia High School League, which is exploring whether to make esports an officially sanctioned activity, has three titles for its pilot year that started this fall.
Greene says he has advocated for FCPS to consider incorporating two games that his students have been playing, either through the club or on their own: Super Smash Brothers and the multiplayer online battle arena fantasy game League of Legends.
FCPS also intends to have students participate at school facilities rather than remotely, and the introduction of a countywide program will make esports more like other extracurricular activities with coaches, teams, and formal competitions.
Greene says Fairfax High’s esports club gave students a social outlet during the pandemic, as participants talked incessantly on Discord. The games remind him of people watching sports on TV, where people understand the rules and know who they’re rooting for.
“Most students are going to be going home and playing these games anyway,” Greene said. “It’s something that they’re passionate about.”
Greene says overall screen usage can be a health concern, especially after online schooling launched screen time to new levels, but parents shouldn’t dismiss the intellectual and developmental benefits that activities like video games can provide.
“When I was growing up, parents very much thought of video games as a negative, a dead-end thing, something that you didn’t develop skills by playing,” he said. “And I think that parents should realize that you’re actually developing critical thinking skills when you’re playing these games. I have not seen a student who’s playing these games who doesn’t eventually develop skills to understand, to communicate, [and improve] their fine motor skills.”
Good Friday evening! Today we published 7 articles that were read a total of 11171 times on FFXnow alone, so far. 📈 Top stories The following are the most-read articles…
Upgraded lighting is no longer a component of upgrades to the Barton Hill tennis courts in Reston. Reston Association will not challenge the Oct. 26 vote by the Fairfax County…
Thousands of lanterns will take over Lerner Town Square at Tysons II this winter. Based in New York City, the Winter Lantern Festival will bring over 10,000 Chinese-style lanterns to…
Open Houses includes a 5 BD/3.5 BA renovated home with a two car garage, fireplace and fenced backyard.
If you’re looking for a mental health professional in Virginia, Washington D.C., or Maryland, we can help.
We provide a confidential and convenient way to get the help you need from the comfort of your own home.
We offer a free 15-minute consultation to see if our services fit your needs.
The services we offer are:
Art House 7 is a small art studio in Arlington – offering instruction in painting, ceramics, sewing and more. We are looking for kind, dedicated people who love both creating and teaching.
Ceramic Teachers are needed to teach wheel-throwing to adults and 6-12th graders and to teach hand building to elementary grades. Classes have 3-8 students.
Drawing teachers are needed to teach either kids or adults. For kids, we offer cartooning, manga or traditional drawing. For adults, we only offer traditional drawing.
Painting teachers are needed to teach either kids or adults. We offer oil, acrylic or watercolor for adults or teens. All elementary classes use acrylic and tempera.
The Reston Chorale presents The Wonder of the Season, featuring Jody Marshall on hammered dulcimer. It’s a musical holiday treat for the entire family! Two performances at 4 and 7:30 pm, Reston Community Center/Hunters Woods, 2310 Colts Neck Road. A