The growing trend around esports and gaming is something that can’t be ignored — and college campuses are taking notice. It’s no longer about the traditional spaces you associate with a college setting, but spaces that align with the activities students are participating in. This goes beyond studying, traditional athletics and socializing. Esports and gaming aren’t just popular pastimes; they are creating community and connection among students.

For college campuses looking to embrace this trend, this means creating spaces tailored to these organized activities. These spaces not only facilitate esports and gaming, but maximize this opportunity for skill development, problem solving and collaboration.

What does the data say?

According to a recent article by American School & University, esports and gaming programs are on the rise. The Council of Independent Colleges shared that more than 200 colleges and universities now have programs related to esports. And students with an interest in esports and gaming are seeking out institutions that will allow them to further develop their skills and interest. Ultimately, this is about meeting students where they are as participants and spectators of this growing industry.

Not to mention the many benefits

For students who immerse themselves in this space, there is an opportunity for connection and socialization that was previously lacking. This is even more evident following a global pandemic.

Additionally, esports and gaming have a variety of natural career paths for students to pursue. So the opportunity to integrate this programming into the curriculum and extracurriculars is important for a number of reasons – especially as colleges and universities compete for students in the ever-changing climate of higher education.

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But what does an esports and gaming space look like?

Furnishings are key to any esports and gaming space. It’s important to balance energy, comfort and, of course, the needs of the audience. Comfort starts with the chair. The right seating is essential because gaming can last for hours. In addition, safety and minimizing risk are priorities. When a student doesn’t have to worry about comfort and safety, performance improves. This means that the right furnishings, those tailored to the very nature of this activity, will not only support an interest and love of gaming but also increase performance and overall skill development.

For college campuses with a serious interest in esports and gaming, the next priority is the overall space, according to Steelcase. It’s about engaging the students – whether as active participants or enthusiasts who want to view all the action. This means spaces must take into account the needs of leagues or teams, spectators, and more, not to mention the importance of rest following intense play.

Esports and gaming are a growing trend, especially within the higher education space. The growth of this industry cannot be ignored. Colleges and universities that prioritize performance-level spaces will catch the attention of prospective students, support current students where they are, and have the potential to deliver a better experience for all involved.

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