The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award now lets you do esports.
The long-running royal family-fuelled awards scheme, which is best-known for its physical and expedition activities, has officially added esports to the DofE skills list.
The DofE conducted a pilot it said “revealed that playing esports helps young people develop skills such as strategic thinking, communication, leadership and teamwork while also helping to develop self-esteem and build organisational and social skills”.
The DofE also said the skills needed to become a good player “are now widely recognised as useful for a host of digital and business jobs”. It pointed to a Censuswide survey of more than 1000 senior business leaders, which it commissioned, that found eight out of 10 respondents said they would be open to employing young people who have gained transferable skills from esports such as IT, communications, and team building. 71 percent said they could see the educational value of esports.
Here’s how it works, according to the DofE (tl;dr you can’t just do esports to get an award):
“… to be recognised as a DofE Skills activity, esports must take place through an organised and structured adult-led group, such as a school or college enrichment club.
“To achieve their Bronze, Silver or Gold DofE Awards young people choosing esports will also participate in a range of other activities. In addition to developing a new skill they will also need to volunteer for a cause they believe in, undertake a physical challenge, plan and complete an adventurous expedition with their peers and, for Gold only, go on a residential trip with people they’ve never met before.”
The DofE’s CEO, Ruth Marvel said: “Esports is one of the fastest growing activities in the UK and helps young people develop essential skills. DofE has a proud history of evolving our programmes to reflect the changing interests and needs of young people, so I’m delighted that, following a successful pilot, we’ve added esports to the DofE Skills list.
“DofE is all about helping young people develop themselves, so they have the skills and confidence to make the most of whatever life throws at them. Setting yourself challenges and mastering new skills is core to the DofE experience and esports provides a structured and safe way to do this, while also being a lot of fun.”