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Shenandoah University Helps Students Build Gaming Career


In Winchester, Virginia, parents of young gamers may breathe a sigh of relief since a major higher education institution takes it upon itself to guide their kids toward brilliant careers.

When hazards of addictive gaming are threatening an entire generation, Shenandoah University has come up with a professional plan to coach gamers and help them do what they like the right way. As part of that plan, the university is now tutoring more than a dozen kids in its esports summer camp.

Caitlyn Graulau,18, is one of them. A prospective student to join the university this fall, Graulau has been into video games almost ever since she could hold a console in her hands. Now, she even considers majoring in the esports management program, as well as in history.

“If it’s something you love, and you’re making money off of it, I have to say it’s worth it,” she told Local DVM.

Graulau participates in the two-week summer camp – launched for the first time this year – with much younger gamers, some of who have just turned 10. They learn about the growing industry, possible career fields in it, not to mention the time they spend actually playing games under professional supervision.

Esports Arena Opening This August

Shenandoah University takes its approach to e-sports so seriously that is even has a 35-member varsity team that competes in national and international tournaments. Zachary Harrington is its head coach and contributes to the ongoing summer camp also as the assistant director of the university’s esports management program.

“Obviously not everyone is going to be good enough to be a professional gamer and that’s not what we’re trying to do here,” he is quoted as saying in the same report. For him, the esports industry is much bigger than the gamers. “There is a large growing need for (different) people to work (at different jobs) within that billion-dollar industry.”

Accordingly, the university is now working towards the grand opening of its new esports arena, a 1,571-square-foot complex featuring 12 competitor stations, a 21-inch stage, 70 spectator seats, broadcasting booths as well as three 12-foot projector screens on three walls. It will serve as both a practice facility for its team and as a public esports venue where spectators can watch weekly matches. The arena will also help students in the new ‘Bachelor of Science in Esports’ with hands-on learning experiences in management and media & communications.

Play Responsibly to Play Better!

And to address any detrimental impact of gaming on the health of its students and campers, the university monitors their involvement to ensure a responsible gaming experience, emphasizing the importance of nutrition and exercise for non-traditional athletes.

“There are concerns about the risks of sitting for long periods of time and the detriments to your health because of gaming and in order to combat that kind of stuff, you need to be active, you need to be exercising,” Harrington said. “The better shape you’re in, the better you feel, the better you’re going to perform.”

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