One school in Portage believes that, sometimes, video games can do more good than harm.
Westpark School is picking up where it left off with its esports teams. For those unfamiliar, esports are competitive video games which, for the most part, are team games. Jason Siemens, the teacher leading the esports teams, says it's helped the students on the teams regarding their teamwork and critical thinking.
"It's a lot of fun," says Siemens. "It has, I would say most, if not all, of the upsides of other team sports. It just happens in a computer."
He adds, they currently have two games that they have teams for. The first is Rocket League, a three-on-three game where you play soccer by driving cars. The second game is called Valorant, which is a five-on-five tactical shooter where each player has unique abilities to help them succeed.
"This is our third year of competitive Rocket League," explains Siemens. "We do have a Facebook page where people can watch our games online and that looks promising to continue. It's a pretty cool thing."
Siemens encourages any interested students to reach out to their school about either joining an existing esports team or creating a new one.
"Our season is with the High School Esports League, which is an international organization," mentions Siemens. "I know there's some stuff happening in Manitoba, but we haven't looked into the local competition."
Siemens believes, whether the overtime winner is scored on the ice or on the screen, the teamwork and cooperation learned are what make the students participating better people.