Supporting and Managing your Child's Gaming Habits
Published on February 8th, 2022 at 7:38 PM
The gaming industry in the past decade saw more children starting to have aspirations of pursuing professional careers in gaming or of playing esports professionally. Unlike many traditional sports, gamers have the opportunity to compete at high levels from a very young age. A recent notable example of this was in 2019 when 16 year-old gamer Kyle Giersdorf (Bugha) won the Fortnite World Cup and the $3 million dollar prize that came with it!
While more and more young adults and children are starting to have aspirations of playing esports professionally, achieving this goal is just as competitive as pursuing a career in any other sport. Middle schools, high schools, and colleges around the world are also starting to develop extensive esports programs and scholarships.
We are extremely excited to be partnered with the The Coalition of Parents in Esports (COPE), a nonprofit charity led by the parents of professional gamers and content creators dedicated to helping parents navigate and understand the positive aspects of gaming and esports! COPE’s mission is to remove the negative stigmas, educate parents, raise awareness, provide resources to make esports feel rewarding, and provide scholarships to aspiring athletes.
We had a chance to sit down with Chris Spikoski, CEO of COPE - and the father of professional gamer Sceptic - about his experience as a parent supporting his son’s esports aspirations so that his advice may be able to help other parents in our community!
Chris is an avid gamer himself, and spent time playing games like Mario Kart with his son from a very young age. As Sceptic began taking competitive and professional esports more and more seriously, and as he started streaming and building an online presence, Chris was always there to help and support him. “I was in his Discord as a moderator,” says Spikoski. “If anything did pop up where he needed help, he would be sure to let me know to jump in and help him navigate it. It was all about just playing with him, being involved with him, letting him know I was there with him. Same things as traditional sports.”
One of the most important aspects of the support Chris provided for Sceptic was showing the same respect for the activity as he would any other traditional sport or hobby. “I was very involved, but also very respectful when he had scrimmages or practice going on with his team,” says Spikoski. “When your kids are in basketball and they're out on the court practicing, you are not going to run out there and say, ‘hey it's time for dinner!’ You are gonna be respectful of their time on the court practicing with the team.”
We asked Chris what advice he had for parents who want to be more involved in their children’s gaming experience and here's what he had to say: “Set up a console down in the family room, and just have your kid show you how to play! Even if you aren't good! It's kind of eye opening when you do get to sit down and play with your kids and have them teach you. As parents we are always trying to find a way to teach our kids as opposed to taking a step back and having them teach us. I have learned a lot from my kid over the years that has been very valuable to help build a connection with him.”