The Social Benefits of Esports for Kids

Esports, like Zoom calls and SkipTheDishes, are having a moment right now.

Esports seems tailor-made for this new normal and are more popular than ever since we've been home and apart from one another. While we would also like to see our kids spend time engaging in outdoor activities this summer, don't be quick to discount the emotional and mental health benefits esports offers during these unique times as video game companies continue to focus on games' social components.

One such company is Mission Control, a St. Louis-based startup and Backyard Camp partner, who focuses on growing esports communities online. Organizations on Mission Control utilize the platform to create well-organized digital experiences that drive social connections through playful competition.

"Mission Control is a B2B SaaS platform for rec league sports" says Mission Control co-founder, Austin Smith. "We provide software for them to run these leagues, but instead of it being for baseball or basketball or something like that, we help them run rec leagues for esports like FIFA or Fortnite." Smith, along with co-founders Byron Abrigg and Brandon Smith, say they formed deep friendships through their love of playing social esports competitions. Eventually, they decided to make a business out of it. And so, Mission Control was born.

Mission Control Founders

Suffice to say, the Mission Control founders believe it's highly unlikely esports will 'rot your brain' similar to how our parents used to 'warn' us about television. In fact, it's likely quite the opposite. Canadian parenting expert Alyson Schafer points to the positive social and cognitive benefits of online gaming. “There’s a lot of strategy and problem solving, and great things that can go on in gaming. For kids that are socially isolating, a lot of the games today are super social.” Schafer also believes online gaming presents opportunities for parents to bond with their kids. "If your kids like to play online gaming, play with them. Find out what's so exciting. You may love it. Find new ways of being involved in their lives," as Schafer shared with CBC News.

Get Mission Control for your organization:

Use video games as a new fundraising tool for your community organization or charity today! Mission Control provides fun and friendly competition for your community members while also raising money for a good cause - learn more.

And a huge congratulations to the winners in our July Fortnite leagues:

  • Roderick Lee
  • Leyton Smith