Most of us have tried to sneak a quick game of Minesweeper in during our computer classes at school, but for students at Garnes High School in Norway, playing games won’t be something they’ll have to hide. Garnes Vidaregåande Skole, a public high school in the city of Bergen, Norway, is to start teaching e-sports to its students starting in August. The elective class puts e-sports on the same footing as traditional sports such as soccer and handball at the school. 30 or so students enrolled in the program will study five hours a week during the three-year program.
Folk High Schools—boarding schools that offer one year of non-examined training and education—have already offered some e-sports training, but this will be the first time that e-sports find a place in a regular high school.
Students on the program will not simply spend five hours a week playing games at school. While gaming skills are important, the classes will include 90 minutes of physical training optimized for the games in question, with work on reflexes, strength, and endurance. Each class will be split; 15 students will play while the other 15 perform physical exercise. In an interview with Dotablast, Petter Grahl Johnstad, head of the school’s science department, says that the students will have their performance graded, with game knowledge and skills, communication, co-operation, and tactical ability all being assessed.