ESG Gaming Seeks to Address Inequality in Esports
ICE London’s Esports Arena played host to the exclusive world premiere of ESG Gaming’s Ironclad documentary this week.
The documentary features some of the largest esports brands and explores how digital and technical inequality impacts esports.
The film was followed by a presentation by Lee Williams, Founder of ESG Gaming and Dr Sarah Hodge, Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Bournemouth University, where they highlighted the huge gap in education and technology for many who are wanting to establish careers in the growing esports industry.
Hodge stated, “I think what surprises some people and is beginning to get a lot more attention is this idea that there is a digital divide or exclusion. That not everyone has access to this technology or that the technology they do have is borrowed or lower tech than what’s needed to fully explore and enjoy esports.”
She continued, “Some of this has to do with opportunities, social-economic status and ethnicity. This is something we need to address. How are we going to support these players?”
ESG Gaming is committed to working alongside digital entertainment sectors to ensure that the experience is open, inclusive and positive for all. A big part of that is ensuring that everyone has access to the skills, tools and the education to succeed in their passions.
Williams pinpoints the fact that opportunity for the underprivileged simply isn’t there at the moment. “If you’re a kid that wants to play football, you don’t need to go half way across London to find somewhere to play. So why should esports be any different? We need to make esports and gaming accessible to everyone because whether it’s esports or accounting, you should be given the opportunity to pursue your passion within the context of a career.”
It is perhaps William’s own story that is most inspiring. Having worked as a teacher and in youth work alongside a stint in Consumer Protection, he has also been dealing with a gambling addiction since the age of 38. These experiences have given him a desire to see young people being properly educated and supported within their love of gaming.
However, one of the biggest challenges to this is that there is currently a distinct lack of esports education structure within schools, colleges and higher education, meaning that opportunities are fewer and farther between than perhaps they should be.
Afterall, revenue in the esports market is projected to reach US$50.13m in 2023 and grow around 9% per year going forwards.
It is part of ESG’s upcoming manifesto that they hope to be able to donate annually up to 25% of any surplus to charities in the space, reinvesting back into products and helping to broaden their reach to support more and more companies and players.
Williams concluded by inviting companies, publishers, suppliers and operators into a conversation about how best to work together to make sure that a generation of passionate gamers are not ignored and to ensure that they are given every opportunity to flourish within the space.
You can watch Ironclad by clicking on this link.