Teaching Esports to Young Students with Autism: Exploring Pedagogical Possibilities and Challenges

Rune Kristian Lundedal Nielsen, Thorkild Hanghøj, Morten Boller, Peter Mollerup

Research output: Conference Article in Proceeding or Book/Report chapterArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Esports is on the rise as a leisure activity and also as a pedagogical activity. In this paper, we explore how Danish teachers within special needs education experience the pedagogical possibilities and challenges related to the educational use of esports activities. More specifically, we interviewed teachers from four different public institutions and a teacher from a commercial esports provider that offers specially organized education aimed at young people (16-25 years old) diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. The results indicate that teachers generally have positive experiences with esports activities using Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) in relation to increasing students’ well-being and social relations. However, there are also clear differences in the teachers’ game literacy, as well as how they facilitate game activities through their own teaching or by visits to an external esports provider. The findings suggest that esports activities can be used as a valuable teaching resource, but that this requires expertise, ownership, and awareness among teachers of the educational possibilities and challenges.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe 16th International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games (FDG) 2021
Number of pages8
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Publication dateAug 2021
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4503-8422-3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021
EventFDG 2021: Foundations of Digital Games - Fully Online
Duration: 2 Aug 20216 Aug 2021
Conference number: 16th


ConferenceFDG 2021: Foundations of Digital Games
LocationFully Online
Internet address


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