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Melbourne school declares video games a sport

3AW Mornings with Tony Jones
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St Michael’s Grammar has declared video games an official form of sport.

The St Kilda school has added Mario Kart, FIFA and Just Dance to its house sports competition.

Students in years 7 to 10 are able to compete in the games during lunch time and earn points for their house.

The school has even appointed an eSports ambassador.

Mark Santomartino, Nine News reporter and co-host of gaming podcast, said gaming can be a valuable skill.

“It’s really about quick thinking, anticipation, a lot of video games is actually puzzle solving,” he told 3AW’s Tony Jones.

Mr Santomartino said gaming prowess may improve employment prospects.

“Video gaming as an industry is gigantic … It is becoming a force in the world. It earns more money than movies, more money than books, more money than music,” he said.

“In terms of jobs … It’s encouraging a lot of kids, particularly young girls, to get into coding.

“As we push further and further into IT, that’s going to be critical.

“Last year there were an estimated 425 million people who watched eSports online.”

Mr Santomartino said eSports can help students build valuable skills, but they shouldn’t replace physical sports.

“I don’t think we can ever replace physical sport,” he said.

“If it’s a way to allow kids to get more involved in school sport, particularly those who might not be physically capable, I think it’s a great thing.”

Press PLAY below to hear what Mark Santomartino had to say on 3AW Mornings.

3AW Mornings with Tony Jones