ITE fest to promote healthy online gaming

SINGAPORE - Teachers and parents can often find it hard to convince their charges to spend less time on computer gaming, with well-meaning words falling on deaf ears.

The Institute of Technical Education (ITE) is trying a different tack by reaching out to youth through the very gaming activities they enjoy.

Said ITE College Central principal, Dr Ang Kiam Wee: "You can't directly tell today's youth not to do something and expect them to comply immediately, so it can be difficult sometimes for my teachers and I to get our message across."

On Wednesday, ITE College Central began a three-year partnership to promote a healthy gaming lifestyle with Singapore's Cybersports & Online Gaming Association (Scoga), and will hold the inaugural Campus Game Fest on its premises in October.

Scoga, a volunteer-run society, offers cyber wellness and digital literacy programmes.

Aside from online games such as Defence of the Ancients 2, the three-day event will also feature anime cosplay and art competitions.

Industry professionals and top gamers are also expected to conduct workshops and talks on how they balance gaming with their other priorities.

"Youth will be more likely to believe role models who have walked the talk and have success to show for it," said Dr Ang.

ITE students will also be involved in the set-up process of the Campus Game Fest.

For example, students from the School of Business and Services will take on the responsibilities of event management while their peers in the School of Electronics & Info-Comm Technology will work with industry professionals on setting up the computers and networking for the competition.

Said Scoga chairman Nicholas Khoo: "This partnership is about a sharing of resources, and it's a good platform to get students involved and get their feet wet."

qnwong@sph.com.sg


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