Skoltech, HSE, and partners go into cooperation to develop Russian esports and online education
Skoltech has gone into partnership with the Higher School of Economics, Skolkovo Foundation, the Digital Economy non-profit organization, Federation of Cybersport in Russia, and Game Developers Association have signed a cooperation agreement on developing the gaming industry and online education. As part of the agreement, the members will set up an HSE-based research center to study gaming educational techniques. The signing ceremony took place at the Russia national exhibition.
Photo. Credit: HSE.

The agreement provides for a set of measures and stimulates research on developing the gaming industry and online education. The partnership will focus on the study of play as a social practice that develops the abilities of people. A key focus will be on the opportunities to use game mechanics for increasing the involvement of students in the educational process based on research in neurophysiology and biochemistry of the brain.

The parties also agreed to conduct research that will help develop requirements for the transformation of computer games as a socially significant activity aimed primarily at learning and development.

“The gaming industry today is much more than entertainment. Together with our partners, we conducted a number of studies that proved that games can not only be an educational tool, but also contribute to the professional development of young people. In our ‘Youth Policy’ laboratory, we study games as a separate social phenomenon with the potential to influence education, culture, and socially significant processes. Young people can engage in science and technology in an easy and relaxed format through games, which creates a new virtual space for their popularity. We plan to further promote the concept of useful games as one of the country's youth policy instruments,” said Dmitry Zemtsov, the vice rector of the Higher School of Economics.

“The most popular games lead to a unique psychophysiological state for their fans, where they can simplify and accelerate the process of acquiring new knowledge and practical skills. In order to develop skills and knowledge that are useful in the modern economy and digital environment, you need to learn how to use the experience gained in the gaming industry and combine it with the latest achievements in pedagogy and neurophysiology,” believes Sergey Izrailit, the vice president and director for development and planning at the Skolkovo Foundation.

“In our view, modern scientific approaches to research in the field of neurophysiology and brain metabolism can and should be used to assess the long-term effects of increased loads in the digital environment and fine-tune the educational process to achieve better results,” said Professor Philipp Khaitovich, the director of Skoltech’s Neuro Center.

As part of the partnership, HSE is establishing a research center on gaming educational technologies. Its research will focus on the impact of games on human behavior and psycho-emotional state, local and global changes in society, and economic processes.

The participants of the agreement will develop methods for using helpful games and interactive learning technologies in education and career guidance, as well as prepare training programs for esports athletes, and share their best practices at the conferences, seminars, and other events. It is also planned to hold competitions for raising gaming literacy and professional competencies in this area.