Commissioner Connolly has chosen Youth Week to launch her latest report – Community Building in the 21st Century which examines how collaborative gaming can be deployed as a youth engagement strategy to build the kind of communities young people want. Supporting grassroots development of collaborative gaming and esports clubs in local community settings requires a fundamental shift in our thinking around the potential the new sport offers. What is required is an understanding that gaming and esports is a healthy, fun activity that builds resilience, communication, teamwork and self-discipline. It can also provide pathways to positive outcomes for individuals and communities in the same way traditional sports clubs do. Also like community sporting clubs, at the core of collaborative gaming is community spirit, having fun, improving skill development and achieving recognition. Esports and gaming also offers future employment opportunities, not just for professional players, but for game developers, sound engineers, broadcasters, commentators, referees and competition organisers and promoters, to name a few of the roles this burgeoning industry is creating.

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