July 1, 2022

OrKs Grand Poitiers moves to the media library and hopes to democratize the practice of e-sport

This is a first: the OrKs e-sport club in Grand Poitiers opens its doors to children from the age of 7. He moved to the François Mitterrand media library and offered to support parents and children towards good practices.

In Poitiers, the E-sport association OrKs Grand Poitiers on Wednesday 10 November launched a video game club for children and adolescents aged 7 to 17. The objective is to support young people in their learning and practice of video games, and to democratize e-sport.

Supervise a practice that is still the victim of prejudices

“For a very long time we wanted to supervise children to transmit values, technical skills but also to supervise their behavior when faced with play”, explains Pierre Mac-Mahon, President of OrKs Grand Poitiers.

To make video games accessible to as many people as possible, the association launched a student club on the university campus a year ago, in partnership with the university’s SUAPS and the Crous de Poitiers. This year, OrKs Grand Poitiers has forged a partnership with the media library, which hosts the club accessible to children from 7 years old.

Within the François Mitterrand media library, the association has made play equipment available, but the desired goal is above all that of education and support: “Setting up consoles accessible free of charge in a place does not address a problem of company. We want to supervise the children to instill a good consumption of the game “, Explain Pierre Mac-Mahon.

The association supports children and adolescents in the management of their emotions which can be encountered such as frustration or nervousness. : “We try to defuse behaviors that can potentially be encountered and teach children to manage them”.

The association also supports parents who have difficulty controlling the time their children spend on screens. The volunteers of OrKs Grand Poitiers then act as mediators: “We try to understand how things are done in homes and playing time spent in clubs becomes less playing time at home”.

A one-year experiment

The club intends to operate as “A traditional sports club” : the volunteer guides offer an awakening to the culture of e-sport with “Fun games, arcade racing, strategy”. After being awakened to a panel of games such as Mario Cards or Pokémon Unite, each child or teenager is called upon to specialize in a discipline.

To join the club, registrations are always open with an annual license and registrations. Twice a week, Wednesday from 4 p.m. to 5.30 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 11.30 a.m. OrKs welcomes eight children per slot.

The club’s experimentation will last a year, and could continue if successful, according to the director of the media libraries of Grand Poitiers, Jean-Louis Glénisson. The latter plans, in conjunction with Grand Poitiers and the e-sport association, the holding of events such as ” from video game evenings in Saint-Éloi or François Mitterrand, events combining music and video game production, and why not competitions ”.

For Jean-Louis Glénisson, “Video games are part of the culture now”. Installing the club at the heart of the François Mitterrand media library also helps reassure worried parents, who can come and meet the volunteers of OrKs Grand Poitiers and understand the ethics underlying education in video games.

Inter club tournament projects for the capital of e sport

In addition to the clubs present at the media library and on the campus, OrKs has launched a club in Parthenay requested by the municipality and is now targeting Chevigny. In the long term, Pierre Mac-Mahon hopes to organize tournaments between clubs from different municipalities : “After three or four clubs set up, we can set up a league, where Chauvigny will face Parthenay for example, to give children a competitive activity”.

In Poitiers, between 15 and 20 people are currently registered. The president of the association ensures that he is ready to open additional slots and is still accepting registrations : “If we have more registrants, we will open more slots on weekday evenings or at the end of the afternoon”. For now, the association targets children and adolescents aged 7 to 17, but plans to open clubs for adults on weekday evenings.

For Michel François, vice-president for economic development of Grand Poitiers, “Grand Poitiers has become the first urban community to invest in several ways in e-sport”. The territory indeed hosts the largest European event dedicated to e-sport, the Gamers Assembly.

Grand Poitiers invests between 5 and 600,000 euros per year to support the entire sector. Soon, a Games and Digital House should materialize the commitment made in favor of e-sport.