It may seem unorthodox: schools targeting more students playing video games as a measure of success. But in Downey Unified, educators and industry partners are hyped about growing numbers of young people coming out for gaming competitions, known as Esports. My guests on this episode of Future Groove talk about students’ deepening engagement in their studies with an eye on STEM careers over the last five years, fueled by Esports mega-events. Recruitment has spread into middle schools to build on an activity wildly popular among youth—winning over skeptical parents with a focus on teamwork, strategy, and STEM classes. Esports—complete with jerseys, fans and campus “rockstar” status,—funnels students into skills-based classes, including game programming. We’ll hear how these experiences count toward college admissions, and promote career exploration in all the facets that make up the rapidly-evolving gaming industry.