Tailored Education Models and Video Games

David V. Kimball
3 min readNov 9, 2023
David V. Kimball speaks to Dr. K during Esports in Academia Webinar.

In a recent webinar hosted by Austin-based middle school Esports Academy, industry experts discussed how tailored and personalized education can benefit students — helping them learn 2x-5x faster than traditional schools.

One such expert was Harvard-trained psychiatrist Dr. Alok Kanojia, who explained how video games are inherently designed to match the player’s skill level and pace of learning — just like Esports Academy’s 2hr Learning model.

Just as video games start players at level 1 and allow them to progress at their own pace, tailored education meets students precisely with where they are currently, and then adapts based on performance. Games provide immediate feedback when you make a mistake, allowing you to quickly learn from errors and try again until you master a skill. Similarly, personalized learning platforms and assessments give students real-time feedback so they can course-correct and fully grasp concepts before moving forward.

Whereas traditional schooling often teaches to the middle and fails to adequately challenge gifted students or support struggling students, tailored education like 2hr Learning accelerates or remediates based on the individual. This prevents boredom at the top and frustration at the bottom. Research shows learning is most optimized when material is presented at the appropriate level, pushing students just beyond their comfort zone. Mastering skills before advancing also builds a strong foundation.

The “respawn” mechanic in video games enables players to immediately retry after failing. This persistence pays off, rewarding grit and tenacity. Likewise, a personalized learning system gives students multiple attempts to demonstrate mastery. This growth mindset says skills can be developed through effort. Setbacks are reframed as opportunities for improvement, rather than being permanent labels like “C student.”

Gameplay and tailored education both track progress and performance, allowing self-pacing. Online ranking systems constantly match you with opponents of the same skill level, creating uniquely engaging experiences that push you to become better.

Today’s students are accustomed to receiving tailored content from digital platforms in their personal lives. It makes sense to align education with this effective method of engagement and skill building.

Esports Academy’s co-founder MacKenzie Price highlighted that with such adaptive learning models, students only need to spend 2 hours a day with core subjects like Math, Reading, Science, and Language. This gives them 4 hours a day to spend on their passions with dedicated coaches who help them unlock their potential and “find their fire” even beyond esports, forging students into producers, event planners, content creators, and leaders, preparing them for high school and beyond.

Esports Academy is set to launch in January 2024 in Austin, TX. Its sister school, Alpha, uses the same 2hr Learning model and has seen students who previously struggled in school reach the top 10% of students nationally within just 2 years.

Many gifted students turn to video games when school bores them — so if you have a student who wants to avoid school, he or she may just be in the wrong learning environment. You should consider Esports Academy — your child prodigy will go above and beyond what you might ever expect.

Learn more about Esports Academy by visiting esports.school or find us online by our social media handles esportsacademyofficial and EsportsAcademyW.

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David V. Kimball

I love all things digital. Topics: marketing, faith, communication, tech, and gaming.