Next Gen is a documentary series by Wisdom and acowsay that follows the inaugural national championship winning St. Louis Park High School Overwatch team on their journey to repeat the following year.
Although told through the lens of competition, the real story is about the powerful transformation that occurs within the players while competing together, overcoming adversity, and creating important friendships during their high school years. Video games are consistently demonized and touted as a waste of time by a generation of people who don’t understand what we know to be true: that gaming, and especially esports, can be an incredibly positive influence on a person’s quality of life and personal development.
High school esports programs give students who are typically underserved a place to belong, make friends, be celebrated, connect to their school, and learn all the lessons that traditional sports teach without their barriers to entry. In esports, everyone is welcome.
Preview – Joseph
The pilot episode focuses on Joseph, a high school student who goes through an incredible transformation over three years in his esports program. This episode is due to come out in late March/early April of 2020.
Preview – Jake
If this docuseries gets picked up and funded, more episodes will focus on additional benefits of esports by following other characters on the team. The subject matter of subsequent episodes will focus on topics ranging from college and career opportunities, to the growth of grass roots programs and how they are influencing the next generation of competitors.
The clip below shows a preview of Jake’s story as he attempts to go from being a regular high school teacher in Minnesota to leading the state’s efforts in getting esports accepted as an official high school sport.