During an eSport competition of “Speed Drifters” (kart-based mobile game) held in Thailand in the Nong Khai at Khon Kaen University from August 15th to 18th, something really unique happened. A group of apprentice monks won the tournament.
The team consisted of a group of high school boys from Balee Sathit Suksa, a school that educates young monks. As academic coordinator and head monk of the Balee school Sathit Suksa, Kokkiad Chaisamchareonlap said: ” The novices wanted to try to participate in the tournament, so we gave them the opportunity to try their luck. However, we didn’t expect them to really win. “Severe but fair, no doubt about it.
To some, however, the willingness of the novices to participate in such an earthly thing does not seem to have gone to genius. The reaction on social networks was quite vehement. The comments, mostly negative, focused on the fact that this participation was not appropriate: ” Usually I’m not very religious, but I think it’s inappropriate. It’s not illegal or extreme, but I think the monks shouldn’t have worn their dress to participate in the tournament “.
Kokkiad rejected this negative view and, as an educator, stated that ” Novices are just kids, like other people of their age who need to grow, develop their skills and explore their interests “.
This event silences the belief that apprentices live only on religion, as Kokkiad explained, boys attend religious services about twenty hours a week, while they have the rest of the time for traditional education and daily life.
According to him, the children would have shown interest in the world of eSports after having seen it during computer lessons and having spent most of their free time playing with the game in question. The kids probably won’t become professionals, but it remains surprising how eSport can be truly inclusive and fun.