Every year my gf and I spend a couple months in Thailand as English teachers. And every year we do something special for the last two weeks of school, we teach the students Starcraft. And they absolutely love it. I’ve been doing this for four years now and it has become a sort of end-of-school tradition. They go nuts when the time approaches and study extra extra hard so that they can be eligible to play. It’s funny how quickly they become addicted. Getting to play computer games with your friends, leading vast armies across virtual battlefields, and waging war with your teammates, any kid would eat that up. But this is especially the case for my students. They don't really have the opportunity. Computers are what rich families have and get to play. Computers are strangers to them and you can see it in their hesitant handling of mouse and keyboard. All of them scroll with the arrow keys, they ain't used to mouse scrolling. I’ve visited their homes for parent-teacher meet n' greets and none of them own computers. I’m sure because I would have seen it in their single-room homes (unless it was in the bathroom).
Anyways, I am just thankful for getting the chance to share a small part of my childhood growing up. You would have been happy to see them too. They are already crying about how strong Protoss units are and how weak Terran is (I haven’t taught them how to make tanks yet). We played 1v7 on Hunters and they giggled like hyenas, watching me knock out their friends one by one.
And holy shit do they learn fast. The most shocking thing I saw was a student’s base layout. Gateways and pylons laid out in perfect symmetry. Wtf. She was the only one while the rest were wondering why their dragoons were stuck behind buildings. She was at 150 supply while the others were hovering around 60. A little pipsqueak of a girl kicked everyone’s ass. Very interesting to see how complete newcomers to RTS and BW, play the game.
I also had to stop a kid from making Dark Templars, because detection is hard for elementary students playing their first multiplayer game. Students were asking, “Teacher Golgotha, why are my units blowing up???” And then you see a 40+ kill DT......that kid is going places.
I think the team aspect is what really draws them. Yelling for help, strategizing about who they should kill first, teaching each other how to play, and fighting alongside your team. Hearing them chatter during and after each match brought back memories of my BW lan sessions when I was a youngin’. Without fail, every year the students tell me how much fun the game is and that they can’t wait to play again. Even the students you would expect to absolutely hate the game or have zero interest whatsoever, surprise me and come up to beam about Brood War.
Thanks to Blizzard for making such an epic group experience. Next week will be a lot of fun for my students.
I have a request to ask TL. I’ve shown my students the Jaedong APM video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQRIxq_cJDE&t=42s) and the 2011 BW Starleague highlight video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zjkctj71-aU) to blow their minds. Is there anything else I can show to shock and awe them even more? There are many highlight videos but most are potato quality. I'd appreciate your help and ideas, whatever to make them fall more in love with Starcraft.