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City’s e-games a drawcard for nimble-fingered youth<span><figure class="figure-credits right"><img class="responsive" alt="placeholder" src="" style="width:511px;" /><figcaption> <p>  © City of Cape Town</p> </figcaption> </figure> <p>The City of Cap Town has hit ‘play’ on a new e-games pilot project.</p><p>Electronic games (e-games) is a generic term used for recreation featuring a stand-alone video game, desktop computer, or the internet, and involves one or more players.</p><p>Children between the ages of 5 and 19 can have a crack at a range of Xbox games at the Gugulethu Sports Complex, the Rebecca van Amsterdam Centre in Atlantis, the Duinefontein Community Centre, and the Factreton Community Centre from 14:00 – 17:30 after school and 10:00 – 16:00 during the school holidays. The games are facilitated by play leaders and volunteers at each facility, who are tasked with assisting children and ensuring that everyone has a turn. The most popular games are the racing and sports/soccer games.</p><span><figure class="figure-credits left"><img class="responsive" alt="placeholder" src="" style="width:511px;" /><figcaption> <p> © City of Cape Town</p> </figcaption> </figure><p>‘E-games are a new addition to our facilities and at the moment this is just a pilot project but is gaining momentum quickly. The programme is very successful and we are getting a lot of positive feedback from the participants. Their coordination and participation is remarkable and has indeed exceeded the centre’s expectations. We will look to expand it to other recreation hubs where the demand is high and the plan is to eventually incorporate this as a new code in the annual Cape Town Games,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security; and Social Services, Alderman JP Smith.</p><p>The City’s Recreation and Parks Department started the programme in partnership with the Information Systems and Technology Department. Other partners have also come on board, including the Rebuilding and Life Skills Training Centre, local neighbourhood watch organisations, the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport, and Africa Unite.</p><p>‘I strongly support the growth of new sports such as e-gaming, as not everyone wants to be part of more traditional team sports like soccer or cricket. This kind of activity draws a new and different crowd of young people to recreation hubs. We want to provide activities that are attractive to teenagers in particular, as these programmes are an important deterrent from the anti-social behaviour often caused by boredom.</p><p>‘Electronic games have shown to improve focus, attention, and reaction time. These games encourage quick thinking and social interaction when players are on a team. Some games encourage physical activity and we may even be developing a new generation of game inventors and creators,’ explained Alderman Smith.</p><span></span></span><p>On Wednesday 12 April 2017, Alderman Smith visited the Gugulethu Sports Complex to see how the programme is run.</p><p>‘Gugulethu has a unique set of circumstances that contribute to the programme’s success. The facility is at the heart of a community where playing electronic games is a luxury that most can’t afford. Our programme provides an arcade-like experience that was not available before,’ he said.</p><p>It helps that the facility has always been running programmes with high attendance numbers, and adding e-games has only helped increase those numbers.</p><p>The complex has an average of 500 participants per week, with the majority of the children coming from Gugulethu and Manenberg. Since January, the Gugulethu Sports Complex has also had facility protection officers on duty. They have played a crucial role in reducing the incidence of theft and vandalism. It is important that the centre’s equipment is safeguarded to ensure the sustainability of recreation programmes such as e-games.</p><p>‘The City has great ambitions for e-games and we believe that this rising sport in geek culture empowers young minds with valuable computing, literacy, problem-solving and coordination skills. Around the world electronic sports are becoming well recognised and the City has formally adopted this as one of the sporting types we have to develop. I will continue to pursue my dream of seeing Cape Town host the national regional finals for online gaming in a signature Cape Town e-sports tournament, culminating in the City bidding for and hosting the international Electronic Sports World Cup, so that many of the youths playing e-sports at local recreation hubs can compete in such a championship and represent the country internationally,’ said Alderman Smith.</p><p><br><strong>End</strong></p>​​</span>2017-04-12T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891dGP0|#426f33a2-4cf0-4de1-9b5b-d1e5123efbe4;L0|#0426f33a2-4cf0-4de1-9b5b-d1e5123efbe4|Gugulethu;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb;GP0|#40b767e7-bd30-4256-b01a-0deec96a62b2;L0|#040b767e7-bd30-4256-b01a-0deec96a62b2|youth;GP0|#3bd13869-3207-4532-9db7-a4ca95867a50;L0|#03bd13869-3207-4532-9db7-a4ca95867a50|JP Smith;GPP|#3f57ea8a-3adb-4a8f-bb3a-0a20a62c7fe91

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