The 2018 National e Festival Competitions for Students with Disabilities organized by Netmarble started on September 4 at the K Hotel in Seoul, South Korea.
Netmarble, the Korea Creative Content Agency (KOCCA) and the National Institute for Special Education (NISE) are co-organizing the two-day event. Netmarble has been hosting esports events of this kind since 2009. In 2018, the company is proudly organizing the largest event for disabled students in history.
1,500 students made it to the main event in Seoul. The students went through qualifiers in 17 cities from May 8 to July 20. The competition is divided into two categories, information technology and esports. Technology includes 16 events like Microsoft Word, Excel and coding. The esports category includes games developed by Netmarble like Magu Magu, Penta Strom, and board game Everyone’s Marble.
Kim Eun-suk, general director of the NISE, said: “The event has cultivated many talented students. Like them, I hope participants to this year’s event can nurture not only their abilities in computer science but also socially, I believe the event can help them to overcome possible obstacles in their lives.”
Students and family members at the event can also join in the fun. The schedule includes activities like drone racing and robot football, virtual reality and augmented reality devices and arcade games.
Traditional sports will have a place at the Festival with bowling and track and field competitions for students with severe disabilities. For this part of the event, they can use assistive devices.
The National e Festival is an inclusive space, so the organizers are holding esports competitions between disabled and non-disabled students.
Esports Insider says: At times, esports look like a non-inclusive space. Netmarble is changing the script and helping students feel like they belong. Disabled players like Mike “BrolyLegs” Begum are taking part in tournaments against non-disabled players. There’s interest, now it’s time for game developers and gear designers to listen to this audience.