Main picture – Kim Hansen, Ulvespill
(KONNERUD, NORWAY)
Konnerud is a small built-up area inside the Norwegian town named Drammen. Within this area, a sports facility who aims for the recreational sports for the local community is venturing into the E-Sport community. (Konnerud IL)

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Picture: Kim Hansen, Ulvespill \ “Packed with kids on opening day”

I grew up here at Konnerud and during my childhood from Elementary School all the way up to Senior High School, the option to just go to a location or to an organized E-Sport team was out of the question. Gaming was seen as a bad, unsocial thing back then, but luckily, this community has been more and more accepted by the community.

Christian Normann Johansen works at Konnerud IL, (directly translated to Konnerud Sports Club)Β he is actually around my age (20’s) and is one of the people who started a whole new recreational sports activity for youth and adults in this built-up area.

I had the pleasure to visit the location where Konnerud IL is venturing into the E-sport community. I was met by three young people who are one of the very first Rocket League team Konnerud IL is organizing. Christian tells me that they will aim for both social gaming and professional gaming inside this building, as they are a recreational sports club, the focus is to get most people to join in.

The biggest question I always ask myself is what the parents think of this. As mentioned, gaming wasn’t exactly popular among the adults before. Excuses that we ain’t social, physically active, just sitting there achieving square eyes. I asked Christian about this, he answered that it is important to have close communication with the parents. Letting them know that gaming ain’t just about killing, and gaming is a social event.

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Picture: Kim Hansen, Ulvespill \ “Christian Normann Johansen – Konnerud IL”

“[It’s] Important to have a good dialogue with the parents, selling the message that this is not the reality just a game. That E-Sport is more than killing each other, it’s also the knowledge to cooperate, creating an environment for the youngsters where they can make new friends and develop as well as gain new skills, social skills.”
Christian Normann Johansen – Konnerud IL

It sure looks that Konnerud IL really want this to work, and from what I could see, they really gave this activity a huge starter boost. It wasn’t the biggest room, but the content, however, is massive which provides lots of option for the youngsters. I could see multiple gaming desktops, PlayStation 4 Pro’s, even a SNES mini. It sure looked like the local community loved this idea since the place was already full before they officially opened the doors 13th October 2018. Before I left, Christian added that they will arrange training days for their E-Sport teams, as well as social gaming nights each Friday. For now, they only have a Rocket League team, but they will try to recruit people during their gaming nights. They have looked into getting a Fornite team, Hearthstone and if the boys from the Rocket League team gets their will, even a Rainbow Six: Siege team. (unlikely)

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I really look forward to seeing what Konnerud IL can achieve with this venture. And of course, the joy of being a part of its development. I can assure, that we at Ulvespill will most likely attend the social gaming nights from time to time.

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