NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. (FOX 56) – In 2022, video games and learning go hand-in-hand. That’s especially true in the Jessamine County Schools.

In February, the district added competitive esports to the mix, with first-year Devin Earlywine competing against the number one player in Kentucky. He recently played in the Esports Madden State Championship and while it didn’t end the way he wanted, he was glad to make it this far.

“It was a little stressful, but I was also very excited knowing that I had an opportunity to kind of up-set the number one player in the state and show what I’m capable of,” said Earlywine.

This district is one that highlights programs related to gaming, like design and coding through games like Minecraft. Students said it’s a bonus class for any gamer.

“I’ve always loved playing video games, and when esports were really coming into play around the world, it caught my eye immediately,” said Earlywine.

The emphasis on gaming all started with Joe Beers who helped create the game design path for Kentucky, leading to other game-related programs like competitive esports.

“We just wanted to give every kid a chance. You’re actually allowed to have fun while you’re at school, and what’s been nice is they don’t realize that they’re actually learning higher-level thinking skills, working in groups,” Beers said.


The program’s leaders also hopes to see more female students involved in science and technology courses.

Staff said, so far so good.

“It’s way underrepresented with the female population. When I was in high school, if I had had an opportunity for one of these programs, I would have been more inclined to go that route for my whole career,” Nikki Mosher said.

Careers like engineering and architecture just to name a few.