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Rasmus Sandström, CEO of Gameplan — Interview Series



Gameplay CEO

It’s the dawn of a new era for the world of academia, and naturally, its flourishing integration with Esports, STEM, and CTE curricula. Needless to say that, when it comes to spearheading vast new initiatives to promote sustainable growth in the classroom, the folks over at Gameplan clearly seem to be on the right track. To delve a little deeper into this, we thought we’d check in with CEO Rasmus Sandström, if only to talk about their recent plans to elevate the world of gaming in a academic setting, as well as their goals for the forthcoming season.

Thanks for taking the time to speak with us, Rasmus. Before we delve into STEM and the world of academia, tell us a bit about your background in the gaming industry. How did it all start for you?

Rasmus: Thanks for having me. I grew up in a tiny village with a school of only 70 students.  The best part? Everyone was allowed to be different. Most of my classmates are doing great things now in various jobs. Maybe it's because of that small-town spirit. I had a good childhood and the best parents and family; even though we had little money, my sister and I participated in various sports and activities. I also played a lot of games like Tibia, Counter-strike, etc. So, my parents did what they could to ensure we got every opportunity to try new things.

Ice Hockey was my favorite sport, and it runs in the family – lots of my relatives were pro athletes. I even got to play professionally at 17 until I was 25, then I decided to start studying computer science instead. I always felt that video games were more than just fun for me. I loved building things online, like channels for practice matches and tournaments. Esports became my main hobby.

Let’s talk about Gameplan. When was the company founded, and what inspired you to seek out a stake in the world of Esports?

Rasmus:  Me and my co-founder Dan founded the company back in 2015, we did it together with the best programmers that I studied with at Dalarna University, which we employed to start a consulting company when we had a year left on our studies. Before this, back in 2011 we also founded a non-profit organization where we hosted tournaments for Swedish youths every weekend, we had about 30,000 members and were the biggest non-profit organization for esports in the world. So we didn’t just join esport because it was the next shiny thing, we’ve been in the esports world since we were kids, it’s been a big part of us growing up and a big part in making us the people we are today. 

What inspired us to start Gameplan was connected to a lot of the friends I had growing up. My friends, who were also gamers, had problems keeping up with school; they were absent, disengaged, and unhappy. They were brilliant kids who didn’t like to come to school and didn’t get the grades needed to get through school. Seeing this, my co-founder and I decided to try to change this. We understood that it’s in school that change starts because the school has the structure and tools needed for us to be able to create a sustainable environment. And what better way to do it than through something students love, such as esports?

What sorts of services do you provide to schools and other educational institutions? Also, can the same services be offered to those located outside of the educational sector?

Rasmus:  We provide comprehensive STEM and CTE curricula ideal for school credit, as well as resources for extracurricular esports programs. Our library is aimed at increasing student engagement, reducing chronic absenteeism, and fostering college and career readiness. Our content includes Unreal Engine courses, interactive media, and esports training, emphasizing health, nutrition, coaching, and more.

While our curricula incorporate a rich text editor, video reviews, project tracking, and a versatile grading system, teachers also have the freedom to craft their own lessons using these tools, offering unparalleled flexibility in lesson planning. We aim to empower educators to unlock their full potential and inspire students with cutting-edge technology and engaging content. Gameplan can be used both in schools and other esports organizations and academies as well.

Tell us a bit about STEM and the goals that you’re aiming to achieve both inside and out of the classroom. Do you have an endgame plan at all, or is the sky well and truly the limit?

Rasmus: In the field of Education, STEM represents an area of endless possibilities, shaping the future of learning both inside and outside the classroom. Our goal at Gameplan is to adapt constantly, providing robust tools and curricula to educators and students. 

There are two key goals we're working towards, both inside and outside the classroom:

  • Empowering the Next Generation: Studies show young girls who play video games are 3.3 times more likely to explore STEM subjects (1). Through engaging new courses like Esports Introduction and Game Design, we aim to bridge the gap and inspire a diverse group of students to pursue STEM careers.
  • Supporting Educators: Educators play a critical role in fostering student potential. Our new courses, like Cybersecurity and Media Production, are designed with them in mind. These courses provide robust tools and resources, minimizing prep time and allowing teachers to focus on delivering impactful instruction.
In your own words, why do you think implementing video games into the school curriculum is beneficial for future students?

Rasmus:  Games serve as a bridge between educational content and student interests, providing a platform for blended learning. They also offer an avenue for teachers to connect with students and understand their learning styles. Esports can equip students with many of the skills needed to thrive in today's digitally-driven economy. From teamwork and communication to digital literacy and problem-solving, esports can provide a fun and engaging way to prepare students for their future careers. 

One of the most important aspects of using esports and gaming connected to esports is to help the students make use of stuff they have already learned by playing their favorite games. The kids often learn a lot of important skills that can be connected to several occupations, but neither the kids, the parents nor the teachers know how much potential the kids have connected to what they learned through gaming. It’s our job to help the educators help the kids make use of this knowledge to help them grow.

Info: Based on studies, Using technology in the classroom results in a 51% increase in student motivation to learn, a 30% increase in students applying their newly learned knowledge to practical problems, and a 23% increase in taking ownership of their learning. Games also allow for immediate feedback and adaptability to different learning paces, which is crucial for individualized learning experiences. 

Do you have any plans to improve the learning process in the future? Will you be adding any new modules to your program over the coming weeks, months, or years?

Rasmus: The field of education is constantly evolving, and as an edtech company, our main goal is always to keep up and improve ourselves. One thing we always keep in mind is recognizing educators and their profound commitment to their students' growth and development. We believe teachers are heroes. They're not just sharing knowledge; they're guiding and inspiring students to reach their full potential. That's why we created four brand-new courses designed to help educators do just that; esports introduction, game development, interactive media, and cybersecurity. 

So the answer is definitely, yes. We are adding several new modules to our program that will make it easier for educators to do the great work, and also make it more fun for the students. 

This is also a big reason why we hired more amazing educators to our team to help with both developing the curriculum and the platform. We are also looking to strengthen our team with a couple more educators.

Any final words for our readers?

Rasmus: Thank you for your time; it's been a pleasure. This is just a glimpse of what we're doing, and I'd be happy to share more details if you're interested.  In the meantime, please visit our website and connect with us on LinkedIn.

Thanks again, Rasmus. We wish you and the folks of Gameplan all the best for the future!

For more information on Gameplan’s ongoing efforts to establish a foothold in the world of academia, be sure to visit the team over on their official social handle here. Alternatively, you can check out their website for more information here.

Jord is acting Team Leader at If he isn't blabbering on in his daily listicles, then he's probably out writing fantasy novels or scraping Game Pass of all its slept on indies.