University of York is fully embracing the world of esports in collaboration with ESL. The university’s Department of Theatre, Film and Television is launching an industry-backed module all about the competitive gaming industry.
The module aims to teach its students exactly how esports is capturing the attention and interest of fans worldwide.
Starting in Autumn 2018, the module that’s being developed is a cross-programme final year option that’s available to students who are registered in the department’s BSc in Interactive Media or BSc in Film and TV Production. The module will “tell engaging and insightful stories about live esports by combining techniques from traditional sports broadcast, interactive technology, and elements captured in the virtual game world.”
Florian Block, Researcher for Department of Theatre, Film and TV at University of York said: “These are very exciting times for us and our students. Esports are growing rapidly, and highly skilled jobs will need to be filled with graduates who not only know specialised production techniques, but understand the sports ecosystem inside and out. We are thrilled to be working closely with ESL on this module. We believe that by combining the academic rigour of a Russell Group university with the experience of industry pioneers, we are in a unique position to prepare our students for a wide range of attractive career paths.”
Rob Black, COO of ESL UK also commented: “This module marks an important step towards the professionalisation of the esports industry, providing a formal career path for much-needed talent. By linking the module with the University of York’s other excellent existing programmes, we can foster talent responsibly, equipping students with the skills they need to access amazing jobs in esports and beyond.”
The module will pull from research conducted by those who work at Digital Creativity Labs, an initiative at the university that has focused on the “rich convergent space between interactive media and digital games.” This initiative will be complimented by the option for students to base their dissertations on esports-focused themes.
University of York and ESL first partnered in June 2017, entering a teaching and research agreement. The partnership initially had three aims: teaching, research, and careers – it’s evident that this collaboration has proved fruitful and their work is ready to be rolled out to students.
This news follows the recent announcements stateside of partnerships and esports initiatives at UC Berkeley.
Esports Insider says: The module itself sounds interesting, but the biggest achievement here in our eyes is a major university in the UK choosing to stop ignoring the strong narratives and constant developments within the industry of esports. We hope this module, and the option of writing an esports-themed dissertation, opens some eyes and leads to more talent – outside of competitors – entering the scene.