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ESports becomes recognized in academic curriculum

Richard Amaefule
The panel is hosted by Eugene Frier, director of eSports and gaming.

On April 18 Texas Wesleyan University hosted the Majorie Herrera Lewis Endowed Speaker Series in Paul and Judy Andrews Hall. 

The panel event honored the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and celebrated the inclusion of Esports into the academic curriculum. Professionals in the Esports social media and content-creating industry were brought in to talk about their experiences. The panel included Rita Landells, an entertainment marketer specializing in media and gaming, Justin Rojas, co-founder, and co-owner of Nishi Fest, Play!TCG, and Studio Nano and Trey Yates, a senior video editor.  

“[It’s] mind blowing that something (Esports) so small that started in the early 2000s that I thought was just part of the dumb video games that I played, is now part of the curriculum,” Yates said.  

Yates said that it is amazing that children can grow up and make a career out of something that they love.  

“Esports is very team focused and all about cooperating and working together, which I have always thought was important in going to college altogether,” Yates said.  

Now Esports is in the same field as football and basketball teams and should be given the same respect shown to all sports and curriculum on campus. 

“Esports is all about being behind screen, and there are so many people hiding behind anime avatars,” Yates said. “Now that it is a curriculum you can assign a face to the player.” 

Yates said Esports will have a human impact and drastically reduce the toxicity that exists primarily within the casual audience. 

Brooklynn Rowe, current student government association president, believes that it is important for universities to maintain traditions and uplift students to their fullest potential. It is not necessary for colleges to adapt to emerging trends but to converse with long lasting traditions that are positive. 

“Whether adopting new trends or providing better services, as long as the university is supporting the students, they are achieving their goal,” Rowe said. 

Norell Pettus, a senior sociology major with a minor in psychology, iso in charge of the social media for the Esports team.  

“People think that it’s [Esports] just about games, but it is so much more than that,” Pettus said. 

Pettus said that Esports help to educate you about content creating and video editing. Working with Esports helps you to express yourself on camera in a way that you never could yourself being in real life.  

Isaiah Marin a junior general business major and member of the men’s basketball team.  

“I believe traditional sports require more physical abilities and physical requirements compared to an Esports athlete,” Marin Said. 

Marin doesn’t believe that Esports should be on par with traditional sports. Esports are more reaction based and they do not require physical capability.  

“If there is an avenue to make money for Esports, I believe that there is a career and minor in it, so why not,” Marin said.  

Marin said he has no concerns with the emergence of Esports as a minor and encourages it. Currently there are countless kids and even adults still playing video games. 

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Richard Amaefule, Content Producer

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