Last July, Hampton University announced that its Department of Sports Management had received a $340,658 technology grant from the Department of Homeland Security to create a laboratory offering courses in Esports. “We’re looking to offer certificates in coaching esports,” said sports management professor David Hughes in an interview with USBE magazine.
This fall, Tennessee State University (TSU) News Service said the historically Black college and university (HBCU) is now a charter member of the Black Collegiate Gaming Association. According to TSU, HBCUs in the association commit to making Black esports more than an extracurricular activity by offering academic esports classes.
Dr. Robbie Melton, TSU’s associate vice president of the SMART Global Technology Innovation Center and Dean of Graduate and Professional Studies, said TSU has launched esports classes and joined esports organizations and leagues that will allow students to improve their gaming skills, as well as network with tech companies.
Collegiate StarLeague (CSL), with some 2,000 schools and 100,000 players, recently announced a partnership with the HBCU Esports Alliance (HEA) to start a 16-team HBCU esports league to begin competition in early 2021. TSU is with the HBCU eSports League, which is powered by Cxmmunity and Amazon’s Twitch. In September, Johnson C. Smith University’s Esports Club tweeted how proud it was to be a member of the HBCU Esports league powered by Twitch.
Johnson C. Smith University’s Esports Club is proud to be a member of the HBCU Esports league powered by Twitch! #JCSUEsports #CIAAEsports pic.twitter.com/oXPP8qhd1w
— JCSUESPORTS (@jcsuesports) September 9, 2020
According to data from the International Game Developers Association, an estimated 83 percent of Black teens play video games, while 68 percent of video game creators are of European or Caucasian descent.
Dr. Melton, who teaches an online course called, The Rise of esports and gamification in higher education, said the curriculum at TSU focuses on how esports connect with traditional forms of education. She also hopes students will be motivated to consider the entrepreneurial side of esports, such as actually designing and creating games.