Esports & Education: How HBCUS are Leveling The Field
The Wilson Center’s Serious Games Initiative, with leadership from Johnson C. Smith University, invites you to a virtual program with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) leaders to discuss the state of esports on campuses. The program also includes esports play demonstrations from Cxmmunity’s NBA2K league play and Microsoft’s Minecraft: Education Edition hackathon with HBCU and D.C. Public School students. This event is part of the 2021 and 8th Annual ED Games Expo, a showcase of game-changing innovations in education technology supported by programs across government.
Millions of people worldwide participate in the growing phenomenon of esports, the activity where video games are played competitively, much like traditional sports. Thousands of students nationwide are participating in esports, both in K-12 and the collegiate scene. Yet how esports is fitted into educational environments varies. Esports in education can range from treating it as part of the athletics program, an extracurricular activity, a community-based effort, or aligning it to core curriculums.
What remains consistent is the lack of diversity for both those who play esports and the spaces in which esports occur. Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) are trying to change this by supporting the growth of clubs and teams on their campuses; creating curriculums around esports and promoting academic success; and reaching beyond their campus to support young K-12 students.
This programming will focus on how HBCUs are engaging with esports: What does it mean to “do” esports today for HBCUs? What is informing the shape of esports programming on HBCU campuses, and what does the future hold for esports? How can we make esports more diverse? In doing so, we hope to highlight ways to build capacity by showing what is needed to launch an esports program.