Written by Dr. Andrew Peterson, Coordinator of Instructional Technology
A generation of content creators are emerging under the guise of gaming. The new media royalty are establishing themselves as content experts, entertainment personalities, and everything in-between. In a recent example, Fortnite (a popular / free online game) released their second chapter. During this online event, 1.5 million people watched other people play/commentate/livestream the event on the twitch.tv ( https://twitch.tv ) platform.
This new platform for content creation has immerged from gamers. While the first generation is still being broadcast, production value seems to be lost. This has created an environment where people are allowed to broadcast with an acceptance for hobbyist levels of production. Because there’s limited expectations on production, close to 3 million people were broadcasting on Twitch during the month of September, ( https://twitchtracker.com/statistics ) with an average of 1.2 million viewers on the platform at any one time.
Where traditional sports requires millions of dollars in production equipment, stages, and staff, esports broadcasters require a computer, a mic, webcam…. and, nope, that’s it. Even if you wanted to elevate your broadcasting, if you’re spending more than $10,000 you’re trying too hard. Ferris Esports was fortunate enough to receive a Merit Grant though Ferris State University ( https://www.ferris.edu/giving/ferris-foundation/MeritGrant/ ) for about $7,500. With this funding, our broadcasts ( https://twitch.tv/ferrisesports ) are easily in the top 10% of university esports broadcasting.
When we explore what makes our esports team and broadcasts successful, there’s a long list of skillsets that our students get to demonstrate. The North American Scholastic Esports Federation (NASEF) created the following graphic that highlights all the supporting skills that make up the “esports profession”.
Here at Ferris, we have degrees that align to almost every item listed below. The esports broadcasts have given our students a platform to highlight their skills in a manner still considered unique and emerging in their professions.
As an emerging discipline, the sky is the limit. We’ve got the right people, having the right conversations. Students, Faculty, Alumni, and the community all have a stake in this success.