More schools than ever are getting into esports, but there isn’t a lot of information out there on where to start. We covered news of an upcoming conference to teach what a school might need to know about esports. But today, UC Irvine announced something a bit easier to use. UC Irvine announced “Tools for Schools,” a wiki designed to help with esports.
Their goal is to give K-12 school systems information to “start or level up their esports programs.” This is such a grand idea, provided it is easy to find or share around on social media. A wiki is only as good as the accessibility provided to it. It has quite a few topics. While some of the sections are more in-depth than others, it’s still a work in progress.
Among the Topics Are
The wiki contains quite a few topics. If that’s not enough, UC Irvine has a Google Drive available where it shares the UC Irvine Esports business plan, budget, and documents related to it.
Kathy Chiang, the assistant director of UC Irvine Esports, pointed out that they receive at least one call a week from a university or college looking for help on their esports systems. The tours and calls they provide are overwhelming. The wiki will take some of the burden off them. It will also offer a ton of info on what the schools need to know. This is an attempt to make things a bit more scalable.
Chiang also stated her group will launch regular webinars to cover topics related to growing esports, listed on the wiki, courtesy of UC Irvine. But what are some of the topics that are available to learn about?
Getting Started: This includes a brief rundown on how UC Irvine’s esports system began, an offshoot of a business school capstone project. It also focuses on the first steps to take as a school grows its esports system.
Design Your Program: This topic covers scholarship aspects, recruiting players, as well as identifying potential coaches. You also will want the logistics of running esports teams, engaging faculty for research projects, and related topics. It’s not an undertaking done by one person, even a coach. It takes a village, so they say. Having your faculty engaged will make growing the team so much easier.
Business Planning & Organizing Design: This topic focuses on the funding aspects. You have the all-important “finding sponsors” and developing/outfitting a facility so players can get work done in. That’s not all, though! You also must make sure that the facility offers broadcasting capabilities. You should also determine which events or conferences to take part in. It’s important not to overextend, but you want to be in as many conferences you could be successful in.
Pitch Your Program: People are surely going to object or “not get it.” This topic addresses the objections you are bound to hear when pitching an esports program to your school. This includes health and wellness, “trash talk,” video games violence and encouraging diversity/inclusivity. There are likely going to be people that don’t get it, or falsely think “playing violent games makes people violent.” Having as much knowledge to shut down their arguments in a positive way is beneficial.
Program Management & Operations: This topic discusses things the university might do differently in a makeover, as well as what’s coming next.
Again, this is still very much a work in progress, so there’s a lot more information to come. This is such a great idea though. The addition of webinars will be very good. But we wonder if they’re going to be free or easily accessible. Will they have limited availability for “seating”? We’ll have to see. The most important thing about this whole idea is making sure as many schools as possible know about it. We want to see more schools joining in esports and having as much knowledge as possible is the way to go.
This media is open and freely accessible through this wiki.