Tennessee State University on Monday announced the creation of a university center dedicated to competitive video games, also known as eSports. The center will focus on coding, design, management and more.
TSU’s SMART Innovation Technology Center will oversee the new center where they hope to increase the diversity of STEM and STEAM programs for underserved students.
Robbie Melton, TSU vice president of the Smart Technology Innovation Center, said the university wanted to push students to see eSports as more than just a game.
“We want to look at academics in game design, coding, entrepreneurship, psychology, and management,” Melton said in an interview.
“It’s a whole range of career opportunities that we want to prepare them to look at what excites them for the sake of esports.”
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The school received a grant from the Tennessee Board of Regents as well as funding from technology partners such as Apple.
The center will include state-of-the-art equipment and will not only be open to TSU students, but also residents from elementary age to the elderly.
In 2020, TSU launched an eSports team where they compete in national competitions in the fall and spring. Most recently, the school won the 2020 FIFA National Championship.
“This is a tremendous expansion and investment for TSU,” said Henry Logan, second year English student at TSU and co-captain of the university’s eSports team, in a statement.
“It brings us a little closer to the goal of being successful in something that we can have a long-term career in. This can draw attention to those who are interested in competitive gaming and want a career doing what they love. ”
The center is expected to open this fall.