Leigh Milner - As students prepare for university this month, it might feel like playing games will have to take a back seat. But not if you’re studying for an eSports degree!
Chris Berrow - Matt Huxley is a lecturer in eSports for Staffordshire University… he’ll be teaching this course at the newly opened Digital Institute in London… interestingly he also used to be a member of the GFinity eSports team…
Leigh - So what does the course involve?
Matt Huxley - One of the things that we kind of say from the outset and in a lot of the material is they won't be playing games on this course. That's not to say that we don't have an incredible array of equipment that they can use all in their free time. But there is there's no you know the course itself and the degree that they'll be coming out with covers no actual gameplay. So instead we're looking at all the broadcast elements either being in front of the camera so that's through you know casting through interviewing through hosting. But equally that's all the positions that lie behind it. So if you're the producer a vision mixer audio you know we have all that and equally in the same vein actually we've sort of invested very very heavily in the technology side so that the equipment that the students will be using is the cutting edge stuff that we just brought energy Finnerty recently and I was kind of floored that I was thinking wow like a lot of sports companies out there haven't got the eq uipment that we're actually training these people on. So in terms of that you know ready for the future I think. I think that's really that.
Chris - I'm sure that parents who are listening to this will be happy that you said that because I can imagine that if your child comes to you. You know it's fresh out of school and says Right. I want to do a degree in a sports that your first thought would be well they're going to be playing computer games all the time. Do you have to try and reassure parents that actually this is the sort of legitimate career nowadays because this is still very new to some people.
Matt - I think absolutely. I think you know it will always. It will always have that initial you know people always take it being with computer games. You know what. You know if somebodies son or daughter came to them and said they wanted to work in the film industry you're not Amelie gonna be like well you'll never get to be an actor. You know it if you if you think of film industry or the music industry there's thousands of jobs studios people that work on graphics and you know tertiary sort of industries that relate around it
Chris - The other jobs that build up those markets to be profitable interesting so those jobs are there then in your experience that actually with a degree that would help you get a job. And actually there are enough available jobs in this sector because that's an interesting thing for me is that you know how many jobs are they really available.
Matt - Oh yeah I think it's it's one thing that EA Sports really does well is that it's kind of borderless a lot in its approach. It can make things very open. So there's a lot of availability for people to work in sort of many places as well. And there's a lot of remote working.
Chris - It's something I noticed about the fortnight championships that we had recently and this has been written about a lot in the press actually that there was no female gamers in the top 100 who were actually competing for the big prize. Do you think that more people would be encouraged to perhaps study and I'm talking about female gamers particularly to study something like a degree in a sports and maybe I don't know feel like they have that degree backing behind them to then take that further into becoming the players of the future.
Matt - There's room massive room for it to improve and hopefully with with degrees such as this. And obviously universities such as ours run in issues like women in tech and things like that to try and kind of get that you know participation wider in the STEM fields. And hopefully it's an environment that yeah we have we have a more sort of different background of people to bring their opinions too.