Page 16 - Campus Technology, January/February 2020
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Just because it’s a game and there might be some competition around it doesn’t mean it can be a viable esport.
be.” In particular, esports is trying to attract the casual viewer — similar to a casual basketball fan or football fan, someone who can turn on a game and intuit what’s going on. Right now, Ngo said, “If you were to turn on an Overwatch game, you probably won’t know what’s going on at all. And that disconnect is probably going to cause you to look for something else.”
One way to capture the casual viewer market is through streamers: gamers who broadcast live video of their gameplay and develop millions of followers on platforms such as Twitch and Mixer. “Streamers not only help advertise the game for the developers, they also teach the viewers about that game,” he noted. “Streamers right now have so much power. There’s a lot of influ- ence that streamers have over the viewers and who plays these games.”
That includes influence over netiquette and online safety: “In our courses we’re always trying to remind students and teach them that diversi- ty and inclusion is something that we highly value. It’s okay to be different, and one com- monality that we all have is playing these games. It’s a lot of value to us when we work with streamers who embody these core values, because online safety and community and diver- sity is something that this space needs more of, and we want to be cognizant of that.”
7) Tap into developer resources.
Riot Games, developer of the popular game League of Legends, has created the Riot Scholas- tic Association of America, a governing body for collegiate League of Legends competitions. RSSA provides free support to colleges and clubs participating in its seasonal leagues and champi- onships, Ngo explained. “They help unlock all of
the League of Legends content. For instance, you don’t have to buy all the characters and skins; it’ll all be there for you. They’ve been just amazing help for us with getting started and also helping us network with other individuals in the industry.”
Similarly, Blizzard Entertainment’s Tespa is a network of students, competitors and club lead- ers with more than 270 chapters across North America. Members can earn in-game rewards and partner discounts, win merchandise and attend online workshops and events to learn industry skills and connect with peers.
8) Keep up-to-date on games.
The Entertainment Software Rating Board pro- vides game ratings on age appropriateness, including content descriptors (e.g., violence, drug references or nudity) and information on games’ interactive features (e.g., in-game pur- chases or user-to-user communication). “If a stu- dent comes to you and wants to play a certain game, and start a club around that, this is a good place to check to make sure that the game is appropriate for your learners,” said Ngo.
Also, keep in mind that not all games are esports capable, he advised. “Just because it’s a game and there might be some competition around it doesn’t mean it can be a viable esport. That’s because developers own these games, and they can make changes without any given notice. For, let’s say, League of Legends or Over- watch, you can’t [just play the game at will] — you have to either purchase or you have to have an agreement with the developer in order to play it, especially if you want to create a league. So without developer support, it’ll be very hard to get started.”

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