Have you ever considered playing videogames competitively as an earning profession? Such a thing has already been popular in many areas of the world since the 1970s. But it was the emergence of multiplayer networked and online games as the game platform of choice that led to its current incarnation as E-sports. Now, its footprint has grown so big that at the recent SEA Games E-sports became a medal event, with the International Olympic Committee actually discussing following suit. Whether for national recognition or making a living, E-sports are now a thing. So would you believe it that a Philippine university is working on a possible E-sports college degree course?
No joke here. CNN Philippines reports that the Lyceum of the Philippines University (LPU) in Intramuros is developing a collegiate academic course program that would confer a science bachelor’s degree in electronic sports upon completion. They are being assisted in this unusual endeavor by Tier One Entertainment, an E-sports talent agency founded by cosplay idol Alodia Gosiengfiao. The proposed BS in E-sports degree course will cover the average four years of study and, if it is approved by the Commission on Higher Education, can be offered by the LPU as a course choice as early as this coming school year.
According to Tryke Gutierrez, CEO of Tier One Entertainment, Bachelor of Science in E-Sports will comprise two (technically) academic tracks, game development and E-sports management. The list of individual subjects to be included in the course has not yet been finalized, but Gutierrez wants to make clear to interested students that BS-Es will not treat E-Sports as a hobby, since it will touch on the various facets of the growing professional competitive gaming industry, from tech issues to competition logistics and more. “We’ll do our best to push this industry forward but we need more help,” says Gutierrez. “Study hard, train hard. We need you. See you in 4 years!”
Before the conceptualization of this possible academic course, the one existing gaming-related bachelor’s program in Philippine tertiary education is game development, particularly for mobile devices. And only nine major colleges and universities in the country offer this course. Meanwhile, other nations worldwide with an established E-sports industry like the US and UK already have their own online gaming college courses. With the fact that the Philippine E-sports team were gold medalists in the Southeast Asian Games last year, a BS-E-Sports degree carries some significant interest.
Image courtesy of Inquirer.net