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UC Irvine Shares Esports Help with New Wiki

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The University of California, Irvine has opened a public wiki where colleges and universities can find information about how to run an esports program based on UCI's own experiences. "Tools for Schools," as it's named, is intended to help other esports organizations, including those in K-12, "start or level up their own esports programs."

Among the topics are:

  • Getting Started, which includes a brief rundown on how UCI's own esports program began (as an offshoot of a business school capstone project) and first steps to take;
  • Design Your Program, which covers the scholarship aspects, recruiting players and identifying coaches, how to handle the logistics of running esports teams, engaging faculty for research projects and related topics;
  • Business Planning & Organization Design, to go over funding aspects, finding sponsors, developing and outfitting a facility for play and broadcasting, and determining which "conferences" or events to attend;
  • Pitch Your Program, to address objections others might have to campus support of esports, including health and wellness, "trash talk," violence in video games and encouraging diversity and inclusivity; and
  • Program Management & Operations, which discusses things the university might do differently in a makeover and what's coming next.

Some of the sections are currently better covered than others. The university emphasized that the compilation was a "work in progress."

The university also makes a Google Drive available where it shares UCI Esports' own business plan, year one budget and related documents.

According to UCI Esports Assistant Director Kathy Chiang, this form of outreach is an attempt to rein in how much time is spent helping other institutions get esports programs off the ground. "We get more than a call a week from a university or college looking for help," she said. "The calls and the tours and visits are getting super-overwhelming." The wiki is an attempt to make the organization's work "more scalable."

Chiang added that her group will shortly launch regular webinars to cover related topics. Those will be listed on the wiki.

The wiki is publicly available through a MediaWiki.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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