Are E-Sports part of ‘The Next Frontier’ of the HBCU Experience?

For those of y’all out there in the innawebs that are followers of TBT, you know that HBCU’s (Historically Black Colleges & Universities) are pretty close to our collective hearts. The history and culture of these institutions of higher learning exemplify some of the best parts of who and what we are as African Americans. Folks that are familiar with our steelo already know about the collective sports and family atmosphere that are common at our athletic events.

That brings us to ANOTHER blossoming cultural phenomenon that’s become almost a mainstay in mainstream American Culture; Video Games (and more specifically, the rise of E-Sports and the sub-culture surrounding it) have become as recognizable as BBQ or Apple Pie for Generation X and beyond. It’s also become a spectator sport globally for a WIDE spectrum of games. There’s even a movement of colleges and universities that have taken the phenomenon of E-Sports and turned it into a potential farm system for future professional players.

We’re actually SEEING a number of colleges adopt full-fledged ESports programs. Even ESPN’s got a list of colleges that are doing just that. The NACE ( The National Association Of Collegiate ESports) is governing an unprecedented period of growth in the sport. Mane, even FORBES MAGAZINE (yeah, THAT Forbes Magazine) is calling ESports the ‘New’ College Football… Literally. All of that brings us BACK to where HBCU’s are in this new frontier of virtual athletics.

Ummm…Right…Where ARE we? I dunno about y’all, but my inner HBCU blerd WANTS to see a Howard vs. Hampton match-up on the virtual battlefield, or maybe a SWAC vs. MEAC tourney where the playing field is Killer Instinct or Madden 2018, to go along with the pigskin and Classic Activities of any given weekend in the fall. From League Of Legends to Call Of Duty, the POTENTIAL benefits of HBCU’s embracing this ‘new frontier’ and forging ahead is truly limitless. Not only could embracing the new culture of E-Sports pay dividends in terms of short-term visibility for students and institutions alike, but it could be a golden gateway for future HBCU relationships with companies and entities that DRIVE an ever growing, multi-billion dollar industry. If we can get a virtual foothold in this game while the getting is good, It’s a win-win for everybody involved; HBCU Institutions, Fans, and potential gamers and/or students alike.

We can’t tap out and quit the game early though. With that thought in mind, thank you all for taking the time to dream with one of your friendly neighborhood Black Techies.

The Black Tony Starks, throwing up the deuce sign until next entry.


Be Sure to check out our NEXT gamer and ESports-centric edition of our Podcast! #TheBlackTechies

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