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Gaming in America

An Esports Educator Shares How to Increase Diversity in Gaming

Charles Palmer is the program lead for B.S. Esports Management, Production and Performance, at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology. We talked to him about the state of the gaming industry.

Charles Palmer

Program Lead B.S. Esports Management, Production and Performance, Harrisburg University of Science and Technology

How can schools drive more diversity in gaming?

Outreach, outreach, outreach. The fringes of this space are filled with passionate, unique voices who just need an opportunity to share their experiences. Schools need to reach out, listen in, and nurture these voices. They have unique insights and answers for building inclusive communities.

What careers and opportunities in gaming are often overlooked? 

Opportunities in esports are constantly evolving to industry needs. Companies are developing new strategies to promote, manage, and facilitate esports. And for every new strategy or approach, there is a new position added to industry. 

As an example, many game publishers are hiring brand and product managers to find new esports markets for current and future titles. Educational institutions (K-12, community colleges, and universities) are building teams and programs to meet the demands of collegiate and club sports. And lastly, non-endemic brands looking to capitalize on the growth of esports, are looking for strategic partners and creative representatives to broker and manage the deals.

What advice would you give to students interested in a career in gaming?

Through my professional work with teams and organizations, I get daily emails where passionate people tell me about their interest in our teams and promise that they would be a great employee for the company. 

As the industry matures, it’s not enough to be a “fan.” Don’t tell me what you can do, show me. Build a portfolio of work you’re doing right now for the industry. Whether you’re a content creator, tournament organizer, coach, or manager, show me what you’ve done for someone else. 

And if you haven’t done anything yet, go out and do something. Design on-screen graphics, volunteer at a local high school to plan an event, or build your own team and help them compete. Start doing the job that you want to have; I guarantee you’ll learn more than you thought was possible while developing a professional portfolio to help you get recognized.

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