This is the HigherEdTech podcast, Season Four Episode 16: Esports as a career pathway with Adam Lopez.
Tim Van Norman 0:22
Welcome to today’s HigherEdTech Podcast. I’m Tim VanNorman, the instructional technologist here at Irvine Valley College.
Brent Warner 0:28
And I’m Brent Warner, Professor of ESL here at IVC. We both enjoy integrating technology into the classroom, which is what this show is all about.
Tim Van Norman 0:37
Welcome. We’re glad you’re here with us. So, Brent, we’ve talked in the past about conferences and stuff like that. Hey, I hear as the show is dropping, yeah, you’re gonna be busy.
Brent Warner 0:50
I am I am. If someone’s listening, at the moment, this comes out, I’m probably driving on my way out to Palm Springs. So the cue conference is the big SD affiliate out here on the west coast. So computer using educators, and it’s one of the big ed tech conferences. And so that’ll be these next few days. Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and I’m really looking forward to it. I’m doing a couple of presentations on on chat GPT stuff. And so it should be good.
Tim Van Norman 1:22
Brent Warner 1:23
You got any plans for spring break?
Tim Van Norman 1:26
I don’t get a spring break. I get one day. So actually, there’s a chance I’ll be doing a CPR and First Aid training on one of those. Either that Friday or that Saturday. So I’ve been doing some CERT training. Lately, by the end of the month. I should be done with that. That should be fun, or that has been fun. But yeah, so emergency response. It’s another way to help people and as you know, me, I that’s something I’m all about. So
Brent Warner 1:59
yeah, yeah, that’ll that’ll be good. So sorry, you don’t get the time off, but, but you’ll be doing something worthwhile. So, yeah. Tim, this is our third time. This is our first guest that we’ve had on three times.
Tim Van Norman 2:12
Brent Warner 2:13
Adam Lopez 2:16
Let’s go breaking records. It’s easy!
Brent Warner 2:18
Yeah, all you have to do is sit down in front of a microphone, you can make it work. How have you been, Adam?
Adam Lopez 2:26
Very good. Excited to be back. Because I think I’ve learned a lot since we last spoke and and glad to be back to, to be talking about this because we’re in a state with eSports and education, where it’s so powerful, but so few people are aware of its potential to have a positive impact on students. And so reaching out and working with community leaders like yourself, and Tim, is so important. So thank you for the opportunity to do this. Yeah.
Brent Warner 2:54
Yeah. Well, we’re always happy. Tim, Tim, we were talking a little bit before how long has it been since Adam was here last time?
Tim Van Norman 3:01
Brent Warner 3:02
Two years? Yeah, it seems surprising to me, I’m like that show is still kind of like floats in the top of my head, like that conversation or, you know, the couple conversations that we had. So I’m excited to kind of it one, I was like, two years, oh, my gosh, but also, you know, Adam, I’ve been to a few of your events that you’ve had on campus, there’s tons of stuff going on with eSports. There’s lots of people learning and understanding it better. We, we see and hope a little bit more as we continue going forward. And so today, we were really kind of talking about this idea of, you know, this idea of a career pathway, how eSports connects to work and careers and things after school. But I’m we’re gonna kind of jump back and forth, Adam, and we can have open conversations, but I’ll let Tim kick off the beginning of the conversation.
Tim Van Norman 3:54
So let’s start with Can you give us just a brief overview of what eSports is, because as I look at it, I think of a whole bunch of people playing games, and going okay, so what good is that, but talk to me, what are eSports especially as we’re talking about academic eSports.
Adam Lopez 4:12
And it definitely is a bit of a loose term. Sometimes people use it as just a reference to someone who’s playing some sort of competitive game. It doesn’t even need to be against other people. But it often is like speed, right? And even when you’re playing with yourself, you’re still putting yourself up there on a lead leaderboard and see who does it faster. So it could be anywhere from just playing competitive video games, all the way up to this professional scene where players compete for millions of dollars and are trying to trying their best to push the limits of the strategical awareness of this game and really push the limit of the game and be the best so it’s a very wide array. The way it fits in education is is quite obvious where we’ll have students who are on teams or play against each other in tournaments on a school campus, or they’ll represent their school campus. And so yeah, that’s what we’ve been doing here at IVC, for the last two years is, is developing a program that not only focuses on competitive video gaming, but the things that surrounded such as like social media and broadcasting and such.
Brent Warner 5:22
Yeah. So before we get into this, the whole kind of like all the aspects of skills that people are learning, I do have a kind of a question about eSports. Does it line up kind of in the same way that like, there’s mainstream music and indie music type of thing? Scenes, you know, like, I’m wondering, is there is there eSports? Kind of for that, like, do you know, like, hey, maybe people make big money if they are champions of League of Legends, or, you know, valorant, or some of those bigger games, right? But are there like championships on really small niche indie games, where maybe there’s like a little bit of money, but it’s more like for the passion or for the love of it? I’m wondering if that scene exists inside of eSports? Particularly, because I got a game called power wash simulator.
Adam Lopez 6:12
Which, let’s go yes, absolutely. Yeah, no, it’s crazy. There’s a lot of projects out there that are more community led. And that wasn’t often the case a few maybe 10 years ago or so. Because it would, it would require so much lift to host the tournament and get sponsorship, or get some sort of prize pool. And now that things are becoming more accessible, such as streaming, and reaching out to sponsors, and just seeing that others are doing this and copying them having some sort of template, there’s a wide variety of the types of tournaments out there, all the way from like community tournaments, just for having fun and writing a bracket but still streaming it and reaching out to your community. Or, like how you joke about powerwash simulator, but there is actually yeah, that probably exists. There. There are one of the coolest tournaments I’ve ever watched on online was Farming Simulator had a has an Esports tournament, and they were going they were really like into it. They’re very serious. And it was pretty fun. I watched it all the way through. So yeah, it does. It does exist from smile all the way up to these really great big grandiose tournaments that tour the world and get you know, millions of years and such.
Brent Warner 7:33
Okay, nice. So, so I’m going to I’m going to look for if they do make a power wash simulator. And Tim, I don’t know if you’ve seen this game, but basically, it’s so cool. Like, you basically you you show up and there’s like a dirty car or a dirty house and you have a power wash sprayer like one of those machines, you know, and your job is just to clean everything until it’s sparkling clean, right? And so you go around, you get more money that maybe I don’t know if it’s as fast as you do it. But likewise, you do individual parts and things cleaned up. And so it’s a very kind of a Zen feeling type of game where you’re just cleaning and and power spraying and you get the haptics on the control anyways, too. So it’s a It was surprisingly fun game for me.
Tim Van Norman 8:16
So yeah, I just looked it up. And I see it’s on Steam. Interesting. I had never heard of that. The simulators, to me have been different. I’d never thought of wanting to do something with the power wash. But I guess you can if you can make a game of it, then. And that’s actually one of the things that’s cool about the digital games is while somebody’s doing that, you wouldn’t really do that in real life. But you can do that in a game over and over and over again, you can simulate it and and turn it gamify it.
Brent Warner 8:50
Yeah, yeah. And I think I think we’re seeing that. So I like this kind of connection between like the indie games, the mainstream games, this kind of concept of how everybody’s doing it. And Adam, like you’re sharing here, because I was thinking about my own time coming up. And mine was not around games, but my time was around music, right. And so, so I was all into the indie music scene and doing like DIY projects, and ziens and things like that. And a lot of those things ended up preparing me for what I was kind of moved forward to in my career. Not just teaching directly, but like, you know, certain things like podcasting, right, like I was doing, you know, we were I was doing interviews with people back in high school and college and like learning how to do those things. And so that I that I could be a little bit better at talking about them. Now, when I do I’m here and so. So Adam, this is really kind of the crux of our conversation today. And I think we can probably just let you loose and talk about this for as long as you want. But, but we really do want to talk about this idea of how the how eSports fits into career education and how it prepares students for careers. So when people start asking you on that line, where do You move that conversation?
Adam Lopez 10:03
It’s tough to speak about, because I was just discussing how important it is to share just how powerful it is. And the answer is there’s so many different ways that this helps students, it’s, it’s, I think, the most important part is that we’re starting though with their interest. I think that interest has been forgotten about in education, we’ve become so concerned with hitting standards, that we haven’t thought that humans have this part of them where they get excited about certain things. And we need to stop denying that instinct and believe that young humans are geniuses that when they have an interest in something, we should, there’s something there there. That’s what they want to pivot off of, to learn information from. And so I think the fact that esports is a kind of attracts has a potential to attract a lot of students as the primary point of interest that we can do a lot of things with, that’s just a great start alone, because now when they’re jumping into any sort of project that we’re doing, they’re likely going to try harder, and they’re likely going to learn faster, because they care way more, because in the in the case of eSports, typically, we have students not always the case, but there’s students who have been involved with the community online for a long time. And so they’ve built up this large interest in awareness of of the space, that they may feel more confidence and more excitement to be involved with any sort of project so and so that that’s often the case. But then we also do have people who come in are just like, Yeah, I’ve played a lot of video games. But yeah, I’m still I’m still interested in it. So I understand it’s really good for my careers. And that has to do with the environment. So that’s kind of the next cell when it comes to eSports. Is that now we’re we’re taking this interest of theirs, and saying, Okay, so what’s maybe your career interest? What’s, where do you think you can go through career because you can’t just do exactly what you want to do? Like, you can just like go outside? If so, if you’re somebody who likes to dance, and just go start dancing and make money doing it just because you’re interested in doing? Yeah, you can, but you know, you got to set it up. You have to, you have to make a compromise. So that’s kind of what’s going on as we’re, we’re compromising, right? And we’re saying, Okay, you like eSports? Well, guess what, we would love to broadcast this tournament, which are you interested in journalism, and broadcasting maybe, or, Hey, we have to get this partnership done to secure pricing for our tournament, would you like to set up that maybe your business major, maybe you’ve thought, hey, I’d be good at business. So the idea that we start with interest, and then we can go into almost any, any field out there, I’m pretty confident we can actually go into any by this point. I used to joke that I couldn’t make agricultural work. But just now speaking about farming simulator, there’s this great initiative that just came out of Neysa, where they have a tournament for it’s called farm craft, where students, students learn the inner workings of agriculture and having a farm. And so you can pretty much turn anything you can sorry. But you can take eSports and go down any career pathway you want. And now that it’s a part of a community, and it’s a part of their interest, that students will now try harder, and it’s accelerating their learning in a whole new way that and I think it also resonates with the types of students who are really lost right now and want want to retreat into video gaming, the students who need that, so we’re really targeting a niche demographic that really seeks to benefit from this type of way.
Brent Warner 13:42
Yes. So I’m hearing two parts here, I’m hearing one is maybe students coming in to to like your eSports arena, don’t even know that they can turn this into a career, right? So you’re gonna get that moment of like, oh, I can I can, I can turn this into something I can I can make a living kind of out of this. Right. So that’s one great thing. And then the second part, you’re saying like, well, there’s all these different parts? Can you break down a few, a few of the fields, or a few of the ways that like, these fields, help people get, you know, doing eSports can help them in this field. And I’m gonna, I’m gonna challenge you with some of the kind of the standard, like parents want their kids to do type of things, right? So maybe, you know, like, they want their kid to become a doctor or a lawyer or a teacher, right? Let’s, let’s keep those kind of simple. And if you’ve got other examples, that’s great, too. But, but can we kind of walk through those career paths and then maybe link them to eSports and how people might make connections?
Adam Lopez 14:45
Yeah, that’s fine. And just really quick. You brought up that students may be coming to the arena and they don’t know right away. I do my best to communicate immediately, and say, Hey, if you’re interested in this We can make, we can develop your portfolio in almost any way through this activity if you want to jump on because that’s just so important here. And I think that’s a key to our success that we’ve had. But to speak more on on kind of specific examples. For a doctor, that one would be quite easy. So if I had a cynic Come in, said, I want to go down some sort of health and wellness path, and I want to get into medicine. Okay, well, that’s great, because right now, we’ve noticed in the professional industry, that the professional orgs are hiring teams of 15, up to 15 people, just for a team of five to study their life habits, their eating, you know, their diet, their workout regimen, their stress levels, and you know, they’ll they’ll take samples of their blood, and they’ll, they’ll just test it every single way and have conversations with the players and say, you know, how do you feel right now? What are what do you think we should be working on? Are you sleeping well, stuff like this, this would be incredibly beneficial. So the reason why I think it’s important is now we can invite the student who’s interested in going down that pathway to say, oh, you’re a valorant player, and you’re interested in becoming a doctor, why don’t you help our valorant team improve their diet and their workout regimen, or become more aware of certain health concerns within eSports, such as combating poor posture, or lack of hydration or malnutrition, and stuff like this, and that now, now, they’re going to be excited about they may learn faster and and now we also, we encourage our students to make a LinkedIn and showcase what they do to prepare them for getting into career. So now they’re going to add to the resume, hey, I, I worked on the health and wellness for this team that competed and did this well. And then maybe we can even add in some sort of metrics to that and say, their performance increased and their reports of being happier and feeling better increased and stuff like this. So that the, but I think the big part, like I said, is that they’re going to be interested in they’re gonna be so excited about now I get to help the valorant team, I get to watch the beat these other teams and know that I was a part of that. So yeah, that’s an example of a doctor. And I guess I’ll keep it quick on the other two, because I, I think I really dove into that one. But in terms of lawyer, because I work in Collegiate Esports. Right now, the professional scene is very interested in education space, they’ve, they’ve realized that education is important part of this. And so there are a lot of companies that are excited to work with colleges excited to work with other education institutions, even K through 12. There was somebody who said that, who’s who’s running the, I think she’s the CEO of one of the most prestigious organizations, and she says her dream job is to do K through 12, eSports. And I think that’s because she knows it’s so important. So fitting in a teacher would be so easy, Hey, would you like to run a high school tournament? Would you like to do a career panel that goes out and speaks to all the different students out there something it’s and then same for being a lawyer? It’s easy to work with those professional organizations and say, Oh, this organization wants to work with us as a collegiate program, would you like to create a presentation deck on some of the things that they want to do? And now we’re starting and maybe discuss deliverable. So now, we’re starting to get in the practice of, you know, a lawyer understanding parties getting different deliverables out of some sort of agreement. So I think it’s quite easy to see how this is a step in the right direction for their careers.
Tim Van Norman 18:41
It sounds like the, like you’re saying the eSports creates, generates the interest or keeps the interest for the student, and then ties into what they’re doing. And you’re looking to use it in combination. And, and stuff. And so this is great. I love what you’re talking about there. So how do you wind up connecting with the community? And that you were talking earlier about broadcasting and broadcasting tournaments and stuff like that? I would assume also marketing but how do the students get involved in the community? And are we talking the eSports community we talking? Which community are you? Would you think when you think about them involved getting involved?
Adam Lopez 19:30
So the community is an incredibly important aspect of eSports because gamers are so darn demanding and so skeptical about things that they will let you know on the internet when they disagree with them 10 years out there, they disagree with how the game is made. So we’ve all learned the importance of being connected with the community in this space. And it can it can vary. For I guess to start, we want to connect our Students and then from there, the other peripheral communities around the students. And so students often engage with each other on Discord. And that’s the place where gaming happens. I think that Discord is an incredibly powerful tool. So we set up different communities within the discord to to talk about any sort of gaming subjects, but then we’ll also give them some sort of identity information and encourage them to participate in these conversations discourse by showing their specific interest then, and often that’s through which games they like to play. But then we also can change it up and have them show us which majors they are and, or they could show us which interests they have in the career. And you can, you could see everybody’s different interests. And so we’re kind of using that as a way to pull them together and say, okay, like talk, y’all have the same interest, let’s do some stuff together. So that that’s one way we get everybody together. And that also exists within our whole Southern California collegiate community. There are different discord servers for every different eSports club out there. And SoCal 14 has one UCI has one, VCR, all UCLA, they all have them. And then there’s also separate discord servers hosted by the professional organizations that invite students to come in and learn about the industry and talk with each other there. And that’s more of a centered way of getting them connected. And then reaching past that, we start to look at things like Twitter and Instagram to not only keep our community updated with Oh, and tick tock, tick and LinkedIn to keep our community updated with what’s going on, in the different areas of our, our program. And then one thing I’m most proud of with IVC sports is, we do a very good job of being aware of all the professional networking opportunities. For instance, we went to an invite only Riot Games event that had to do with diversity within the within eSports. And women in games. And it was an event that was hosted at the Verizon 5g labs, and they had a panel and then an after party mixer, where you get to talk with people from Riot Games, there are other college students there who are up and coming in the space. And so really, it’s about being aware of what’s going on locally and nationally and trying to keep up to date, and then having events and throwing tournaments and getting getting people together in a way that they’re just excited about.
Brent Warner 22:34
That’s awesome. Yeah, so I’m hearing a lot of cool potential here, one of the things that I’ve heard you talk about in the past to Adam at some of your events is, you know, kind of the reality that not everybody who’s doing eSports stuff is going to become a professional gamer, right? Like, they’re, they’re not all gonna become Sorry, I’m bad, just dropping, dropping pro gamers names, but they’re not all just going to become top level players, right? They might find, hey, there’s other realms, or I can still be involved with these games or with the eSports or with the, you know, the competitive tournaments or whatever else it is. And so sometimes, even though they start as gamers, maybe with other dreams, they actually find that maybe you mentioned this in the past, like, oh, maybe I fit into being a marketer, with this, or maybe I fit into, you know, you know, planning events or, you know, different types of things. And so I know that when you built, you know, the arena on campus, and now Oh, last time we talked two years ago, you were still doing everything online, and students were just logging in, and now you’ve got an arena two on campus. And so can you kind of talk about those combination one, please feel free to share about the arena. But two, what is what are the career potentials or skill sets that students are getting from being involved with the actual, you know, physical arena there as well?
Adam Lopez 24:07
Yeah, totally. You bring up a good point about how it’s going to be quite difficult for us to have a program that puts people into a professional video gaming career, that is all about competition. That’s so difficult, and in the industry. Last I checked, only 3% of the industry was made up of those gamers, the 97% is a little bit more likely to go after when we’re talking about responsible decisions, right. So yeah, that’s that’s a big emphasis. And I think that’s also something that we see as a way to improve our competitive results. So yeah, we do our best to let students decide there are certain things that we get them focused on because we know that’s going to have really high returns on investment for their career development. For instance, like I said, we encourage our students to get out Get a LinkedIn and add them add, add us to their experience. Sorry. And I guess just to backtrack a bit, the way I’m doing it right now is students can earn achievement points. And there’s a whole bunch of different achievements that they can choose from, they don’t need to do them all to get an A, but they all represent different parts of the industry that are good to begin with, such as going, we were just discussing those discord servers that are hosted by the professional orcs, one of them is go and play a game night there and talk with other people in the industry. And then you get an achievement or make a LinkedIn and you get an achievement. And then there’s certain things that we’re really focused on right now, within speaking about the arena, we’re really privileged to have an arena, we have a fantastic arena, and we’re one of the few colleges in Southern California who do and so we kind of think it’s our, our responsibility to host many tournaments for the Southern California scene, because there’s so many teams out there that never get to play in person, and they are dying too. So a lot of the a lot of our achievements right now have to do with specifically hosting tournaments, because we know that’s going to have a really high return on investment for our program and the students because that’s going to bring in more from the professional industry more from the collegiate scene here and playing in our space. And so we have really pulled up. And so we have five different sectors that we focus on, and broadcast is on there. So someone will have to, at one point, go up there and commentate. Even if you’re bad at it, that’s fine. Okay, at least you’re out there, and you’re doing it. And so there’s that there’s community, and doing things such as getting in contact with the community, their social media, we require everyone to at least interact with social media in some way that’s really important, especially in this space, and then artistry, we encourage our students to develop some sort of art at some point, they have to check, they have to check off at least one in each of these boxes, though, to receive an A. And so yeah, there’s there’s a whole bunch of different ways. And then the way that I keep it really open as I allow them to create their own custom achievement, and then debate the points that that customer achievement can net them. So this is where they can get very, very creative. For instance, we have one student who’s a computer science major, and he is creating a custom discord bot for us. And that wasn’t an achievement, but because this is an option. Now he’s giving to our community in our organization, in a way that most reflects his interests. And I’m really excited about that, Bob, because I think it’s gonna do a lot for us. So yeah, I think that’s the way that we’re encouraging careers. And then to knock out just information on the Rena, which I just discussed a bit as we do, we have a fantastic arena. And it wasn’t built just for gaming, it was built to be a place for the community to come together and be comfortable. So we made sure that the desks space was really wide. And it was really comfortable for the players, and to have people watching them. And so you’ll notice it’s really roomy, it’s very modular, too. So half of the arena is made for the gaming. And then the other half is for the community. And broadcasting because broadcasts is just so important. It kind of ups the legitimacy when we’re streaming on Twitch and high resolution and having half commentators Commentating the match, and it just makes it way more exciting. And so we built the arena with two 4k BlackMagic cameras that go to this really high end video switch that also captures the commentators who are in their own separate room. And so it’s really great for everything that we’re really looking to do with eSports right now.
Tim Van Norman 28:46
So as you look at that, it looks like it sounds to me, like you got a couple of different levels of that community that you’re building. And you’re bringing these students through the different aspects that they need in order to fulfill and to identify what’s going to happen in the future. As they get into a job and they need to do some minor marketing, this could be there. And if somebody’s interested in marketing, this is a great place to learn that in a in an environment they’re already familiar with. So if they’re interested in business, there’s negotiations, there’s a lot of different ways to pull students, for students to get involved. And as they get involved, they’re still in the world, the community that they’re used to doing and it sounds like a really neat opportunity for students. Well and for us as the college
Brent Warner 29:45
Yeah, one thing that that I heard inside of there too is I love that idea of like, okay, here are all the things that I want you to do during this semester, but come up with your own things that you want to do and if it fits in like that is such cool autonomy. for the student, because now they’re motivated by their interest, right by what they like, and then it maybe it’s something that they were going to do anyway. And they can kind of get credit for it in your class or, you know, maybe it’s like I was kind of looking forward to trying this out, but I didn’t really have a reason to. And now I kind of have a reason to, because other people are relying on me to get it in, you know, like, there could be lots of parts to that. And so I really love this idea. And I hope people listening kind of think about their own field, I’m thinking about my own classes, I’m like, Well, what kind of things can I open up to my students, for them to make decisions and totally go from their own, you know, side of things, and then figure out ways to bring that information or those those ideas into the class that can benefit everybody, but also can show that they’re learning certain skills that are, you know, related to what we’re talking about. So I, there’s some real interesting potential here.
Adam Lopez 30:52
Absolutely. Yeah, that’s been a critical part of our organization, because the things that they’ll do, and the things that they’ll come up with can be so so impactful, because they’re just excited about it, though. It’s so much more than whatever they’ve done before. And so yeah, students really do step up when when you give them room, and I’m thankful that we’re, we’re giving them room within within their interests here.
Tim Van Norman 31:18
So as you look at this student graduating from the program, what is their next step? What do you see a typical path, or what are their options as they are looking to leave IVC and move to whatever that next step is? In their career, and their life, and their education, etc.
Adam Lopez 31:42
Totally. Next Steps vary from student to student, some students come in, and they, they learn very basic lessons, because they’re really interested in making things work out, they’ll, they’ll have to overcome some challenges. And I think that those are big wins. But then there’s other students who come in, and they’re very proficient, and they really grab, you know, take on the program and run with it. And I think in those in those students, we’ve seen success in the broadcasting space, we have someone who’s, who started their career as a commentator within eSports, they didn’t know much about eSports at all, they’re just kind of games. And now they’re, they’re being paid on contracts for specific eSports tournaments. Broadcasting right now is, I think, accepted in the industry as one of the easiest ways to kind of put your foot in the door of eSports. Because there’s almost always need for help. I’ve know some students who do well as broadcasting assistants, and we’ll do some internships with some prestigious organizations. And as they continue their careers, we’ve seen some students go through a team management type of pipeline, where they learn to manage some of our teams to manage the schedule, manage working out practices against other teams, and getting them registered for the tournaments, and representing them on social media and such stuff like this. And then they start to work their way into the amateur scene and start to manage some amateur organizations that do quite well and perform quite high. We had a student who was even managing two professional teams, one of which was in Korea, and I, I and it’s just awesome to see them, kind of collaborating with the rest of the industry. Yep, pride, broadcasting and, and management, I think are the most, the most common. We’ve also seen some students emerge as leaders at other schools as they’ve transferred out. That one has been really great to see there’s some cool stories. For instance, one of our Balamb players is current in game leader for Cal State Fullerton, and their performance has gone up. So it’s kind of cool to watch them do well, because they a that was an IVC student. And now he’s there leading that team doing fantastic things. We also have a student who was also on our team, who’s now at UCLA, leading a marginalized genders and eSports and gaming club, doing really, really cool things. So yeah, it’s, it’s kind of buried, but I think that overall, we’ve seen a lot of just great development that’s really reactive to where people are at.
Brent Warner 34:19
That’s awesome. I love how there’s so many different possible ways for people to go to. I didn’t really prep you for this question, Adam, but but I’m gonna throw it at you anyways and see what you come up with, which is I don’t know how often you get, you know, what we term returning students, you know, the group of students who are maybe 25 years or older or more adults who have kind of done some level of establishment but they’re coming back into college, four different options, better, better, better choices. So number one, are you getting any adults, more more adult aged? Students coming in? And to try and look at eSports. And and and is it possible? Or do you see ways even if they’re not quite quite there right now? Do you see ways for, for maybe an older student base to use Esports to transition careers or maybe leverage skills, maybe that they’ve already built, and then kind of figured out a new way to use them?
Adam Lopez 35:22
Yeah, definitely, we’ve had that happen more recently, it’s, it’s, we’ve had adult students come in from the beginning. But I think that number has gone up, because we’ve done a good job of advertising on LinkedIn, kind of what we’re up to. And we’ve attracted some people who have realized it’s actually a really good deal here at IVC. Because we were just talking about the arena. For only, if you’re a California resident, it could be free, but are only up to $140. And you get access to this community to be a leader, immediately, you get access to this arena studio that often would get rented out for, you know, over $2,000 a day, so but you get to come in as a student and have access to that. And so we’ve had some people who have done some really good work in the industry come in, and join us and work with us. And I’m really, I’m really impressed and kind of honored sometimes to see some of those students come in. And I think they do they do quite well, when when they do. So yeah, we’ve seen a trend of that going up, especially lately. And it’s fun to be a part of that experience with them.
Tim Van Norman 36:31
Nice. Yeah, it’s neat to see this newer program to us anyway, it’s a much very new program, and to see the successes that we’re seeing out of some of the students and and looking forward to seeing where this goes from here. Absolutely,
Brent Warner 36:51
absolutely. So Adam, we’re getting kind of close to our wrap up time here. And so we want to make sure that people kind of have a feeling on like how they can. So for teachers listening, and just a little bit of a sense on how they can maybe help their students either recognize how esports are going to help them in their classes, and then connect that to careers, or, or just kind of finding ways to connect with students who are into eSports in their regular classes as well. I think all of this has kind of helped for the overall growth of the student. But also I think that teachers recognizing more of what’s going on in an Esports program can help them kind of appeal to the students in their own classes as well. So just kind of as we’re wrapping up, I know, we’re taking it back into the school level, but but I think that being able to have those conversations is important. Do you have anything that you want, you know, classroom teachers to know about their students in the eSports? Programs?
Adam Lopez 37:50
Are we talking K through 12?
Brent Warner 37:52
Well, I mean, probably higher ed. But But I know that we do get those we do get sometimes K 12 people coming in and out.
Adam Lopez 37:58
Okay, well, yeah, for sure. It’s tough to say exactly how you could relate eSports I think that if there’s any, so I think it’s always nice to bring relevant news into the classroom. So if something cool happens with eSports, and you have some sort of peripheral, like maybe game game design, just bring that bring that in, it is tough to say what to do as in higher education. Because right now, we’re, we’re given so many different barriers on who’s allowed to do what and such. But I would say if there is no program on your campus, to see if you could start a club, that would be, that’d be a great first step. If you’re interested in pursuing these sports more, I would recommend trying to have a game plan that’s like slow and steady, because the most common mistake that’s made in gaming, and it’s across not just eSports, but all of gaming is people will know the potential for it is incredibly high. So they try to rush everything through and then as a miss that then that will just ruin everything. And you don’t want to do that, especially with the gaming student demographic. If you lose them once you they’re gone. Like it’s over the they will judgment has been passed. Okay, so try to take it easy and take it slow and start with the take your your small victories from the start, I oh, let’s host an eSports club. Two people showed up. Awesome, nice. Let’s try to get to three next time. So I would say approach it with with long term game plan. And yeah, just try to have fun. I so often, Bo will get caught up with trying to I guess, overcome certain milestones, and and forget to have fun, but in this environment, if everybody’s just having a good time, they’re going to come back and they’re going to do a little bit more, or maybe a lot more, who knows but as long as they’re having fun, so just have a good time. Man, take it slow.
Brent Warner 40:02
Love it. Yeah. So there’s tons to think about here. We’ll, we’ll link some of these resources out. I know we’ve got that infographic we’ll get from you. And also some pictures of the, the arena, and maybe some, maybe a couple of links to places where people can learn a bit more about all of this. But I think, for now, we’re gonna wrap things up. And we’re gonna jump on to the other side. Thanks so much for joining us, Adam. Thank you.
Tim Van Norman 40:34
Thank you for listening today. In this episode, we talked about eSports as a career pathway was Adam Lopez. For more information about this show, please visit our website at thehigheredtechpodcast.com. There you’ll find our podcasts and links to the information we’ve covered.
Brent Warner 40:50
As always, we do want your feedback. So please go to thehigheredtechpodcast.com. And let us know your thoughts. If you have ideas for future shows. There’s a link over there where you can give us your topic ideas.
Tim Van Norman 41:01
For every one and IVC. That’s listening. If you need help with technology questions, please contact IVC technical support. If you have questions about technology in your classroom, please stop by the IVC Training Center at a 322 or contact me Tim Van Norman AT firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brent Warner 41:18
And if you want to reach out to me about the show, you can find me on LinkedIn at @BrentGWarner. By the way, Adam, I know you’re also on LinkedIn. Do you? Do you have an easy access page? Or can you share the link?
Adam Lopez 41:30
Oh yeah. Yeah, AdamLopezeSports There we go.
Tim Van Norman 41:34
There you go. So I’m Tim VanNorman.
Brent Warner 41:37
And I’m Brent Warner. And we hope this episode has helped you on the road from possibility to actuality. Take care everybody
We’ve got Adam Lopez back to share updates on what’s happening with IVC’s Esports program and how students can leverage Esports as a career pathway. If you’ve got a career in mind, there’s a link between it and Esports. Listen in to hear about how gaming can tap into any professional field.