Architectural Design Technology students from Wrexham Glyndwr University will host a European delegation later this year to examine the future of the growing eSports industry.
The appetite globally for eSports – essentially, competitive computer gaming which is viewed by spectators – has grown hugely in recent decades and Glyndwr’s students have taken part in a Europe-wide Erasmus + project examining the kind of buildings the new industry will need – alongside students from France, Spain and Finland.
Dr Colin Stuhlfelder, Programme Leader for Architectural Design Technology, said: “With the Spanish University of Murcia’s sports expertise, the University of Caen in France’s specialism in inclusivity, the University of Kajaani in Finland’s eSports lead, and WGU student’s design skills, the Erasmus+ project seeks to examine how eSports can be understood, expanded to a broad audience regardless of ability, and be regulated through a Europe-wide Ethical Charter - as well as a host of other considerations linked to engagement.
“Our students at Glyndwr have been examining the design implications of housing gaming tournaments, as well as the associated requirements of eSports, such as training spaces, analytics facilities - as well as ensuring a public facing space is created as well.”
Last Autumn, students from Glyndwr joined their European counterparts in a trip to the University of Murcia’s Faculty of Sport Science in San Javier. The visit was the third of a series of Erasmus+ study trips which Architectural Design Technology students have taken part in as part of the pan-European electronic gaming industry project, and later this year, students from across Europe will be hosted at Glyndwr for the Welsh section of the project.
In the past two years, the current final year Architectural Design Technology students visited Caen and Kajaani, and designed theoretical proposals for an eSports Centre for a site in Wrexham.
Colin added: “Their research and project development has now been handed over to the university’s current first year students, who will develop a new set of designs for the site, taking into consideration the lessons learnt by their predecessors.
“These projects will be completed in May 2020, when the European partners will be visiting Wrexham for the next study trip.
“We’ll continue working with colleagues across Europe on this project for the next year, with the current first year Architectural Design Technology students taking on the specific project – while I’ll be helping ensure that the project helps future students understand key real-world issues architectural design technologists face when optimising the layouts of eSports centres. We’ll also use the information the project produces to create an academic data bank on eSports for higher education.
“And, of course, our students will continue to get the chance to take their studies, share them with colleagues across Europe – and to visit partner universities in different countries to exchange ideas!”