Maryland HBCU Bowie State University is expanding its investment into the esports arena by opening its first-ever game lab and adding a new field of study within virtual game design.
After launching its esports team in February, BSU is following up by unveiling its official esports gaming facility and a new program where students can obtain a degree in video game design.
According to the Washington Business Journal, the public historically Black university in Prince George’s County, Maryland, is still looking to receive more funding for the new lab. By opening the premier gaming facility, the HBCU is hoping to encourage more students interested in esports to join the university’s team and pave the way for a new undergraduate degree in game design.
“It’s all part of an effort and plans to also create a game design academic program,” university spokesperson, Cassandra Robinson, said.
While in the early development phase, the new project doesn’t have detailed info on the size, costs, and launch date. However, the university’s director of admissions, Brandon Vinson, is pushing for new cutting-edge consoles and virtual reality technology.
“The platform can also boost teamwork, leadership, and confidence-building, “Vinson said, according to the outlet. “All these things tie into making you better prepared for the next steps after graduation when it comes to employment.”
Bowie State has bid for funding and is awaiting the results, Washing Business Journal reports. But in the meantime, the school is creating viewership hubs within the student residence halls and other public spaces where attendees and curious bystanders can support the esports team’s tournaments, and potential prospects can get more information before potentially joining the team.
Bowie State is one of the first HBCUs and renowned colleges to express serious interest in esports. The school’s commitment to esports is to foster students’ professional skills within a growing and dominating tech industry.