NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Tennessee State University is using video gaming as a pathway to recruit minorities, especially black females into STEAM Academic programs.
The school hosted a special eSports gaming competition for TSU female gamers on Wednesday. The event was sponsored by TSU’s SMART Global Technology Innovation Center.
TSU officials said recent statistics show only 22% of eSports fans worldwide are female.
"Ever since I was a kid I was always interested in games because I watched my dad and my brother play it," freshman Kiara Davis said.
Davis said she's always been interested in video games.
Not only can students take courses on video gaming, but the campus also has an eSports team where students like Davis compete on a collegiate level.
"When I first got here, I kept on searching you know whether we have the eSports team and stuff. And when they finally sent out that email, I was like, this is for me, I'm going to join," Davis said.
Effua Ampadu-Moss is the director of the eSports program at TSU.
"So today, we wanted to encourage our female eSports student-athletes to come out and play to help encourage other girls on campus to come out and play as well. Just because it will help break them out," Ampadu-Moss said.
Games about fantasy are becoming reality whether it's coding, design or sound. Students are learning their love for games can be a big win.
"It shows people younger, especially Black females, it's really scarce that we're in this game industry, so it shows them when they look up and like join TSU they have like a role here, they can play it," Davis said.
TSU is establishing an Academic eSports Center set to open on the main campus in the fall. The University’s SMART Global Technology Innovation Center will oversee the new center.