MELBOURNE, Fla. - All those hours of playing video games may finally pay off.
"Esports is the organized competitive video gaming that we are bringing to campus," said Dana Hustedt, the new program sports director.
The first female electronic sports director in the country is rolling out a new esports program at the Florida Institute of Technology.
It’s not all fun and games. The director said it will help with other studies at the university like computer programming, graphic design, and production.
"That is what we want parents to understand, administrators to understand. That we are able to provide esports as a vehicle of learning and not just video games," Hustedt said.
What was once a hobby for many kids and young adults across the country, has turned into prizes and scholarships. She says they are anticipating 200-400 students in the program.
A graduate student in Florida Tech's behavior analysis program says esports offers a great path to a career for people like him.
"Football can be viewed as a hobby, chess can be viewed as a hobby…so just because esports is new and a game, I don’t feel it should be underestimated," said James Riswick-Estelle.
"Because the industry is getting so large, the career pathways and opportunities that they have before them, I’m very passionate about that...to let them continue to do what they love," Hustedt said.
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