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Bowie State University is in the game with new $575K esports center

Students at Prince George’s County, Maryland’s Bowie State University interested in gaming now have a place to compete professionally, earn money or just blow off some steam.

The university’s esports facility opened Feb. 8 and includes 12 gaming stations, streaming capabilities and a racing simulator. The $575,000 space will serve as the official training space for Bowie State鈥檚 esports team participating in the CIAA and national competitions.

鈥淲e actually started during the pandemic, when, of course, there was no physical contact allowed, because we were all teaching and learning from our respective homes,” said Maurice Tyler, Bowie State鈥檚 vice president for information technology and chief information officer. “During that time, esports was the only thing that we could do,鈥

But, Tyler said students participating in esports didn’t have a place to practice or compete.

鈥淥ver the last year and a half, we started putting together a space for our students on campus to actively participate in practice and compete in tournaments for our new esports program,” Tyler said.

Through the program, the athletes can compete professionally, earn scholarship money and even receive brand deals for their likeness. The university hopes the growing space will also increase students鈥 interest in STEM careers, and encourage students already pursuing STEM careers to take up gaming.

鈥淲e also have what we call casual gaming,” Tyler said. “These are students that just want to relax and release and play games, not necessarily in this professional, competitive setting, but more of a casual, fun, you know, laid-back type of feel.”

Other students are playing esports as part of their academics.

鈥淲e’re actually creating a game design curriculum, all focused on game design, because it really touches on just about every profession,” Tyler said.

The facility sits on the ground floor of the James E. Proctor Building.

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Cheyenne Corin

Cheyenne Corin joined the WTOP 太子探花 team in February 2023.聽Prior to this role she was a Montgomery County, Maryland, bureau reporter at WDVM/DC 太子探花 Now.

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