Professor Ibrahim Brings Esports to the Classroom

Thursday, May 20, 2021
Spectators watch student-hosted Super Smash Bros. tournament at SF State in 2019.

CAL MATTERS (SACRAMENTO) -- Educators who support the trend point to the jobs available in gaming and other forms of digital media, while students say esports clubs and classes have given them another way to connect virtually during the pandemic.

“Higher ed needs to evolve or die,” said Dina Ibrahim, the academic adviser of the SF State esports athletic club and a professor of broadcast journalism. “We need to be teaching students relevant skills, that’s going to get them jobs in a rapidly changing landscape.”

Ibrahim and other librarians, professors and administrators from across California State University logged on to Zoom in late March for the university’s first ever Esports Unconference, and it wasn’t a typical virtual meeting. Attendees flooded the familiar Zoom grid with photos of their favorite video games, while a medley of video game theme songs played in the background.