ABOUT UCI ESPORTS
Mission & Vision
UCI eSports strives to be the best collegiate eSports program in the world.
The program is built on four pillars: Competition, Academics, Community, Entertainment.
UCI eSports will recruit the best gamers from around the world and offer them scholarships to compete for ‘Eater Nation. The coaching and eSports staff will redefine what it means to be an elite gamer by instilling the values of appreciation for diversity, healthy living, academic success and life balance.
UC Irvine is at the forefront of game-related education and research. In addition to the innovative Computer Game Science major, there are game-related undergraduate as well as graduate courses offered around campus - in Anthropology, Art, Education, Film & Media Studies, Informatics, Law, and elsewhere. Some courses focus on designing games, others on writing characters and dialogue. Some courses teach the history of human-computer interaction with an emphasis on entertainment software. Others look at the potential of virtual environments for training or rehabilitation.
Fans are a key component to eSports. A recent survey of UCI students indicated that 72% of undergraduates identify as gamers. We will work closely with and support the UCI gaming community to bring students together in a social and positive setting.
The UCI eSports Arena will broadcast our gamers to the world and create one of the most enjoyable viewing experiences possible. As the demand grows for live eSports events, we will meet that need by hosting high quality events in the UCI Bren Events Center and around Orange County.
Games in Academia
Robert Nideffer and Antoinette Lafarge curate the SHIFT+CTRL exhibition of game-based artworks at the Beall Center for Art & Technology, the first such exhibition in an art museum.
UCI establishes the Game Culture & Technology Lab at Calit2, and later also in the School of the Arts.
Game Studied Proposal
Proposal for a BA in Game Studies (led by Robert Nideffer, Studio Art), not approved by the UCI Academic Senate.
Robert Nideffer, Antoinette Lafarge, and Celia Pearce curate and produce the ALT+CTRL exhibit of game-based artworks at the Beall Center for Art & Technology.
Robert Nideffer and Walt Scacchi receive research and development grant from the Discovery Science Center, Santa Ana, CA, to design, develop, and deploy an online informal life science learning environment, called DinoQuest Online, that was designed to integrate and interoperate with a large-scale hands-on science exhibit called DinoQuest.
Robert Nideffer and Walt Scacchi organize and host MASSIVE: A Research Summit on Networked Multiplayer Games.
Start of the first First-Year Integrated Program (FIP) as University Studies 12ABC, under the auspices of DUE, on "Computer Games as Art, Culture, and Technology", taught for three years by Dan Frost, Bill Tomlinson, Peter Krapp.
National Science Foundation
UCI receives $3M research grant from National Science Foundation to investigate game-based virtual worlds as decentralized virtual activity systems (Principal Investigator, Walt Scacchi).
UC Irvine establishes an interdisciplinary research Center for Computer Games and Virtual Worlds. In 2013 the Center becomes the Institute for Virtual Environments and Computer Games, directed by Computer Science Prof. Magda El Zarki, as an organized research institute of the University of California. By 2015, more than 50 UCI faculty across campus have become affiliated with the IVECG.
More R&D Grants
Multiple grants for R&D of computer games, game-based virtual worlds, or game development technologies from sponsors including Blizzard Entertainment, National Science Foundation, Naval Postgraduate School, and Northrop-Grumman Interactive Systems.
Computer Games Workshop
UC Irvine hosts an NSF-funded Workshop on The Future of Research in Computer Games and Virtual Worlds.
Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Science establishes an undergraduate B.S. Degree program in Computer Game Science, which currently enrolls approximately 300 degree majors, and is today the second largest undergraduate degree program in the SICS.
Dan Frost and Walt Scacchi help establish and organize the IEEE Computer Game Showcase, a regional event sponsored by the Orange County section of the IEEE, featuring student developed games from a dozen different universities and college-based game jams in Southern California. UCI has hosted this Showcase in 2013 and 2016.
F&M and INF Faculty
UCI Film and Media Program hires Braxton Soderman, while Informatics Department hires five faculty—Josh Tanenbaum Bonnie Ruberg, Aaron Trammell, Constance Steinkuehler and Kurt Squire—to research and teach courses in computer game studies and/or game development.
UCI Student Affairs establishes the eSports Program and eSports Arena, the first of its kind in a major university.