Health IS Technology Blog

The Future of Gaming at The University of South Florida


Ronald Goolsby sat at a gaming computer set up lit by green lighting wearing a green gaming headsetIn 2017 we published an article focusing on gaming in education. In that article we spoke with Ronald Goolsby, USF Desktop Support Technician, who was working with the Assistant Dean of Students to bring an Esports gaming league to the University of South Florida. Today, we are seeing constant advancements to the Esports efforts at USF! We spoke with Ronald Goolsby once again to find out everything students and faculty should know.
 

Big Things Are Coming in 2019

If you follow the USF Esports Twitter (which you should), then you’ll know that the league has announced that there will be an official Super Smash Bros tournament sometime in early 2019!

Ronald says he can’t release exact dates or details at this time, but:

“All that I can say is that USF will be hosting its first official Super Smash Bros Ultimate Tournament exclusive to USF Students, Faculty, Staff, and Alumni in early 2019.”

So if you’re a student, a faculty/staff member, or a USF Alumni, you better start practicing your Super Smash Bros if you want to be ready to become champion!

The Esports Team Is Growing!

It’s not easy to start something from the ground up, especially not when that something is an Esports league at a university. When we initially spoke with Ronald Goolsby in 2017, he was working with the USF Assistant Dean of Student Success to implement and develop the project. Unfortunately, says Ronald, “Sujit, the Assistant Dean of Student Success no longer works at the University of South Florida and has moved on to another University. But he has done great work in preparing USF to move forward with this initiative and his departure has not stopped progression.”

As of now, there are only three public members of the Esports effort at USF: Eric Pergola, Associate Director of Information Technology; Idrissa Presley-Peterson, 2018 President of the USF Video Game Club; and Ronald Goolsby. Ronald insists that the other members of the team will be revealed soon.

The Esports League Will Be Working Closely With The USF VGC

Pink and blue lighting with hands holding video game controllerThe USF Video Game Club (VGC) was established in October 2010 and now has over 500 members. According to their website http://vgcusf.club/about-vgc/, the VGC is USF’s largest and fastest growing special-interest student organization. The club’s goal is to connect gamers and provide a fun and safe environment for the University’s gamers to enjoy the company of their peers. Its headquarters (affectionately referred to as the ‘Skypad’) is located on the fourth floor of the Marshall Student Center. The club hosts biweekly, themed events that center around video games. A recent event held by the club was Game Con, a convention that melded competitive and casual gamers into a mega marathon gaming session that took over the 3rd floor of the Marshall Center. To learn more about VGC, check out their Facebook page.

As far as the Esports efforts at USF, Ronald Goolsby is insistent in VGC’s vital role in the process.

“I’ve been working with the Video Game Club in the past two years in hopes to build a team from the most determined and hardworking members of VGC. My goals wouldn’t be possible without the growth of the USF Video Game Club and their existing presence on USF Tampa Campus.”

There’s a Massive USF Gamer Discord You Can Join In

USF gamers have put together a Discord to encourage discussion and collaboration. If you’re unfamiliar, Discord is a messaging application specifically designed for video gaming communities. On Discord you can send text, image, video, and audio in a messaging channel. Ronald says:

“The Discord is used to bring gamers together, but soon it will also be the main source for our tournament party chats. I’m going to use it to help expand the program by inviting members of other Universities Esports teams over to our space so that we can have practice events (scrims)."

As for how USF Faculty and Staff can help get involved with the effort:

“Faculty and Staff, it would be amazing if you all joined the Discord and took the time to learn more about Esports and Gaming. It’s bigger than ever and it’s only growing from here.”

It’s Up To Everyone to Get Involved

For now, Ronald Goolsby has been working very closely with a select few members of the USF community to bring his vision to reality. But if Esports at the University is going to be as successful as it can be, it’s up to all of us to get involved.

“Esports is coming to the University of South Florida. Don’t wait to become a part of this family of Gamers and Content Creators, join now! Join the Discord, Follow on Twitter. Let us know what titles you’d like to see USF support. Express how badly you want this to happen. If you’re a member of the gaming industry or you believe you have something that we need in order for our program to grow, contact me at Goolsby1@usf.edu. I want this program as well as all of the events we host to be a prime example of what gaming in a competitive space should be and I’ll only be able to accomplish this goal by seeing the passion that Students, Faculty, and Staff have for gaming.”

To get involved, follow USF Esports on Twitter, like the VGC on Facebook, and join the USF Gamer Discord! Be loud and proud about your desire to see a huge gamer presence at the University. Keep your eye out on the above social media as announcements are constantly being made!

USF Health Information Systems is a comprehensive technology group serving the needs of the Academic Research and Clinical missions. We partner with our customers to deliver agile responsive technology solutions that drive business value and make life better for our students and patients. Be informed at all times by visiting health.usf.edu/is/. You can connect directly via phone by calling (813) 974-6288 or by sending us an email via support@health.usf.edu, after hours.

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Bekah Witten
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Bekah is the content writer for the University of South Florida department of Information Technology.