International Gaming Institute Launches eSports Lab

Aug. 9, 2016

The International Gaming Institute (IGI) is once again taking the lead in gaming research—this time by offering an innovative course this fall that will allow UNLV students to explore one of the most significant phenomena in popular culture today: eSports.

“eSports is the hottest topic in every board room on the Strip, particularly with respect to Millennials,” said Robert Rippee, director of the Hospitality Lab and eSports Lab. “What better place to begin the journey to understand its relevance and application to the casino and hospitality industry than right here at UNLV?”

In the eSports Lab, students will explore multiple facets of eSports and produce presentations and business plans relevant to the casino industry. They will learn about the games and genres, synthesize information, and explore opportunities in big data related to gamer and fan behaviors in order to develop strategies for effectively targeting Millennials. They will work to solve problems that exist in the field, such as how to effectively design competitive events and improve eSports experience models. They will also be expected to apply new and relevant technologies within the specialty as well as develop intellectual property and other innovations related to the overall gaming experience.

The course will feature guest speakers including game developers, tournament management companies, platform developers, design engineers and architects, compliance and regulatory experts, competition design professionals, and gaming executives. Students will also attend and participate in eSports events.

The eSports Lab is the first of its kind at UNLV and represents an evolution of and complement to the university’s current casino gaming innovation courses, Special Topics in Gaming Operations – Gaming Innovation (GAM 495) and Special Topics in Hospitality Innovation (HMD 455/HOA 555). For more information, email hospitalitylab@unlv.edu.