Harrisburg University launches first esports peer-reviewed journal in North America

Ioannis Pashakis//May 18, 2021

Harrisburg University launches first esports peer-reviewed journal in North America

Ioannis Pashakis//May 18, 2021

Three years after starting its esports program, Harrisburg University of Science and Technology (HU) looks to solidify its place of prominence in the sport by launching the first peer-reviewed esports journal in North America.

The Dauphin County science, technology and math university announced on Monday that it is launching the Annals of Esports Research (AER), an international journal dedicated to “expanding the scientific basis and qualitative and quantitative knowledge of esports.”

Research, opinions and educational information published in the journal will include pieces related to industry practices and outlooks; the teaching, management and research of esports; and the health, well-being, performance and experience of players, fans and coaches.

HU’s esports program was ranked seventh in the country by the Video Game Entertainment & New Network based on team talent, scholarship opportunities and student support. The program is the university’s only varsity sport and consists of three teams, each competing in separate games.

Outside of competition, HU offers a Bachelor’s Degree in esports management, production and performance.

“Over the three years since HU built a highly competitive esports program, we have become connected to multiple parts of the esports ecosystem (e.g., publishers, professional teams, technology vendors, streamers, investors, infrastructure providers).” said Eric Darr, president of Harrisburg University. “These connections give HU access to broad perspectives and expertise from which to ask questions and solicit answers. Further, many of our faculty from multiple disciplines are interested in esports and have already started research programs.”

HU’s Annals of esports Research is open to all disciplines and approaches and will be freely accessible, according to the university. The journal’s categories of interest include topics such as finance, sociology, communications and health and medicine, all related to esports.

As the first North American school to launch an international esports journal, AER will help the school guide esports research and set itself a leader in the field, according to Darr.

“Being at the forefront of research in esports allows HU to set the research agenda that others will follow,” said Darr. “Launching North America’s first esports research journal further supports HU’s goal to be seen as the number one university for all things esports– academic programs, national championship teams, innovative events, student summer camps, coaching clinics industry leading research.”