Academic Esports Seminar at University of Agder: Paving the Way for an Esports Research Cluster

The Esports Research Network’s mission is to connect researchers worldwide, and the network supports satellite events and conferences worldwide. This is increasingly more relevant as esports has become an integral part of modern society, with increasing numbers of people engaging in video gaming. While the spotlight often shines on professional players competing for millions and performing in packed arenas, the University of Agder (UiA) in Norway is taking a broader view by emphasizing the educational potential of esports and its societal contributions. With its new bachelor’s degree in Academic Esports which started in the Fall term of 2023, UiA is at the forefront of using esports to prepare students for the dynamic job market. The Academic Esports faculty and students at UiA is also deeply involved in research on this subject and has several well-known researchers in esports.

Figure 1. Group Picture of Some of the Presenters at the UiA Academic Esports Seminar

From 21 to 24 May 2024, UiA hosted the “Academic Esports Seminar” (, a collaborative professional conference dedicated to academic esports and exploring its applications beyond the traditional esports ecosystem. The event, which was endorsed by the Esports Research Network (ERN) and a testament to the global reach of the academic esports community, featured a packed schedule of engaging presentations and vibrant discussions. Students from the UiA Academic Esports program played a crucial role in organizing and live-streaming the event while showcasing the inclusive nature of the community.

The seminar included local presentations from notable figures such as Ole Martin Gjestad (KRED Norge) and Espen Sjoberg (Kristiania University College, Norway), who have made significant contributions to the field. The event also featured esteemed international researchers, including Prof. Dr. Tony Ammeter (University of Mississippi, USA) and Prof. Dr. Sirkka L. Jarvenpaa (University of Texas at Austin, USA), who shared their insights on ‘Esports and Academia: Preparing Students for the Future of Work.’ Also, Prof. Dr. Volker Stein’s (University of Siegen, Germany) research on ‘The Integration of People with Disabilities into the World of Work: Challenges for Academic Human Resources Management Education and the Contributions of Academic Esports’ was also a highlight, inspiring the audience with groundbreaking work. A workshop for doctoral students conducting esports research also occurred.

Keynotes were delivered by Prof. Dr. Seth Jenny (Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania, USA), who provided a comprehensive overview of global higher education esports programs, and Prof. Dr. Benjamin Bays (University of Texas at Austin, USA), who offered insights into “Camera Mimetica: Towards the Aesthetics of Perspective, Camera, and Spectatorship in Esports.”

Figure 2. UiA Academic Esports Seminar Keynote by ERN Board Member Seth Jenny, Ph.D.

UiA also welcomed industry veteran Einar Grannes from Norway’s leading esports organization, Apeks (, to share his career journey and tips for succeeding in esports. A regional highlight was the panel discussion “Esports in Agder: Opportunities for Cluster,” featuring UiA Prof. Rune Andersen, UiA Vice-Rector of Education Prof. Dr. Hilde Inntjore, and Head of Technology Cathrine Hopstock from Gard (the world’s leading marine insurance company who sponsors UiA esports), who explored new regional opportunities stemming from esports.

The hybrid seminar attracted a substantial online audience too, and participants felt warmly welcomed in Grimstad, Norway. This event, which was a significant step in the integration of esports research and education within the Agder and broader Scandinavian region, is a key component of UiA’s strategy to embed esports within the local community, making the audience feel the importance of their involvement. The conference schedule can be found here and the presentation videos will be uploaded in the YouTube Channel of UiA Academic Esports (

For more information about the Esports Research Network, see, and application for membership can be found here.

Figure 3. “Release the Kraken” UiA Esports Teams Introductions and Competitions

This was posted first on the Esports Resarch Network Page on the 24th of June 2024