The New York Institute of Technology is holding an online conference today entitled "Virtual Gaming: Real Medicine 2020 Esports Medicine (opens in new tab)," that will examine topics ranging from the broad state of esports and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to mental health, research, and innovations in esports and gaming.
The conference is underway after starting at 11 am ET with opening remarks, and will run through the following schedule:
11:10 am – Current State of Esports
- ReKTGlobal Inc. chief creative officer Kevin Knocke
11:30 am – The of COVID on Competitive Gaming
- Psychological Effect of COVID: Dr. Sarah Sawyer, PsyD, LMHCC
- Lindsey Migliore, D.O. aka Gamerdoc
12:00 pm – Health and Performance: Professional Gaming Panel: Taylor Johnson, MS
- Cait McGee, DPT – 1HP
- Summer Scott, MS – Head of Player Development, CLGaming
- Host: Hallie Zwibel, DO, MPH
1:00 pm – Mental Health and Sports Psychology
- Carl Daubert, MS – Mental Performance Coach
1:30 pm – College and High School Esports Panel
- Chris "Doc" Haskell, Associate Professor Boise State University, Head Esports Coach
- PlayVS: Callum Fletcher, Director of Esports at Illinois Wesleyan University
- PlayVS: Thomas Young
- Host: Eliser Duran, NYIT CyBears Manager
2:00 pm – Academics and Research Panel
- Joanne Donoghue, PhD – Associate Professor, Director of Clinical Research NYIT
- Hallie Zwibel, D.O., MPH – Associate Professor, Director of Sports Medicine NYIT
- Seth Jenny, PhD – Assistant Professor Slippery Rock University Pennsylvania
- Adam Toth, PhD – Limerick University
- Host: Lindsey Magliore, D.O.
2:30 pm – Innovations in Esports and Gaming
- Wayne Mackey, PhD
2:45 pm – How Dell Technologies Supports K20 STEM Through Esports
- Danielle Rourke – Senior Higher Education Strategist, Dell Technologies
3:15 pm – Closing Remarks
Some of the events are obviously going to be more academic than mainstream, but one or two sound like they could be quite interesting even for a relatively casual esports fan, particularly those relating to physical and mental health. Competitive esports are as much a mental as a physical game, but there's very real physicality to it as well: As Katie noted in her recent argument that esports competitors are athletes (opens in new tab), "there is some speculation that pro-players do not exert enough physical effort for their activities to be considered a sport—tell that to the esports pros suffering from repetitive strain injury, or tennis elbow."
NYIT's Virtual Gaming: Real Medicine 2020 Esports Medicine Conference is being held on Zoom (opens in new tab), and is open to the public: The password for access is 163316.