Undergrad KNS (Sport Science) Senior Thesis on Esports (Help Please)

                My name is Carl Holland, and I am in the final semester of my senior year at Whittier College. I am a Kinesiology and Nutritional Science (KNS) major pursuing my Bachelor of Science; the only thing standing in between myself and graduation is my senior thesis. I have been an avid gamer since I was a young child and have always had a special connection with Star Craft. Up until the start of my senior year, last spring, I was playing a ton of Star Craft 2 competitively and trying to achieve my dream of making it into masters’ league and entering an open event here in Southern California; however the amount of work I had made this impossible and school is the priority.

                I attend a small liberal arts school called Whittier College in Southern California. Compared to many schools in the US, Whittier is incredibly small having a student population of approximately 2,500 students; and an undergrad population of roughly 1,500. Even though they charge a small fortune to attend the college many of the recourses we have available are quiet limited; especially in the field I am majoring in KNS. To put it in Star Craft terms; the kinesiology department “requires more minerals” in order to have access to larger databases.

                So now that you know who I am, and what I’m dealing with its time for the good part! I won’t go to in depth to keep the original post as short as possible (I’ll comment my thesis in its entirety in the first reply), but I am doing my senior thesis on eSports! Last semester I tried to focus my thesis solely on Star Craft 2 and realized there was nowhere near enough available academia for this to be plausible, and after reworking my thesis over the summer I decided to widen my scope to eSports as a whole; including all of its genres, but focusing on a select few. I am going compare and contrast traditional forms of sport with eSports (primarily RTS and MOBAs, but possibly FPS) in order to quantify and shed light on the current state that eSports is in, as it continues to grow and evolve as a true form of sport. This will be the main focus of my paper, but I will also be looking at injuries that are common among eSports athletes in order to examine and analyze them though the Kinesiology lens that is Physical Therapy.

                SO HERES WHERE YOU COME IN GREAT PEOPLE OF THE INTERNETS! As I am dealing with very limited recourses for finding peer reviewed articles and academic articles related to eSports, I am asking for your help if you would be so kind. I am looking for any scholarly articles related to eSports. I am also looking for any interviews with players, coaches, or teams within eSports related to training or competition at the professional level. And I don’t want you to think this post is a cop out to going out and looking for research by myself, trust me I have already been doing tons of research and have a half dozen articles that I have already done four page, single spaced, “Journal Article Reviews” on. The reason I am asking is because I understand the importance of finding as much research as possible so that I can make my paper and thesis as strong as possible. If you don’t have any articles just lying around, but let’s say you go to a UC with a huge database, I would greatly appreciate it if we can discuss allowing me access for an hour or two so I can scour the databases for research. A large portion of the research I am trying to do will most likely come in the form of ethnographies; and as such if you know anyone who is a player, coach, or involved with a professional eSports team I would love to get in contact with them and possibly take you both out for food (and drinks if you’re of age) as payment/bribery for the interview opportunity.

                SOOOOOOO  you’re probably thinking WHAT WILL I BE CONTRIBUTING to the community from my research? THE ANSWER IS ALL OF IT!!! At the end of this semester I will be giving a 15-30 minute PowerPoint presentation on my research which I plan on having recorded so that I can publish it on YouTube as a recourse for others who may be doing similar research in the future. I also plan on, upon completion, posting an annotated bibliography with all of the articles I used as recourses for others in the future. And last but not least I will make sure to post my research paper in its entirety so that you may all see the work that you have contributed to; as well as hopefully being able to give you some credit within the paper itself (or at least on the YouTube video).

                If you are able to contribute and help I cannot tell you how thankful I will be, even if it’s just a suggestion of how I might approach certain aspects differently. Also if you know of any other forums like this Day[9] gem where eSports academia if discussed I would greatly appreciate you pointing me in the right direction. This paper is still in its infancy and will not be due and complete until December 6th. I am truly excited about this paper and look forward to its completion and being able to contribute to eSports academia!

                I apologize for the length of this post, but I wanted to be as thorough as possible and thank you so much for reading this.



Carl Holland


PS:          I do not know if Day[9] reads the posts himself or if he has a team who manages the site, but I was wondering if it would be at all possible to interview the man, the myth, the legend himself for this paper as I feel his vast knowledge of Star Craft 1 and 2 would enrich my paper. I would spare no small expense to be able to pick his brain for an hour in the name of esports research!