Prestigious Peking University has opened a new course of studies in gaming this semester called 电子游戏通论 “The General Theory of Video Games” (our translation) according to The Beijing News.
“This is not a training course for gaming competitions, rather, it touches upon the important topics including R&D, the technology, the gaming industry, the media, and the psychological aspects of gaming,” the course instructor, Chen Jiang, told The Beijing News reporter. Chen said the purpose of the course is not to defy or challenge academic conventions but to focus on the implications and problems in the rapidly developing gaming industry in China. Due to the recent boom of the gaming market, the industry has been attracting a lot of talent, Chen said, a lot of the students will likely join or become investors in the gaming industry when they graduate, so it is important to bring the conversation to the table.
The course has seen overwhelming popularity and had to open up new spots for more students. Chen said the course will invite industry experts and mentors to speak and will allow students to observe at professional gaming competitions up close.
China has one of the largest gamer-bases in the world, and it gaming craze is shared across all ages and genders. According to recent reports, females now make up 34.6% of China’s gaming community. Gaming streaming platforms, professional e-sports (video game competitions), PC and mobile video games have all been propelled by the country’s booming gaming market, which was estimated to register $27.5 billion in sales last year. Game developers like Tencent and NetEase, and other tech giants such as Alibaba, are all competing in the space. In 2016, China’s Tencent has become the world’s largest gaming company by revenue.