Global Dialogue on Esports – Connecting the world and building a more inclusive future
5:53PM Jun 24, 2020
AI Good morning. Good afternoon. Good evening, and welcome to the AI for Good Webinar Series. All year, always online. We hope that you, your family, your friends, and your colleagues are all keeping safe and healthy. My name is Fred Werner from the it you the International Telecommunication Union. And it's a privilege for me to welcome you to today's webinar. Now the EU is the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technologies. And we're also the organizers of the AI for Good Global Summit in partnership with the XPrize foundation 36 UN agencies ACM and co convened with Switzerland and the goal of AI Summit is to identify practical applications of AI to advance the Sustainable Development Goals and also scalable solutions for global impact. I'd like to Much of a world that AI Summit has gone digital, and we are moving forward with online weekly programming, allowing us to reach more people than ever before. And today's webinar could be considered as the launch of a new global dialogue on eSports that will look at the potential and power of Esports as a force for good. And this webinar is organized with our newest it EU member, the global eSports Federation. And this would be a first of a series of webinars that will look at how eSports combined with artificial intelligence and information communication technologies can be used to connect the world and help make more inclusive and sustainable future. Now before I introduce today's moderator, I'd like to go through a few housekeeping issues. First of all, your microphone has been disabled. So please use the chat function or the q&a function to communicate. It's the job and responsibility of the moderator to identify and ask questions to the panelists. And we're counting on your active participation to create a variable interactive session. And speaking of being interactive, I have the first challenge for you. I would like to invite all of you to let us know where you're connecting from. So please use the chat function and make sure you send the chat to everyone so it's visible to everyone. And let us know what city or country you're coming from. I'll begin I'm coming from Geneva, Switzerland. And let's see who's coming Luxembourg. Athens, Tunisia, Poland, Iceland, Beijing, San Francisco, London, Montenegro, Singapore, France. Wow, this is better than Eurovision. Okay, excellent. It's glad to see so many people connecting from all over the world. And I think that's also a testament to eSports as a global phenomenon. So without further ado, I'd like to introduce today's moderator. Her name is Lj rich, and Lj is no stranger to eSports to gaming to gadgets and technology, as she's one of our presenters of a very popular TV show from BBC called BBC click. Lj was also the moderator and emcee of last year's AI for Good Summit, so I feel extremely comfortable leaving you in her very capable hands. Lj welcome. And the show is all yours.
Thank you so much Fred and the ICU and welcome everybody to our session on eSports. It's going to be great. My name is Lj rich TV presenter and music artists. And I will be your moderator taking care of you over the next hour. And this is part of the AI for Good Global Summit, which is virtual this year. And as Fred said, throughout this panel, you'll be able to interact, feel free to join the chat and ask questions. We are so happy that you came to join us. So let's start off by introducing our eminent panelists
where they're calling from what they do and something they really enjoy. So let's start off with couldn't say hello and where you're from, what you do and what you love.
There's Hi everyone. My name is coach Coburn and I live in the middle Amsterdam and I am the Vice President of the athletes and player commission of the global eSports Federation. Besides the fact I help parents to repair, retain or reinforce the relationship with their gaming children through my own business, as well as guiding businesses to make use of the gaming and eSports industry, in their plans and strategies and thank you for the invitation.
And tell us something you love doing.
Oh, what I love doing First of all, I love watching and playing TrackMania which is the game I played professionally myself and I love speed I'd ride a bike a Mr. Six myself, so I love doing that as well.
Next strangers have speed and let's go over to health with Dr. Melissa Moore who's joining us Hello, please say where you're from what you do and something that you love.
Greetings, everyone. My name is Dr. Molina more I am calling in from the United States in our nation's capital Washington DC. I'm a sports medicine and sports medicine physician. I'm also on the athlete and players Commission and the education culture and wellness Commission for the global eSports Federation, and something that I love to do is I love studying wine I wish I could be assuming i'd love the minerality and the terroir and it's kind of like Mother Nature's chemistry lab. So that's what I enjoyed.
You see, this is exactly why I love asking that question of people. So let's find out our final panelists answers. Let's chest over to you where you're from what you do and what do you love?
Everyone? Yeah, my name is Chester King. I'm based in just outside London in England. I'm the chair of the education culture and wellness Commission for the global eSports Federation. I'm a member of the board. I'm also the chief executive of the British eSports Association and I sit on the OCS eSports and gaming liaison group. I actually love croquet and table tennis but the most important thing is sleeping. I really love sleeping but I don't get much of that.
I suspect that most of the people watching would have exactly the same thing about the lack of sleep. So you're not alone there. So during this you may hear people talking about something called the SDGs. They are the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals, which you can check out by searching for SDGs online, and I'll stick a link up in the chat for those of you who wants to take that further. And I'm presuming that many of you will have seen eSports or have some experience of it. But for those of you who are unfamiliar with eSports we have a brief video for you, Jean you please could you run video one
oh I was on mute the first rule of conference calls My goodness. And so what I was saying before I was rudely interrupted by my own failure to press the audio mute button is once you know the rules, it becomes easier to be involved. And I think that's a really big similarity with traditional sports. When I first started watching eSports players, I was tempted to compare it to someone at the top of their game, that feeling when you watch a virtuoso pianist or an acrobat or a really talented performer. And do remember, you can join in the chat and ask questions, but the first question is mine. And I will be asking Chester, and please could you start by telling us what the main differences are, you think between sports, traditional sport and esport.
So the definition of Esports is organized, competitive video gaming, and it's so inclusive because you can be any shape, any size, you can be people that you know, can't do traditional school. So it's it's a family activity. There's Kind of about 35 different recognize these sports. It's not necessarily an extension of the sports like FIFA or peds. And globally, it's played by millions. So I think what is the difference? I think there's part from the physical activity. I think there's a lot of similarities. And you know, my country in England eSports is classified a game like chess and bridge in certain countries like Poland, chess and bridges is a sport. So eSports is a sport. For me, I think our professional eSports players, which I'm sure we're talking about our athletes, you know, they have nutritionists, they train and they're exactly like a team. But I think the important thing is both. You're part of the community, you're you're being competitive, you're trying to beat someone else. So there is some similarities, but there are some differences. And the main thing is you're playing a video game and that tends to be around three different platforms. It's either on a PC, on a console, or on your mobile phone or a mobile tablet.
And there's actually quite a lot of people doing Couldn't you are one of the people who did it professionally for many years years of experience? In fact, could you give us a brief insight into what it's like to be part of a community?
Yeah, absolutely. First of all, I love the community because the community is something that, like they stick together in the difficult times and the good times. So in the past, when gaming was very much stigmatized, the gamers were connecting with each other, but less with the, let's say, the outside world. So let's say the media and like the bigger events, but nowadays, it's in the media all the time, and we're countering that stigma position, let's say with everything that we're doing. Now, as an athlete, I started in 2006, seven. At that time, there were some things happening surrounding stigma myself as well. And therefore like it really helps to have a great community of people. And then as an athlete, eventually you get in like, a professional organization like you basically get countered, like with soccer or any other sport, traditional sport. Let's say people keep an eye on you. You bet you, you get contacted, they reach out. And they let you sign a contract. So you first have a trial period, like, let's say a testing period. And then eventually you might become a full timer in the team. And then you have like Chester already mentioned a couple of coaches. So in my case with my game at my title, I played for Team Ace, or for many years, which we had a salary as well. And we had a fitness coach and nutritionist, a psychologist, as well, a fish therapist, and a media trainer. So of course, like we were able to actually have good words in front of the camera and not make any mistakes as well as on social media because many of the younger people, for example, boo got at wonder fortnight championship last year. He's 16 years old, he wants 3 million he has millions of followers online, but if he says something wrong, it can like have a very big effect online because people screenshot it and it will be shared everywhere. So those are the couple of coaches that I have personally and Yeah, it's just it's one of the most amazing memories in my life having a professional career and I'm happy now that I can help others to have the same indie commission.
Yes, I think it's a very small proportion of people make it to the level that you have. And I'm gonna ask a few more questions later about some advice you can give to those of us who are spending time in front of the camera how we can take advantage of some of your lessons. But whilst we have you Melita, we know you're an expert in sports medicine and eSports medicine. Are there large differences between the two?
Now Lj surprisingly, they're not and like Kuhn alluded to, you were very you were on a very progressive team. Kuhn. It sounds like I've been taking care of professional athletes for a decade. And so I have now been in eSports. This is now my second year taking care of a professional eSports team and I treat my athletes exactly the same way that I treat my traditional professional athletes and so just like we think Focus on their nutrition on their sleep. test their I know you said you didn't get much sleep. So we do focus on that part sports athletes exercise well being and really going to one of the SDGs about good health and well being that's exactly what we do in the esports community, it's making sure that we are really focus on your health and wellness. And so we are starting to see the trend that more of at least professional eSports athletes are being treated in the same way as you would think of as a traditional athlete. But we're really trying to get that down to the grassroots level and starting from you know, when you're very early on gaming, and really teaching the importance of why you should have healthy gaming behaviors.
And to to add in on that, as well as a professional player, like teams have a choice of many millions of players that play on a top level, but it's like currently, it's not just about being good in the game. It's also about how do you take care of yourself? Are you good? Like, are you a good speaker? Are you willing to listen to your teammates, so there's more qualities than just being good in a game that gets you to a professional level or makes you become scouted. It's a lot health related because in the end, every player is an ambassador for their team. And the sponsors of an Esports team like to be engaged with players that are, of course healthy social, and are basically an example to the rest of the community as well.
Thank you, Chester, you've said playing eSports is better for you than not playing eSports. Could you elaborate on that, please?
So we're doing in the UK, we're doing a lot of studies and with global eSports around mental health benefits by playing eSports we've set up the Royal Air Force eSports division last year, and they use these sports to help combat loneliness. So there's gonna be some research coming out. And it's all about the socialization that you can communicate, you know, the advancement of Esports was directly relatable to advancements in technology on how you could stream and how you could watch and how you can interact. And it's incredible to watch now I've got a son who's 19 His journey of communication and during this unfortunate time of COVID, you know, he has been incredibly happy in his own skin. He's he is a big gamer, he's been incredibly lucid, my 17 year old daughter isn't a gamer and there's a bit more isolated hasn't been so in touch. So I think there's some big mental health benefits. We're doing a study around dementia prevention as well, which maybe we'll talk about later. So yeah, so of what for us in the UK, one of the positioning is it playing eSports is lot a lot better than kind of watching passive media or being on social media. You know, it's it's improving your cognitive development, and your memory function as well as as well as making you happy, which is pretty important.
Thank you. Oh, sorry. I think you could say so many. So
it's just definitely something we were really focusing on in the esports community as really top of mind, because mental health is just a huge part. And we're trying to like Kuhn said kind of transition that stigma around what a gamer typically people think of as the When in their parents basement, you know, eating snacks and drinking a lot of caffeine versus really to what a really great gamer can be. And so we talked about the social connectedness and even during this pandemic, people have been able to stay more connected. And with the mental health perspective, the social connection, the increase in your resilience and your persistence, and your social interaction has really been key. And as our model for global eSports Federation ro connected, that really makes a lot of sense, especially right now during this business pandemic.
Yes. And in fact, international eSports in the age of lockdown is something that we are going to talk about now. Because eSports is it's grown in popularity anyway. And what's been going on with pandemic it's just to have a massive effect and I think we've got a video so just show some of the the esports popularity growth. Could you please roll video number two geniu Thank you.
Year is 2019 and an arena of 15,000. Human beings have such a passion for a video game, someone that played that video game, that they just received a standing ovation in an arena
full of 61 different nationalities of fans.
It's like going in a gladiator game, and you're just like there's only one winner, and everyone is fighting to death to lift the trophy. He's got
a bunch of wildlings a bunch of dogs rocky out there. And I love every second of it.
Getting the chills. Yeah.
Wow. I mean, it's just incredible to see so many people. And obviously eSports now is being mixed more and more with traditional sports. So, Minister, let's come to you and talk a little bit about the obvious physical and mental effects that lockdown is having not just on to sports people, but I guess everybody but please tell us more.
So when we're talking about how we can have these healthy lifestyles in the digital world, because that's really what everyone has transitioned to around the globe. And with eSports, being in front of your computer, even if you are at home working, if you are doing distance learning from the computer, everyone across the globe, it's really having more screen time than we ever have before. And so what we focus on with our gamers and our eSports athletes, it's really vision, health, and making sure that we are taking care of our eyes. A lot of people do not even think about vision health when you're talking about the overall health and wellness of a of a gamer. And so 70% of our brain and AI are connected. And that's why it's really important to make sure we're focusing on our vision for when you're in front of that screen and your eyes are getting blurred. It's a glare, you're starting to get a headache, you're blinking a lot. That's because you're getting something we call computer vision syndrome or digital eyes syndrome. But one key thing that we all can do whether you're a gamer or not, is something we call the 20 2020 rule. And that's really around vision health. And so for every 20 minutes, you look 20 feet away for 20 seconds. And that really just helps to refocus your eye, it helps to refocus the muscles of your eyes, but not so strange. And usually, I would tell people just to mark off 20 feet wherever you typically sit or game, post something on the wall or on the floor, and look at that every 20 minutes. And so that is really something that is very small that we all can do that will affect our vision help and help us be able to enhance our performance in game and do our activities much better.
Well, I quite like this idea, because we're just coming up to 20 minutes into our conference environment. So why don't we Why don't we all do that everybody? If you are focusing on your screen right now, find something about 20 feet away. That's roughly what three and a half meters will say and get ready. I will catch you in go.
So we have to look somewhere for 20 seconds, right?
Yes. Not the screen.
I like in my memory, I'll just continue talking while looking outside. But in my memory as a professional player, I can definitely tell you that when I had a match,
by the way, oh,
when I had a had a match at the big event or the World Championships, I can definitely feel guilty because when I'm in a match 20 minutes in one looking away for 20 seconds will kill my chances of winning, I'm afraid However, I do think it's a very relevant thing for many amateurs as well. Besides the fact that when you're a professional and the matches ending, then go away for a couple of minutes. You know, like, make those transition those 20 seconds for 20 minutes into like five minutes after a game of 45 minutes or so.
It's good while you're practicing while you're gaming while you're you know, maybe not during competition, your coach will probably not not appreciate that. But certainly as you're doing all your training, it's It's really very key and very beneficial.
And if I'm not mistaken and I hope Dr. Molitor can agree on this one D amount of people with a minus eyesight is growing, which basically means that if you look at look at screens or books very close to your eye, and your muscles of your eye 10s eventually, you can't like, look long distance anymore. Like it becomes unshot, let's say on in a distance.
Yes. And the World Health Organization has put out some very good data at about 52% of people are going to become nearsighted over the next 10 to 15 years actually, just because of how much we're doing on the tablet and holding your phone so close and being on the screen. So yes, you are correct.
I think now's a good time to start bringing in some questions from the audience. Please keep them coming. We'd love to have them and if you are on the zoom platform, you can vote questions up as well. We've got a question here are there education programs and career options for eSports athletes? Jesse's got his hand up already for that.
Yeah. So in the UK, we've actually just written three government approved level two, level three. So 16 1718 year olds in the UK, which people are going to study, I think we've already got, we've got about 1000 students already signed up for that. And then in the UK, we've got five universities, you can do eSports degrees, some, in general, some very specific, like eSports production, or digital marketing eSports or eSports business. And I think what's important is to empower people to not only do a degree to think they then get into eSports, but to actually empower them as an individual to create their own eSports business. There's huge, you know, opportunities, some people call it a new media, digital economy. So yeah, there's there is a career pathway that's happening. We did a joint venture with Pearson who are kind of a global, educational divided, but I know countries like Singapore and I think in the Netherlands as well. Pretty strong on that. So you will be seeing more game mainstreaming classes and as I say, from the UK from this September that you'll be able to study it and that you'll be able to see Full Time eSports at the age of 16. In the UK if you if you say wish.
And also I think maybe something that many people don't know is when you think about working in eSports, like working in eSports is basically working like in any other industry. There's marketing teams, specifically in eSports. There's managers in whatever business is like eSports by itself as an industry. So when you look at career options, basically, you can do anything like Dr. Melissa Moore, she's a doctor and she is in eSports. So it doesn't really matter what you necessarily study, as long as you have knowledge about the industry. And like Chester says there is some studies that combine eSports with other elements like business and eSports media and eSports events and eSports. So therefore, eSports is a great addition to a study. But I think that you can get any position in this industry, as long as you do know things about this industry.
Brilliant. Thank you. So how can people who aren't familiar with eSports get involved?
Yeah, so it depends which country you're in, you know, some countries are much more advanced. So in Korea, for example, you know, Casper, which is their national body was founded 22 years ago. So they've been around a long time. You know, that's a very developed market in the UK, we've been going for four years, you know, we've actually got 600 volunteers. So when there's live events, they can go in, I'd say, I don't I don't know what country that person was from. So there's national body. So under the global eSports Federation, I think we've got 52 countries now that are members. There are a number of national federations that are set up, if you're passionate about one title. Yeah, that you know. Yeah, that's to me important that you know, all the ins and outs of that title. There's a huge community always around that. So obviously a bit challenging, challenging at moment to go to live events because a lot have been cancelled, but everything's Yeah, we've been very fortunate. We just move straight to online which we were going to 99% there anyway. So there are a couple trinities I advise to go first of all, to your national federation first.
Okay, thank you. Um, could you speak a little bit actually about schools and setting up programs there? Because I guess there's an element of responsibility that educators would need to add to an Esports. Yeah, lesson plan.
Yeah, absolutely. Now the end of the path in the Netherlands, I like a little bit the same, like just and we also work or I also work with schools to implement programs. But there's a there's a problem and like a solution. So the problem of schools in the Netherlands is that everything takes so long like if you want to add like a new study, or a part of a study, like years go by, and then finally they can set it up. Now the big plus about this time, the internet the internet time in the gaming industry is kids, youngsters younger generation are used to following and watching videos online. So we are currently actually setting up an online course for people to to do next year. They're studies, which is much easier to, to make. And anyone can follow it any time so they don't have to go to college at school, they can just watch it in the evening or during the day. And one of the models that we use to educate educators, let's say or if I educate parents is called the five es system, at least in the Netherlands, for the people that are Dutch over here, I call it this fell Skype of Bombay. So that's Dutch but in in England or internationally, I use Pfeiffer system, which is based on sleep study sports, social life and screens. And the S of screens is not allowed to have any negative effect on the other SS on sleep studies, sports or social life. Now, if that's the case, then it's about setting up some rules or educating them more into a certain direction. And it's been a model that I've been using for like four years now since 2016. It's being used and so far are very successful in helping children mainly or young people to remain in a balanced or having a balanced lifestyle.
Brilliant, I think now, so good opportunity to start talking about eSports for good, and just address this idea of creating a healthy lifestyle in a digital world, especially right now when so many of us are online so much more of the time whilst we are and you know, and those of us I should add, who are lucky enough to have a faster connection at home. So, Melissa, perhaps we can talk to you about this creating a healthy lifestyle in a digital world.
think it's important that like I said, we all are on their screens much more even myself as a physician, you know, we're doing starting to do much more telehealth and not in the office back fully. And there's just we still need to remember we have a life that once we come out of this digital world that we still need to make sure we're doing all those things to stay healthy. And so not only obviously our vision health one thing that is really Important to making sure that we are staying active and making sure we're getting in some some exercise exercise in medicine. And that is tried and true. And so you know, here in the United States, our main sports medicine Federation, that's what we really preach exercises medicine. We also know that there's a lot of Esports studies that are out there for you gamers, is that actually you get in just 20 minutes of physical activity in a day, it actually helps to increase and enhance your performance. So not only are we exercising for our physical health, our mental health, it also can help to level up your game. And so if you can get out and do 30 minutes of a walk a day, that really is all that you really need. So exercise is key. And we also need to be making sure that we are focusing on what we're eating. A lot of people are at home and it's very easy to do a little snack, but just making sure it's a healthy snack. We really are hoping to focus on more whole food plant based diets number one, it helps to improve in booster immunity and right now we need our immune system strongest we can to fight off any kind of viruses or infections that may be floating around. It also helps improve your overall wellness. So making sure that we are exercising, we're eating a really good diet, you can have a little snack here or there. But just making sure overall that we are trying to sustain this, this healthy lifestyle, we're doing our vision, health, and we're really taking some time to focus on our mental health and taking, you know, a few minutes in the morning to meditate to really focus on mindfulness, just to kind of have that balance in that reset. You know, it's a quick 62nd activity you can do where you just place your palms on your hands, your feet flat on the floor, and you close your eyes and you focus on your breath. I mean, you're just focusing on how you're inhaling and you're exhaling for 60 seconds. And that can actually help to hit that reset button to kind of relieve your stress, get you more motivated, get your focus and attention back. And that's something to do in between meetings in between games. And so we're just really making sure it's overall we're focusing on what we can do to maintain our health and physical well being during this time.
Thank you, I do feel that all of us probably know we should eat less and exercise more. It's a question of trying to find the time to fit in. And I'm certainly quite inspired to make a bit more of an effort there and perhaps open the snack box of less often. So I can see a question here from the founder of Lagos, eSports. forum in Nigeria, it's challenging getting young people in Nigeria and some other countries into eSports, as it's culturally seen as mere gaming, is there a possible global project the global eSports Federation could use to douse this bias and blend education and eSports in such such countries? So I guess the wider question is, is what initiatives can we can we do to make eSports more of a valid thing for people to do?
Yes, I think one, it's around technology. Africa is very exciting for all of us. And you know, the global eSports federation of science, the Commonwealth Games Federation. Recently, and I think, you know, we would love to help Africa would help the youth with new digital economies, we've got some projects gonna be announced pretty soon working there, the one issue is around servers. So when you play certain eSports, there's a thing as you talked about earlier, LGA about lag times or ping rates or latency. And I think what's going to happen is some of the big publishers will slowly move their servers for their games in certain countries in Africa and not be happening and that will help stimulate I think, better response more interest in eSports The problem is at the moment if you're in Africa and you're playing people outside Africa, you will never win so it's like playing a sport where you know you can never win because the lag time so I think technology is going to play a part you know, investing in 5g down there be more mobile gaming a bit like India has kind of, there's hardly any PC or console game in India. It's more about handheld and what's interesting, if you take India you know, they are progressing about this embracing eSports education. There is a role for us to do and you know, forever Every country to support your education, there's one of our great partners is NASA in America do a brilliant job promoting free eSports education. And they're going around the world, promoting their curriculum, which is a brilliant initiative. And it's it's free sports to buy. So I agree. Africa has a focus or some initiatives can be coming out later this year. But we need to work hand in hand with the publishers to kind of invest in in the infrastructure. Otherwise, you know, they're not really on the same playing field.
I think the the infrastructure as well to add upon is, cloud gaming is becoming a thing as well. I've recently played on Google stadia, the friend of mine, which works brilliantly in the Netherlands, it works brilliantly because we have very fast internet connections. So I think like Justin mentioned is the hardware should be good enough in in Africa. And then if you have cloud gaming or cloud gaming opportunities, you can already maybe find new talents, and then the public publishers can come after us.
It does feel like we have an opportunity to answer another question here about the key features of prospective new generation technology to be applied in competitive eSports. And to me, it's no surprise that the EU is hosting this event, the Telecommunications Union. And as anyone who has either played music online or try to cast online or done anything online, sometimes when the connection isn't there, it's very frustrating. And that could be anything from infrastructure to, you know, broadband service providers. So there is a lot of technology there, that could probably be given a helping hand. And also, we're looking at possible applications of AI, for example, how you can lower latency by only sending certain bits of information. Would anyone like to chat about technology around a connection?
I love VR, like virtual reality, augmented reality, mixed reality. I love the Google Glass concept. You know Maybe in the future because why would if you play soccer for example, why would the ball roll on grass on the ground? Why can't Why are the goals on the ground? Why can't you have goals like five meters up? For the people here in the comments, watching as well like, if you google on devoid, I'll write it in the chat as well. devoid VR. It's just like a video that you can, you can check out. And it's a bit futuristic now, it already exists that people are wearing full body suits with sensors with virtual reality. And they're really emerged into a virtual world where, you know, potentially the ball is not round, but a square and the goal is not on the ground, but five meters up like in a virtual reality world, you can program it yourself. So I definitely see those type of things increasing with time when things become cheaper, like virtual reality. Besides the fact again, cloud gaming, I really hope that's going to be a thing for people that play casually, especially in countries that struggle with information. a structure like Mike Chester already already mentioned, because I see big opportunities to find talents for eSports using cloud gaming.
Thank you. I've got a few more questions I'm going to try and rattle through because you have so many thank you so much for them. We have a question about cyber bullying and cyber violence in eSports community. Is this a serious problem?
Yeah, so toxicity. So again, you know, historically that there has been issues I think, with the change in law and more people focusing on it and the the publishers getting involved in twitch getting involved. It's interesting that if you take UK Government, you know, the focus was about social media, but obviously, if you're using twitch or discord, you know, there's so many ways that you can get to youth and you know, some people don't use social media, but they use these other platforms. So it's definitely something that's being addressed. I mean, we're working together with a number of UK organizations to help improve online safeguarding and what is the recourse and that so In the UK, we have a national schools tournament at a high school level. And we have a code of conduct code of conduct. And if people don't adhere to that, like on a football pitch, you have a yellow card and red card. So we're instilling that from, you know, from young children, so they understand about that you can't do this and you can't, you know, say that, you've got to also bear in mind that a lot of these children are going through puberty, and there's a lot of emotions. So it's the way that you control that winning and losing, which I understand, but there is zero tolerance for toxicity and what we're doing and I think from a global eSports point of view, that's something that we spread out. I think there is a generation that kind of accepted it. But what we're trying to instill is in the new generation that this is zero tolerance. And also I think, hopefully when things get better on diversity on the ratio, things will change as well. So we're we're so Pro, more women getting involved in gaming, we set up a dedicated women's in eSports. Committee, we're really trying to focus more at a younger age, boys and girls playing together and it not just being a boys thing. At the moment, so it's definitely something that as an industry are fully aware of, and we're just trying to tackle it that we need again, you know, people like twitch to get involved on that
as a way to gamify the process where by being nice you can earn coin or something like
a few games like that already. Yeah,
so it's actually also a, an activation with a brand that I've done. Now, I'm not going to mention the brain for purposes but what we did is we had the Spring Split of League of Legends in the Netherlands, in Rotterdam. And in order to have people go there for free, they have to be nice and one of the twitch chat so we had an old granny playing League of Legends as she of she had no idea how to play League of Legends. So the chat had to help her out and everyone that like helped her out was nice, eventually got a ticket for the event. So that was like, just one of the small things you know you can do in order to support being nice to one another.
I really am a big proponent of it. Chester was alluding to is promoting and elevating women in gaming and really empowering women, especially at a younger age, when you're talking about cyber bullying. You know, in some games, when you do have the headset on, you can hear the voice. You know, some of the women that are gaming, they disguise their voice as a young boy so they don't get bullied, or there's a lot of, you know, very unkind words that are said when they hear that it's a female thing. And so a huge part of my passion in my platform, and what we are doing a global eSports is really increasing this diversity. And I think anyone across the globe, this should be a number one priority is really trying to elevate, empower, and engage more women in gaming and promoting them say, you count. You're here, and your skills are just as good as anyone else. And so allowing them to have the platform and the confidence to be able to showcase that
inclusion is one of the main points of the global eSports Federation.
Yeah, and just one thing that we're fully aware of the most popular eSports involve guns, cars and balls, right? So what we need to help develop and we're working with abita University, which is probably one of the number one university for game development courses, is to try and create more games that are more friendly. It's more popular by both sexes, not just focusing on a certain type of genre. So again, this is going to take a bit of time to appeal to everyone. I mean, for us, one of our poster child games is Rocket League, which is a three versus three plane car soccer. It's a fantastic esport it's what the Olympics in Tokyo 2220 they do with Intel and events. The issue is, you know, a lot of girls don't like cars or balls. So I know it's a huge generalization, but we want to get we want to get games that are great. Yeah, that's an age rating of three. You know, and what we when we go to schools, we want to promote things. And what happened for us about three years ago when we were doing trials for teens is girls and boys would come to trial for the team, but the boys were just more experienced. So the girls are put off. No, no, I don't want to get involved but they want to get involved, but they just aren't experienced. So it's something I agree 100% you know, all of us and globally Sports Federation really want to inclusivity diversity. Yeah, it's up there for what we need to achieve.
I guess an extra thing to consider is not necessarily having people write for Riot Games just to appeal to a wider sex, but wider agendas rather, but also the people who are building the games and making games. I think if those teams are more diverse, then they'll probably naturally appeal to a wider audience as well. I want to bring in this idea of accessibility whilst we're on the subject of inclusion. As a music artist. I've watched and seen some amazing gadgets that have been built to allow people who, for example, only have one hand to be able to play the piano. And I'd be quite interested to know about any sort of modified controllers or things that are available for people who want to get into eSports but may not have the conventional what's the word? The hands, I guess?
Yeah, limbs. I'm out. My background is I'm a physical medicine and rehabilitation physician and we really focus on the disabled community as a physiatrist, the type of position that I am, and I am so proud that eSports has really become accessible to all and you do not Chester was saying earlier, you can be anything and become an athlete. And I think that word athlete is very empowering to others who may say, Oh, I will never be able to pick up a basketball or, or throw a football, but you can always be an athlete. And so what we call adaptive gaming here in the United States, is really where we have made some adaptations to some of the controllers. We have, you know, for people who may be paralyzed in a wheelchair, there's a little sip straw that you can blow into. There is a I won't say the brand, but there's a huge sports brand and actually is representing a adaptive gaming team here in the United States. And so this is just and I'm getting chills just talking about it. Because this Why eSports is accessible, anyone can do this. I know there's a lot of videos and stories online about a gentleman who has no legs and no arms. And he uses his mouth to gain and so eSports is where everybody
else also just does enough videos of players playing around with with professionals. And indeed with their tongue or with with indeed missing their their hands, for example, and still being able to play with those professionals. And on the same level, I think it's very motivating for everyone globally as well to see such possibilities and accessibility.
Yes, so there's a brilliant tract in the UK called special effects, who adapt loads of controllers and even for people who actually can't physically move they can actually adapt to the game where you can just move your eyes to play a certain game. I mean, it's it's incredibly powerful and I know Xbox created a bigger controller for people who had less maneuverability and You know, we're all saying the same thing here. It is a great activity and the whole thing is around community, you can be part of something. And when we began to the study about three years ago, there was a girl in a classroom who was in a wheelchair who it was a good game and became part of the esports team and represented a school. And her parents wrote to us, and without getting emotional, it was the most incredible letter that it was the first time her daughter had been part of something in school had been recognized as an athlete had been recognized and athlete protein. And that was kind of took us on this whole journey about inclusivity. But again, when we when I got involved in eSports, you know, four years ago into the Rio Olympics, I did a two days sports event with the British government and to me, it was all about the pinnacle, the best, the best, the best, and then you realize what a great activity is in society. It's kind of overwhelming. That's why you know, it's incredible that you know, doctors right, you know, Dr. Lisa Moyes, kind of involved in this, you know, people wouldn't have thought about this, you know, two, three years ago, but now, it really is, you know, I'm going to quote there's a brilliant guy I work with Gerald Solomon from NASA who uses the term that eSports is the Trojan horse to get the kids to engage with kids. And it's just a brilliant analogy of, you know, this is the tool, the activity the vehicle to get into kids and get them to understand about other benefits in life.
We also hit hit the older population as well, when we talk about active eSports a lot here in the global eSports Federation. When we first came out when the Wii game first came out, we use that in our rehabilitation hospital for patients who had a stroke for patients who had a brain injury, and we're still trying to get their balance their coordination. So here they are playing a video game. We didn't call it eSports rapid eSports back then, that was 1012 years ago. But we have an older population using a video game to help improve their physical ability while they Anette in the hospital getting rehabilitation. And so this is just the the breath that eSports can can cover it from the young to the old, which are traditional sports or your active sports. And so anyone who's not involved, you should be involved after this actually
know that in the Netherlands Actually, we we spoke with the president of the nssf, which is Alec and we set up this concept which basically turns around three E's, which is education, exercise, and eSports. And it's made for local clubs that have difficulty to sometimes stay alive because that's a big problem as well as children moving or doing less sports in time. And with eSports or gaming, if you want like to call it, we can get influences there. We can get kids to the club, and once they're on a location, you can move them around, you can play with the you know, with the kids, basically you can put them in groups. You can have one group, get education in some sort of whatever topic then you have kids that play a certain game and then you have the sport itself that's being played at the club. And therefore many new people that are not necessarily already played at the club, get in touch with the sport at the club, with the coaches at the club with the atmosphere of the club. And therefore, we hope it's still a concept that more children will remain at that club and play more often.
Brilliant, thank you. I've got so many questions. I'm going to try my best to go through a few of them. And panelists, I'm hoping that you'll get a chance to maybe type some answers if you feel like it afterwards. But please keep them coming in. We have about 14 minutes left to chat. And thank you all so much for these amazing insights. I'm really enjoying this panel. And I've got a couple of questions here. One quick one here. Sorry for my ignorance. Can you suggest a few eSports platforms never apologize for ignorance? It's actually interest. Good question.
I'm just wondering what you really mean with eSports platform because is that like live streaming platforms or community platforms or event platforms or games?
Yeah, I guess we'll go for a little bit of watching and a little bit of taking part because obviously, you can just head over to twitch TV and watch people gaming and talking about it. And that's probably one of the things that people would probably know the most about this YouTube Gaming. And well, obviously over to you.
So so so yeah, so so twitch TV, you are Facebook gaming as well. I have YouTube Live, but then you have Reddit for the community. Also steam and you play our community platforms where you can buy games, like it's like an online store, basically. And then there is lots of like, we can probably mention, like 1020 community platforms, because also every country itself has their own platform. And then you have smaller regions in those countries, like in the Netherlands as well that have their own platform. I just think Reddit is one of the biggest and well known platforms. Besides twitch.tv for for live streaming,
yeah and then and to communicate discord is a fantastic platform while gaming so you don't have to do this if you're worried about you know, hearing other people in game chat you can actually set up a group of you communicate while you're playing and not have to hear anything else so
as you can check it's like it's like Skype but better
Yeah. And then and then each game has its own platform on how to play so yeah, obviously Activision Blizzard have got game battles. And then you've got you can play through PlayStation four. So again, this is quite a big, big question. There.
It is, what would you say would be a very good starter esport. For someone I'm aware there are different kinds. So as I
was reading that question, if you want to get in eSports Find your passion. It's not about the game that has the biggest money or prize pool. It's about what do you love doing? So I'm a racing, I love racing. If I wanted to earn money, I probably started playing League of Legends or Counter Strike, but because it's not necessary selling my passion. I probably know, looking back that I wouldn't become a professional in that game because or I didn't have the dedication or the motivation or I became too frustrated. And because I played TrackMania, which is a racing game, and I loved racing, I was always motivated to play that game, even though the price points are not millions, not many thousands, but like 1500 euros 7000 10,000, which is great. That one session that one game that isn't one of the biggest in the world still got me VP of the global eSports Federation, for example. And I'm very, very, very proud. And Paul is here as well and chat already. So I'm watching you're lurking as we call it in gaming language, but I'm very proud to like be part of the global eSports Federation, and that is a TrackMania player. Now, are my experiences as a professional TrackMania different from League of Legends? No, not necessarily. So I think first of all, find your passion, what do you love doing and then find a certain gaming community that you can identify with and you will be motivated To be part of that community and keep on playing, find online friends and enjoy your time.
So the short version is find something that you love doing in real life or like the idea of doing in real life and then do it in the world. Which Sorry? Yes.
Yeah, no. And I think, to me, if you like sports, there's always there's a lot of games that are reflected in a kind of gaming way. So if you like football, there's FIFA and pears if you like basketball, there's NBA TK. So there's, there's easy steps into eSports. If you if there's a sense, what do you love? There's obviously a lot of titles that aren't, don't reflect so well. But I'd say one of the most easiest games to get into is a game that talks about his Rocket League, you know, three versus three. It's a five minute game. Everyone understands the principle you're trying to score a goal, but it happens to be that you're in a giant, you know, so driving a car. And one thing I would encourage it, depending what age you are, is to get your parents involved as well because they really need to understand what is happening you know, I'm I'm 14 I've got a 19 year old I've lived and breathed eSports. Yeah, the last 10 years has been great. But and I understand the terminology like FPS mobile Battle Royale, most parents don't understand that. So they fear it. Yeah. So what what I would encourage everyone, I don't know, the profile on here is you if you do do gaming, ask your mom and dad to join in. Yeah, there might not be very good, but they need to understand what you're doing. And they need to understand the socialization aspect and the fact that you're talking to your friends and you're communicating. It's not isolation. So sorry to interrupt your flow there. Lj
Great, well, it's it's all it all adds to the flow. mellisa are you going to say something as well?
Okay, that was a very quick and wonderful comment. Excellent. And so we're going to also look at the future of Esports we have a question here is our current world just blended with another in Oh, I see our current well just blended with another interactive layer. Will the future of gaming be in augmented reality or directly connected to our cortex? That's a real cyberpunk question. I suspect virtually everyone watching will have some kind of leanings towards science fiction, I happen to know that MIT has done some really interesting stuff with sub subvocalization, where you can actually sink a word and your muscles Twitch, a tiny amount. And you can speak to an AI assistant, which can allow you to add numbers together, for example, without even speaking, I also happen to know that there are certain brain headbands that you can wear, that will pick up your brain activity. And there's experiments in being able to control things just by thinking them. So there's certainly quite a lot going on in terms of technology rolling
from Illinois. Yes,
of course, of course. So I mean, obviously, as an Esports player, there's quite a degree of fine motor control involved. I don't know whether the technology for brain control is quite precise enough, but do we have any thoughts on that?
I guess it's a matter of time. Really. Everything is a matter of time before the technology is so advanced, that it is possible. The question is, are we open for it? Are we gonna indeed evolve, where we are not holding a controller anymore, but we are like strangely connected. And just by thinking we can control the car, or the Rocket League or something in the game? Will we even be playing games? Or will it be a mix of professional or being being a traditional athlete with a virtual environment so that you actually combine the physical aspect with the virtual aspect, I see that happening as well as many traditional sports are trying to find our way out in the virtual environment. Where I also happen to know that for example, rowing is currently building their own platform to hold eSports competitions as well virtually with your own machine at home. So there's so many different elements. Very exciting, but I think to our it's a matter of time.
Yeah, my only comment on that is it sounds Really scary term, but traditional eSports. So, you've got people that say has to be on a PC has to be five versus five on Yeah. And that's what a traditional esport when mobile eSports came out, there was so many people going well, I don't want to watch people on stage, you're looking at people playing with their mobile phone that's not traditional eSports so you have got different kind of, you know, generations already, you know, feeling empowered that that's their, their time. So yeah, obviously, mobile gaming, you know, is becoming massive pub G is one of the biggest mobile games, you know, Tencent done a great job pushing that. So I think it will come and it's all gonna be about the devices. You know, My son was a great Pokemon. You know, when that came out four years ago, going around the world, picking up and stuff. Yeah, there will be games. I think there was restrictions that moment on VR gaming, because of good way the headsets, he could bump into each other. But it would be a question time, but I think you'll have people who invested so much time and energy, a bit like a sport so people think Will League of Legends you know, die out again? No, yeah, people invested out, you know, hundreds of hours of times becomes like being good at golf, you know, you invest a lot of time to be good at golf, you've invested, you know, so if baseball suddenly comes along, he just gonna give up golf and play baseball. No, you're probably going to carry on doing bed. So it's gonna be really interesting, what I kind of call, as I say, traditional eSports, which is an unusual term, probably in the contents of, we're talking about how modern and great it is at moment. So
it's about a gatekeeping evolving or keep evolving as an industry.
Yes. And also, once we take into account we've got human people playing against each other, at what point do we allow AI to compete, like AlphaGo? The sort of next generation of
AI versus humans is already Yeah,
yes. But then at what point do we get a AIS versus AI is where your human simply becomes the the person building the program then they go off against each other, like a Robot Wars but just the mines. I like to
ask Chester the teamfight tactics is basically A bit of AI, right? Like you're planning your team and then the AI is doing duress. So basically, there are games that are based upon a AI teamfight tactics is one Google for the ones don't not knowing. But it's like a game where you basically pick your champions like your characters, put them in certain positions, and then the game itself will basically run the battle, like AI. Again, yeah, yeah. And then afterwards, you see if you want or did not.
Yes, that's also the place for AI to simulate your opponent. If you have enough gameplay, you can probably just grab all of the data of, of your potential opponents play strategies, and then put it all together and then you might be able to predict your opponent's next move, at which point, you're then looking at some very interesting situations where if you have enough computing power, you are more likely to win against another person. And that kind of brings us right back to this idea of the digital divide. And I guess the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. So how one them is about inequality. So as a last word, before we close the panel, perhaps we can have a little insight into ways we can decrease inequality.
So, from my point of view, you were my suppose hat is around technology and hardware. And I think what's great is governments are realizing that there's no career pathways, education pathways in eSports. It's going to take a bit of time, but this is a credible industry in itself with huge benefits. So this isn't, you know, kids gambling, this is actually people learning human versus human interaction. There's so many benefits. I think the more people go, yeah, I'm the older generation just think, Oh, it's kids playing games. It's not that tool. There's a whole world about eSports is incredibly exciting, and I'm honored to be part of the global eSports Federation. There's only been going for six months and they've done a great job to get us here. So the more that we can help promote it, the better but on inequality We get we need more investment in technology to get things going and an education to people of my age, I'd say,
I'm gonna do my best. With funding. I think funding is a huge opportunity to try to decrease this digital divide here, at least in the United States, a lot of this digital divide is due to social economic. And so if we have more government agencies that are funding doing grants that more people are investing in a lot of nonprofit work, where they are educating, excuse me, educating our youth on how important is the game actually providing the technology, providing a laptop, providing a Wi Fi, you know, here in rural America, we don't really have a strong Wi Fi system here. And so those people and kids are already at a disadvantage with this digital divide, divide. And so I think funding coming from government agencies and other private investors into nonprofit work and actually help to decrease that digital divide that we're seeing And I think
there's been a few questions in the chat about how to go about sponsoring. So I'm presuming that somebody from the panel can type an answer to you on that later. Sorry to interrupt go on.
But you want to engage about sponsoring or do you did the inequality,
please talk about the inequality? Yeah.
So I think another very important thing is grassroot gaming as we like to call it so that's basically you have the very big eSports event and the professionals but you also have the amateurs and in the Netherlands, you now see like local clubs popping up. So people that not necessarily have the equipment can subscribe at like a local club or pay little entry fee or whatever their business model is. And then they can play on hardware, they can meet other people at that location. We see that in the Netherlands a lot. Unfortunately, with Corona a couple had to close but COVID-19 sorry. So um, but I think crossword gaming is going to be very important and therefore we need investors because of course money is involved. So Guess that's part of infrastructure. And I agree with Chester on education. So, so many people don't yet know what gaming and eSports actually is, what it's about how the community is like what the industry is like. And of course, when the decision makers get to know eSports, they will undoubtedly be more open to explore possibilities in this specific industry. So I think also, of course, the global eSports Federation has the Education Commission, which cesta is part of. So I think that's a very important role towards the future. And besides educating professionals, also the parents, which is something I do myself in the Netherlands, so I think there's a lot of education and infrastructure, things that have to happen.
Brilliant. I'm afraid that's where we're going to have to leave it I'm sure if you want to chat and listen for much longer. So thank you, everybody. milito, Kuhn and Chester, it's been a real pleasure speaking with you and thank you, audience as well for your incredible participation and your thoughtful questions. It's really been quite wonderful spending this last hour with you. So Live long and prosper, everybody. And it's over to you, Fred for the final words.
Well, thank you very much Lj and well, what a great discussion. It's a pity it has to end. But all great things must come to an end, but also have no fear. This was the first of a series of webinars that we're planning on the topic of looking at how AI combined with ICS and eSports can help to connect people more and also build a more inclusive world. If you'd like to get involved, please get in touch with us through our website. So one of our colleagues will be pasting some URLs and email addresses in the chat. So again, if the topic caught your attention, or you want to be notified of the next sessions on this topic, just look at the chat and feel free to get in touch with us. And of course, I'd like to thank our panelists and our moderator for the excellent job, the engaging discussion. I personally enjoyed it very much myself, and I hope If you did the same, I just like to highlight that we have another episode on Friday. So we have the innovation factory. And the innovation factory is basically where we're looking, we did a call for startups that are using AI or machine learning in a unique way to help solve one or many of the Sustainable Development Goals. And what happens is a shortlist of these startups come online and they do some very short life pitches to a panel of mentors and advisors. And the best startups will be selected will have a chance to pitch their startups and ideas to a much larger audience at the end of year and that will be presented as one of the outcomes of the AI for Good Summit. So if you're interested in innovation and business in AI startups SDGs. I suggest you register for Friday at 15 pm. So you can go to our website to register for that as well. So we've come to the end. And again once again, thank you to All the speakers, the panelists and the participants for all your questions. I saw so many questions in the chat and the q&a. That's really great. Also, thank you to our sponsors, our partners, and of course to our co convener Switzerland, as one of the big supporters of AI for Good Global Summit. And we've lived without I'd like to bid you farewell and good evening and see you on Friday. Good evening.