E-Sports Class for Management Students
The evolution of sports follows the needs and capacities of society. Most sports can be used in a metaphorical sense to describe real-life matters, some better some worse. Sportive competition can also drive technology development, as for example in the formula one race league.
The digital transformation brought it´s own revolution to sports. While the most popular e-sports are shooting games, real-time strategy is considered the most challenging variation. The outstanding game in this are is called Starcraft.
Starcraft is a mangement game, and full of buisness metaphors suitable for the information age.
At its high time, millions of South Koreans watched life-broadcasts of professional Starcraft matches on TV. Now Starcraft II has become the next target for the Deep Mind artificial intelligence project.
During this extracurricular activity for Mangement Students, the students will learn to play Starcraft, analyse professional starcraft games, and first and foremost learn to identify the relevant business metaphores hidden in a game of Starcraft. The course consists of an initial intensive weekend course for learning the basics of the game and a 90 minutes seminar once per week plus homework. We will further invite pro-gamers and casters to Q&A sessions in class and offer an additional excursion to a major e-sports league event over a weekend in the semester holidays.
A few examples of business metaphors hidden in the game include:
Scouting Information on customers is cheap and essential, while information on the competitors companies investments are costly to obtain, but extremely valuable.
Typically, the player with more sustained income wins. Exceptions to that rule exist, and mainly result from a "hard counter" of the competition due to the use of better technology. Another way to lose with superior income can be very aggressive play by the competitor.
Allocating your resources to different tasks is vital to create a successful business. It is vital to have a business plan that outlines your investment planning, including options to react to currently unknown information. Such business plans are also called "Build Order"
Your most valuable resource is Management Attention, a performance metric also know as APM, or "Actions per Minute". There are always million things that would run better if actively managed, but you only have it in you to do a limited number of things in a given timeframe. While some tasks can easily be half-automated or delegated to an AI, others always require full management attention. When used efficiently and in the right moment, in particular management attention-intensive options can turn even a hopeless game in your favour.
Knowing the `Meta` is crucial for high level play. The Meta of the game describes how you expect your competitors to behave in this particular match-up, and determines your strategy in the competition, unless you scout a deviation from it. It´s called `Mind Games` if players make deliberate communication moves to trick their opponent into mis-interpreting their intentions.
When more than two parties compete in a "Free for All" market, aggressive play is less valuable than in a duopoly game, unless used to conquer new resources.
Sharing management responsibilities with a business partner in "Archon Mode" can extreme performance dramatically, especially if the partners can rely on each other and focus on seperat aspects of the business.