HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Harrisburg University, which has been on the cutting edge of the esports world, has launched an esports research center.

The Center for Applied Research in Esports or CARE is currently open, and has been operating virtually for the most part. They’re looking for a permanent location in Harrisburg, for after this pandemic. This is for professors, players, and gaming companies, and they’re looking at a whole host of things, including the health and care of players, professional advancement, and where the industry is headed.

Right now interest is at an all time-high, thanks in part to the pandemic.

“People found esports and started consuming esports, so that meant new companies started cropping up, new teams started coming, new leagues,” said Charles Palmer, head of the Center for Applied Research in Esports at Harrisburg University. “Little old Harrisburg is doing a great thing in the esports scene. We are now known nationally for our championships, but also the quality of students that we have and the research that we’re starting to take on.”

Now the Center for Applied Research in Esports will put Harrisburg University on the map even more.

“This is definitely one of the first in North America space. There are a couple of them popping up,” said Palmer.

The research center will be looking at three main things.

“Health and performance, so what is the health of the athlete, how do we create best practices so they can train effectively, but also that we’re keeping their mental and physical well-being in mind. The second pillar is careers and academics, so what programs are teaching and working in esports and what jobs are available,” said Palmer.

The research center will also be looking at the culture of esports as a whole, something Palmer believes will only continue to skyrocket.