Are eSports real?


A video recording of this program is now available on the Explore Content section of this website.

There are few current trends in media and entertainment that are as dramatic and fast growing as eSports. Currently worth over a billion dollars globally, eSports provides unparalleled access for everyone across the globe to participate, connect, and enjoy. We know, however, that big business comes at a hefty price and therefore eSports needs to be taken more seriously.

This discussion will ask how a phenomenon—growing out of the humble origins of arcade tournaments and online game play-throughs—became a multi-billion-dollar industry, and at what price?

  • Venue accessibility

    • Simultaneous translation

      Simultaneous translation (Arabic/English) is provided for all programs.

    • Wheelchair accessibility

      The Projection Theatre is fully wheelchair accessible and features multiple wheelchair spaces with unobstructed views of the stage and screen.

    • Sign Language interpretation

      Sign Language interpretation (ASL and ArSL) may be requested for talks, discussions, lectures and tours. Please contact the museum well in advance of the program to discuss this service. You are welcome to bring an interpreter with you—please let us know ahead of time and we will ensure that appropriate seating is reserved. A program ticket does not need to be purchased for an interpreter providing prior notification of their attendance at a specific program is provided to the museum.

    • Wifi

      Free wifi access is available in the building. On your mobile device, with wifi switched on, select Guest-NUQ-Majlis from the available services and accept the terms of service to connect.

  • Program credits

    Spencer Striker

    Spencer Striker is an associate professor in residence at Northwestern Qatar, teaching Digital Media Design. Striker’s work centers on interaction design, mobile media, digital media and learning, video games and entrepreneurship. He is the creator of History Adventures, World of Characters—a fully interactive digital learning series that presents a fresh approach to history education—and Dr. Sara: Disease Detective, a mobile game about epidemiology. Striker received his PhD in digital media from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, Wisconsin.

    Khalifa Haroon

    Khalifa Saleh Al Haroon is the founder of IloveQatar.net and the I Love Qatar (ILQ) network, content-based platforms that have been celebrating the diversity of Qatar’s community for over 12 years. In 2018 he founded, Store974, Qatar’s first PC gaming store and in 2022, he was selected as a Board Member of the Qatar eSports Federation. Al Haroon is also the founder of Raqami TV, an Arabic technology platform with over 3 million subscribers. His love of technology led to the launch of Geek Street, a new gaming concept embracing Qatar’s geek community.

    Mohammed Al-Qassabi

    Mohammed Al-Qassabi is an Information Systems graduate from Carnegie Mellon University Qatar. He is the inventor of OPAS, a tool that analyzes players performances during the match and helps football referees decide to enforce the offside rule. Al-Qassabi is also the Head of Robotics and Artificial Intelligence department at Qatar Scientific Club, where he hosts various scientific workshops and manages robotics related projects.