Ray Pastore

October 6, 2020

During a time when people around the world are looking for ways to connect, virtual options like eSports are garnering more and more interest. Ray Pastore, associate professor of eSports, technology and online learning, is way ahead of the curve on this one.
“Any activity that can be 100 percent online is going to be especially relevant in the current environment,” Pastore said. “My passion for competitive gaming began in the early 1980s. I really think eSports emulates a lot of what took place in arcades in the ’80s. I’m trying to bring that excitement back!”
Pastore says that his goal is to make UNCW a top school in the country for those interested in both careers and competition in eSports. “There is a clear path toward eSports being a successful part of colleges in the near future,” he said. “I see a real opportunity for innovation here.” He talks more about this in a recent video feature done about the program.
An avid surfer, father of three, and streamer with over 2.5 million views on his YouTube channel, Pastore has a lot on his plate, but he values the way eSports allows him to connect with a variety of individuals he may not normally encounter.
“With eSports, anyone who loves the game has a shared interest. A 10-year-old can play with a 70-year-old,” said Pastore. “It’s a community that is open and inclusive to anyone that enjoys gaming.”
Pastore doesn’t just compete in eSports, though. In his professional life, he has designed games and simulations for both corporate and military clients, published peer-review research articles on gaming, and taught courses on game and simulation design.
“I continue to competitively play multiplayer games,” he said. “It’s my passion for these games, and the passion I see in other people competing, that encourages me to work to create this same environment at UNCW.”
For more information or to apply to the eSports certificate program, visit the program website. (Apply by Oct. 15 to start Spring 2021).

-- Christina Schechtman