eSport vs Sport: A Comparison of Spectator Motives. Document Gale Academic OneFile

Specifically, the use of skill by both eSport and traditional sport athletes is shown to be a salient motive for all spectators. In contrast, Hamari and Sjoblom did not find athlete skill to be a significant spectator motive. Their study examined spectator motives for all eSports collectively, which may fail to capture nuances among different eSports. Furthermore, the current research adds to prior research that discussed eSport as sport (e.g., Hilvoorde mama joan soul food menu & Pot 2016; Holt, 2016; Jenny et al., 2017; Jonasson & Thiborg, 2010; Witkowski, 2012), moving the discussion forward from a consumer behavior perspective. The shared motive patterns of traditional sport and eSport spectators demonstrates that these groups of spectators are motivated to spectate similarly. Sport consumer motives are multifaceted and have been examined through a number of different frameworks (Funk et al., 2009; Wann, 1995).

However, spectators may be motivated by additional factors beyond the 15 measured in the current study. Furthermore, all items were drawn from scales developed in the context of traditional sport. ESports may involve additional context-specific motivational factors that are not present in traditional sport. Inclusion of such additional factors needs to be considered in future research to better explain game attendance frequency and additional consumption behaviors. Distinct factors, such as peer pressure and video game graphics could play a role in consumption (Lee & Schoenstedt, 2011).

Family bonding was significantly higher for traditional sport spectators than the virtual representation of sport. This supports market research that identifies eSport spectators as younger than traditional sport spectators and generally less likely to be parents . Thus, this study aimed to have a more balanced view toward the video game playing by reviewing genres of commercial video games and the association of video games with cognitive functions and modulating factors.

ESports encompass an array of platforms, from personal computers to gaming consoles and genres including sport-themed games such as FIFA Online 3, and real-time strategy games, such as StarCraft II (Seo & Jung, 2014). Sport-themed and RTS games are two of the most popular genres of eSports (Jonasson & Thiborg, 2010). Sport-themed eSports imitate physical sport, while RTS games are representations of fighting or military battles . Similarly to traditional sport, eSports contain comparative measures to assess a player’s level of performance within the game .

The second event was a sport-themed eSport event featuring the soccer-based game FIFA Online 3 at Nexon Arena. The third event was a RTS eSport event featuring StarCraft II at Nexon Arena. Tancheon Stadium is the home field for Seongnam FC, while Nexon Arena is a dedicated eSport stadium that hosts events for multiple eSport titles. Both Tancheon Stadium and Nexon Arena are in the greater Seoul metropolitan area in South Korea. All events at which data were collected were regular-season matches in professional leagues for the respective sport or eSport.

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