Crafting Stars: South Korean E-sports and the Emergence of a Digital Gaming Culture

Furthermore, the current study provides a foundation for future research on eSport by highlighting the similarities between eSport and traditional sport consumption. These similarities include motives of interest in sport, interest in player, aesthetics, social opportunities, drama, role model, entertainment value, wholesome environment, acquisition of knowledge, skill of the athletes, and enjoyment of aggression. Yet, while eSport and traditional sport spectators share many common motives, eSport and traditional sport spectators are not identically motivated. For instance, spectators of eSport find eSport events significantly more exciting, highlighting that eSport and traditional sport spectators are highly similar, but not identical. The current study compares traditional sport spectator motives to eSport spectator motives to better understand the behavior of eSport consumers. It compares one traditional sport to two eSports , thereby drawing a direct parallel between a traditional sport and two eSports.

The findings of Funk et al. are in line with the current study’s findings that sport spectators have distinct consumption behaviors that vary by context. The current research adapts consumer behavior motives from established sport consumption motivation scales. Specifically the Motivation Scale for Sport Consumption (MSSC; Trail & James, 2001) and the Sport Interest Inventory (SII; Funk, Mahony, & Nakazawa, 2001). Motives from the MSSC and SII were selected given the scales’ established validity within the sport marketing literature. Comparison of spectator motives between eSport and traditional sporting event contexts permits assessment of similarities and differences between the two.

He received funding for this research project from the National Science Foundation and the Korea Foundation. An in-depth exploration of self-reported motivations to play online and in-game behaviours in the virtual world of Azeroth. The India Vs Pakistan match on Sunday saw the floodgates of memes open on social media. Govinda was on the show with his wife, Sunita, and daughter, Tina. The show was a Diwali Special, and Sony TV released promos of the episode on social media. In one of the promos, Sunita could be seen saying that her husband had never danced with her, after which Govinda and Sunita performed a duet dance on the stage.

Males had greater representation at both eSports events–78% for FIFA Online 3 and 72% for StarCraft II. However, the spectator demographics challenge prevailing stereotypes of eSports as a male-dominated activity. Females comprise one of the fastest growing market segments for eSports (PaaBen, Morgenroth, & Stratemeyer, 2016), and the motives of female spectators offer a salient area of inquiry for eSport event marketing and management. Existing definitions of modern sport emphasize its physical, competitive, and institutionalized dimensions . Whether eSport meets these criteria and falls within the boundaries of sport is a source of ongoing debate (e.g., Hallmann & Giel, 2018; Heere, 2018; Hilvoorde & Pot 2016; Holt, 2016; Jenny et al., 2017; Jonasson & Thiborg, 2010; Witkowski, 2012). Specifically, a critical aspect of the debate centers on the perceived lack of physical skill in eSport . An established feature distinguishing a game from sport is the physical application of skill (Coakley, 2008; Suits, 2007).

This implication is important, as it suggests that existing sport marketing literature can be adapted and modified to examine eSport consumer behavior. However, cultural differences regarding perceptions towards video gaming must be considered. For South Koreans, gaming is viewed as a social activity, in contrast to Westerners, who view it as a solitary hobby . Yet, increasing support for acceptance of gaming as a social activity is increasing in Western cultures , evident in traditional sport entities increasing alignment with the eSports industry (Funk et al., 2018). Similar to the current study findings, Fink et al. found that environmental factors (e.g., family and social factors) positively affect game attendance intentions. Funk et al. found that the significant SII motives influencing consumer support are interest in team, escape, aesthetics, drama, socialization, role model, interest in sport, vicarious achievement, support for women’s opportunity, and interest in players.

Multi-item measures could also permit advanced statistical techniques, such as structural equation modelling. The fifth limitation is the number of survey responses excluded from analysis due to respondent straight-lining (Herzog & Bachman, 1981). While the survey design was intended to minimize such behavior through the use of a relatively short survey instrument, the number of discarded responses requires acknowledgement. Prevalent stereotypes depict gamers as young, single men living in their parents’ basement . However, Newzoo, a leader in eSport market intelligence, found that most eSport fans are employed full time, 44% are parents, with a large segment (38%) of female consumers . The Entertainment Software Association reports that women represent a rapidly growing segment of gamers .

Drama and social opportunities, salient sport consumption motives (James & Ross, 2004), were also relevant motives and statistically equal across all three contexts in contrast to Hamari and Sjoblom , who found these motives insignificant. The contrasting findings may be a result of the in-person synonyms for suggests eSport event experience (i.e., Nexon Arena) used in the current study, while Hamari and Sjoblom examined online eSport spectatorship. Results regarding drama are consistent with the qualitative findings of Cheung and Huang , who identified the importance of drama in eSport consumption.

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