Can esports substitute traditional sports? The convergence of sports and video gaming during the pandemic and beyond

Haozhou Pu, Jeeyoon Kim, Corinne Daprano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This research examines the various ways that video games, particularly esports, have been leveraged for content production and fan engagement (i.e., gamification) in traditional sports during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as sports fans’ reactions in relation to their motives, points of attach-ment, and other consumer behavior. The study presents a sports–gaming convergence framework and identifies six popular gamification modes where video games and traditional sports converge during the pandemic. The survey results further reveal that gamification content is not consumed as simply a “substitute” for traditional sports, but instead a complementary yet unique product. In conclusion, we suggest that it is critical to recognize the differences between fans of video games and fans of traditional sports concerning market segmentation. Nevertheless, esports could effectively bridge these two industries and their consumers by enriching the content offering and extending distribution channels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number129
JournalSocieties
Volume11
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Keywords

  • Convergence
  • COVID-19
  • Esports
  • Gamification
  • Points of attachment
  • Video games

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)

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