Sports video games participation : what can we learn from esports? / Jaume García, Carles Murillo

García, Jaume | Murillo, Carles

This study investigates three issues associated with playing sports video games: the correlates of participation (and its intensity) in this type of activity, their complementarity with traditional sports and their perception as sport. Given the scarcity of data on esports participation, these results can be seen as an initial approach to these issues with regard to esports. Sequential, two-part and regression models are estimated using a sample of 11,018 individuals from the survey of sporting habits in Spain 2015. First, the association of the correlates follows different patterns for participation in sports video games and its intensity. Second, complementarity with traditional sports is found using different approaches. Third, young people consider this activity as a dimension of their overall interest in sports. The different association of the correlates with participation in esports and its intensity can be used to define marketing and brand investment strategies. The complementarity between esports and traditional sports should influence how the actual stakeholders in sport define future strategies to favour the growth of both industries. Finally, the increasing perception of esports as a sport should influence the future organisation of multi-sport events like the Olympic Games. Using sports video games participation as a proxy of esports participation, this study is the first to provide empirical evidence of the relevance of distinguishing between participation in esports and its intensity, their complementarity with traditional sports and their perception as sport.

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