Extending disposition theory of sports spectatorship to esports / Logan D. Trent, Daniel M. Shafer

Trent, Logan D. | Shafer, Daniel M.

Just as theorists predicted, developments in sports spectatorship technology have changed the way we think about and enjoy sports. Each year, eSports amasses a larger following. Though its existence traces back to the early 1980s, competitive gaming has emerged recently as a superpower that is seemingly impossible to ignore. But why do hundreds of thousands of people gather at their computers, or at sold-out arenas to watch players compete at video games? In this study, eSports are analyzed through the lens of the disposition theory of sports spectatorship. The results indicate that the enjoyment of watching eSports competitions operates similarly to that of traditional sports spectatorship. Familiarity with the teams and the sport or game being viewed seems to be an important factor in how eSports are enjoyed, and evidence suggests that watching eSports engenders the same or similar reactions as does watching traditional sports. This study aims to pave the way for future, more robust research on eSports spectatorship and why people enjoy watching other people play video games.

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