Introduction

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Christopher Martin (Cranfield University) rightly points out in his book on supply chain management that no industry or organism will escape the transformation. This is the emerging reality with technology, research and innovation.

Considering the rapid rise in the proliferation of technology, it is somewhat logical to expect that changes in processes and ways of living. Following, this reality, there is an urgency to understand the interactions that occur over the web. There are discussions and compelling cases for and against online use through smartphones, social media e.t.c However, video games remain an under-investigated and a forgotten aspect of these discussions.

I have come to embrace that I have a unique perspective of the pillars of the digital economy due to me ground up research experience in gaming cyber realms. As such, I created this blog for open communication of my research. want to share my thoughts and experiences with esports. What I think the barriers to esports have been and the inherent socio-economic benefits embracing esports.

My pillars of digital economy

  1. Digital Citizenship
  2. Digital Living
  3. Digital Sporting
  4. Digital Care
  5. Digital Commerce
  6. Digital Governance

Gaming Culture

The whole gaming culture has come a long way since the early binary instalments. The industry survived a major crash in the 80s and is currently on course to becoming the single largest contributor to the entertainment industry. Traditional video games studies focused on the ramifications of gaming such as delinquencies, aggression and violence. In my opinion, these outcomes were inevitable due to the monotony of traditional studies. I mean, I’m yet to uncover any publication suggesting playing alone is good for the memory, literacy, health and well-being. Gaming is a unique phenomenon and one of the greatest of our time. Games have been around and part of our everyday lives for centuries, yet, it is one of the least understood areas of our evolution.

Once upon a time, players would meet at an agreed family house to enjoy a game of international super start soccer or street fighter. In some cases, after performing all obligatory tasks at home, players would travel miles to play. Nowadays, players can now enjoy the same interaction and bonds with friends from the comfort of their sofas. My research shows that there has been a parallel society developing alongside the traditional society through video games for decades. Some of the female respondents have been playing together for as long as thirteen years.

Gaming societies maintain and grow their networks through collaboration, competitions and shared problem-solving. This is only possible because of the proliferation and adoption mediated-communication technologies underpinned by the Internet and Web.

What is E-sports?

Esports stands for Electronic Sports.

 

Esports is organized online competitive computer gaming.

Like the majority of today’s sporting events esports can be staged in front of a live audience (indoor and outdoor), millions more online, and on Mars.

The Barriers

Leadership

Leadership has emerged as the top issue with digital transformation across the board. For instance, Gamification gurus have continually repeated the same examples throughout the timeline of my two degrees. Web Science Institute allegedly exists to understand communication and how the web impacts the social-technology mix, yet, this does not include gaming cultures. The reality, there hasn’t been any real major developments video game studies in the past decade.

Market Penetration

US eSports forecasts revenues to reach $300 million in 2021. British figures are quite impressive as well. So far though, 74% of all esports revenue has been generated from advertising and sponsorship as leading brands battle for the attention of gaming culture and fans.

Esports is a global activity with hundreds of millions of viewers around the globe. In the UK, all the major football clubs have an esports team. So far, we’ve witnessed early penetration strategies to gain access to an untapped market through sponsorships and advertisement campaigns.

The Benefits

Sports have proven to have a profound and positive effect on individuals, communities and the society. I am convinced that the economy can benefit from esports, and here are my reasons why.

(1) Economic benefits (2) Health & Wellbeing benefits (3) Social & Cultural benefits (4) Science & Research benefits.

Economic Benefits

Esports is growing exponentially and it’s also accelerating the convergence of various established industries and institutions. Esports is to become a medal event in 2022 Asian games, and in the UK, esports is forecast to reach 1 billion by 2020. To realise our space on the digital leaderboard, we will need to manifest our strength and proficiency in all digital areas, eSports included. In my opinion, some of the immediate economic benefits of eSports fall under; job creation, improved trade, open science, and new tourism.

Health and Well-being Benefits

Pokemon debunks the myths that engaging in gaming activities do not encourage physical activities such as outdoor events. Dr Hodemaker develops basic surgery skills with a custom video game. Embracing esports integrates game thinking and research challenges into the health and education system for improved and continued understanding.

In the past, access to gaming cultures was almost impractical. The proliferation of cloud gaming, social media, and computer-mediated communication pretty much changed the game. Many game studies scholars do agree that we need to understand the various gaming cultures.

Naturally, some of the data held on national databases become obsolete. As such, we do need new data and data structures that are generalised, inclusive and representative.

Understanding Gaming Cultures

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The Process Model of Gameplay. To understand gaming outcomes, we need to understand the experiences within gameplay” — Linda Kaye

Social and Cultural Benefits

Today’s gaming platforms are basically portals to cyber social worlds. Research shows that a parallel society has been developing where social motives have emerged as the top reason for modality-transfer. Perhaps esports can serve as a culture bridge.

Science and Research Benefits

We don’t have to wander far to uncover the many benefits of video games. Gamers contributing to science and some neuroscientists have considered “medical gaming“. Whatever the possibilities, the traditional role of games remains, which is to have fun, for entertainment, for relaxation, and for pleasure. Games are a favourite pastime activity for both boys and girls, and men and women alike. Esports can help us break down the barriers between online and offline divide.

@IFBGaming  Martina at BF4 launch Sweden

The Future of Esports

Playing is fundamental to who we are and we can now play through technology. If esports is anything like the gaming culture, it will become the largest sporting event on planet Earth. In the future, we should expect to see some esporting in colleges, workplaces and in higher education institutions.

 

 

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