Christopher Martin (Cranfield University) rightly points out in his book on supply chain management that no industry or organism will escape the transformation.
Following, I want to share my thoughts and experiences with esports. What I think the barriers to esports are and the inherent socio-economic benefits esports
What is E-sports?
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.
Esports stands for Electronic Sports.
Esports is organized 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.
Leadership has emerged as the top issue with digital transformation. From stone and grass to tree spears and siege catapults, machine has never hindered man’s ability to progress. I don’t think this will change anytime soon.
For instance, Gamification gurus have continually repeated the same examples through out 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 in game studies and Gamification during the past decade.
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. So far, we’ve witnessed early penetration strategies to gain access to an untapped market through sponsorships and advertisement campaigns.
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 & Well being benefits (3) Social & Cultural benefits (4) Science & Research 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
Social and Cultural Benefits
Today’s gaming platforms are basically portals to cyber social worlds. Research shows that a parallel society has been developing for decades where social motives have emerged as the top reason for modality-transfer. Perhaps eSports can serve as a culture bridge.
Science and Research Benefits
Video game users are already contributing to science, interestingly, some neuroscience have even recommended “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 past time activity for both boys and girls, and men and women alike. Esports can help break down the barriers between online and offline in sports and gaming.
The Future of Esports
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, work places and in higher education institutions.