Dimensionalizing esports consumption: alternative journeys to professional play

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Abstract

Much of the extant literature on esports consumption has characterized esports consumers as striving for mastery of their gaming skills, with a focus on professional esports players. Through a hermeneutic analysis of the esports literature, insider immersion, and in-depth interviews, this study applies a qualitative research design to illustrate the various journeys that non-professional esports consumers embark upon that incorporate multiple consumption practices. We advance the axes of ‘skills versus culture’ and ‘serious versus casual’ as ways to dimensionalize different consumer journeys. We also demonstrate that consumer journeys in the esports field are fluid, with consumers moving across the different dimensions according to their broader life context.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)456-475
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Consumer Culture
Volume22
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2022

Keywords

  • esports
  • gaming
  • consumer journeys
  • qualitative research
  • consumer culture theory
  • consumption community

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