University of Oulu

What are the motivational aspects to spectate eSports or other live gaming streams?

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Author: Anttila, Pauli1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, Department of Information Processing Science, Information Processing Science
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.9 MB)
Pages: 79
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Oulu : P. Anttila, 2018
Publish Date: 2018-11-12
Thesis type: Master's thesis
Tutor: Rajanen, Mikko
Reviewer: Rajanen, Mikko
Lappalainen, Jouni
In the recent years, competitive video gaming, also known as eSports, has become an enormously popular phenomenon, and a part of the gaming culture. The phenomenon of eSports has created large competitive tournaments that have millions of spectators all over the world. The tournaments include huge prize pools, and eSports has lots of similarities to traditional sports. Video game live streaming is closely connected to competitive eSports and casual gaming. Nowadays it is easy for almost everyone to start streaming gameplay from home and reach people from all over the world. The streams can be, for instance, small personal streaming channels or large eSports tournament streams. Video game live streamers entertain millions of spectators and the streams have different kinds of factors that the spectators notice. The present study focused on discovering what motivates Finnish viewers to spectate eSports and other video game live streams. The study was qualitative research that included semi-structured interviews. There were 8 participants interviewed, and the interview data was analysed by using directed content analysis. The qualitative research gave in-depth information about the spectators’ motivations to watch eSports and other video game live streams. There were several reasons why the participants spectated eSports streams, such as cheering for the teams and the players, the in-game skills that the players have, desire to learn new information related to the watched game, and gathering new tips concerning the game that the participants also play. Furthermore, individual performance of the players, eSports commentators, and production quality affected the motivation to watch eSports. Moreover, it was discovered that aesthetics did not affect the participants’ eSports or other live gaming streams’ watching decision or spectating experience. The participants were motivated to watch other live gaming streams because of the streamer’s personality, newly published games, the atmosphere of the stream, the in-game skills, the gain of information and knowledge related to the game, entertainment, social actions, and escapism. Moreover, the present study provided information on why Finnish spectators spectate eSports and other video game live streams. The limitations of the research were considered, and the results could be helpful for different fields. It was discovered that there is more to be researched concerning the topic of the present study.
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