Interactive TV: eSports

Interactive TV: eSports

Veljko Aleksić (University of Kragujevac, Serbia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0253-2.ch010
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As the eSports community is growing worldwide, a new modality of interactive television programme dedicated to it is also gaining momentum. eSports' primary purpose was purely recreational, but nowadays, it can be considered as an alternative form of competitive gaming with well-developed infrastructure and a vast number of members and followers. Even at its early stage, followers detached the physical presence at the tournaments from their other activities (socializing, etc.) as they were offered an alternate mean of communication via dedicated video streams. Soon after, an interactive TV eSports programme was introduced making a logical leap towards globalizing. The number of viewers/followers of the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, League of Legends, Dota2, or Starcraft 2 tournaments is increasing daily, so the specialized TV programmes are providing its content accordingly. This chapter reviews the current trends in eSports community through the prism of interactive TV broadcast and analyzes it future potential.
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Communicating With Rich Content

In order to better understand the foundation of e-Sports industry, a brief overview of some of the digital gaming characteristics will be presented.

Olson (2010) researched the motivation of early adolescents for playing video games on the sample od 1254 12-to-14-year-olds and identified three basic elements: socialization, friendship and the opportunity to lead other players or to learn from them. Victory and success in digital games induces the sense of pride and achievement. The obvious motivational factor and the presumption that the video game players can develop some useful skills has interested De Freitas (2006) to observe computer games as a new and attractive learning method.

The motivation is the initiation, intensity and the duration of certain behavior. It can be observed as a unique dyad of intrinsic (based on the interest of gaining skills or knowledge) and external (based on the goal achievement or avoiding punishment for instance). Although playing digital games seems attractive its effect on the motivation is not always positive. For example, if the difficulty level is too high the player frustration will increase which in turn decreases the level of self-confidence (Seery et al., 2004).

The success in digital game means moving to a higher level and mastering new competences, which results in better player performance. Additionally, the sense of enjoyment decreases player anxiety. Digital gameplay can boost self-confidence, enhance the visual attention skills, increase empathy and social behavior (Aleksić & Ivanović, 2017; Gentile et al., 2012).

Digital games are characterized by two unique characteristics – transmediality and enframing. Transmediality can be observed through the phenomena of playing games via various media (Juul, 2011). The advancement of technology made contemporary digital games narrow the gap between the virtual and the real world so the players are more often in the position to make physical interaction with virtual characters (avatars) and the environments. The enframing is correlated with the digital nature of computer games. According to Heidegger and Lovitt (1977), the core influence of contemporary technologies on human gameplay is to make a framework for the virtual world possibilities and characteristics that was created by the game designers.

The ever-growing observance for the last few decades is that the children and adolescents show extraordinary interest in digital gameplay, so digital games became the central part of youth culture. Limited gameplay shows the benefit of emotional relieving and relaxation (Prot et al., 2014). However, the lack of control can easily lead to the development of digital game addiction disorder, as was implied by the number of researchers (Aleksić, 2018; Desai et al., 2010; Lin et al., 2011; Poli & Agrimi, 2011) which stated that in extreme cases almost 15% of the gaming population became more or less addicted. Digital game addiction development is directly correlated with the environment culture characteristics (Jang et al., 2008).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Winning Strategy: eSports are not merely destined for leisure or entertainment. By creating competitive conditions that push ahead users to demonstrate superior skills to win, they make players addicted to playing more and more fervently until they eliminate ineffective strategies. Such an implementation plan demonstrates successful tactics.

Coaching and Mentoring: If extensive sporting infrastrucre is not available in place, players usually shift to users of vendor-hosted solutions in the digital world. The functionality of the sporting activity is created by the host, with specific interfaces offered to ameliorate certain capabilities of performing well.

Blended Gaming Solutions: A mixed methodology for optimizing the learning delivery methods in sports training and gaming. When the trainer and the players are in the same place the same time, then classic face-to-face learning is used. When players shift to users of e-Sports virtual environments, self-paced asynchronous training takes place with the player using technology instead of being mentored by a coach. When the trainer and the players are not in the same place but audiovisually communicate in real-time for playing a game, then live e-Learning is taking place.

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