Master of Arts (MA)
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This research study examined the motivations people have to watch esports and how these motivations are related to engagement in esports communities, fan identity, sense of community, messages shared in communities, and spectating preferences. Previous research regarding esports and why people watch it was used to create three categories for esports spectating motivations: skill-based motivations, entertainment-based motivations, and relationship-based motivations. Quantitative analyses were performed after collecting survey data from college students at UNLV and additional fans from esports communities. The results showed that there were positive relationships between the various motivations and all aspects of esports fandom engagement, showing how fans have varying motivations to watch esports. Further analysis of the data showed that relationship-based spectator motivations play a more significant role in esports fandoms and is the only motivation that is a significant predictor of all aspects of fandom measured. Fans with relationship-based motivations also prefer to watch esports in-person compared to watching online, while fans with entertainment or skill-based motivations did not have a preference. This study helps provide insight into esports fandoms and the significance that social interaction, parasocial relationships, and communication have on esports communities.
Esports; Fan Engagement; Fan Identity; Sense of Community; Spectating Motivations; Video Games
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Barney, Joshua, "Understanding the Motivations of Esports Fans: The Relationship Between Esports Spectator Motivations and Esports Fandom Engagement" (2021). UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones. 4119.
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