In their article “Live Streaming, Playing, and Money Spending Behaviors in eSports” Donghee Yvette Won and Guo Freeman discuss about the ecosystem of live streamers and esports as a form of playing, viewing and spending money and what kind of relationships they have. Their goal is to also clarify the reasons behind people’s behavior in this context and what kind of psychological factors contribute to it.
In order to do this, they have conducted 2 different studies. In the first study, they surveyed players of the widely popular online game Fortnite. The reason to focus on this particular game is because it was the most popular esports game in 2018. It is also popular among gamers and the viewers of the stream and provides a great context to evaluate the different aspects of the study.
The main questions in the survey concentrated on their playing, in-game purchases, streaming or/and watching habits and gift giving in the form of a streams viewer. 31 percentage of the people taking the survey had purchased in-game items. Interesting was the fact that people spending more time playing the game were not more likely to buy in-game items. No relation between giving money to the streamer and playing, viewing or time spent streaming was found.
In the second study the focus was on explaining why some people give money to the streamer. Since everything else in the first study was in correlation with each other except the giving money for the streamer, the second study was conducted. The money gifted for the streamers can be seen as an aspect of social support. A viewer who gifts money to the streamer may have a feeling of a close relationship with the streamer.
In this study a survey was also conducted as a source of information. The main focus was on the survey takers’ favorite streamers, their characteristics and interaction with the streamer. The attractiveness of the streamer’s personality was positively related to the possible financial support given to him or her. The physical attractiveness was however not a significant factor. It is also good to note that the frequency of watching streamer’s stream was also a positive factor in gifting money.
In conclusion, most of the behavior behind watching streams were strongly related to the player’s own relationship with gaming. However, spending money did not have the same reason behind it. Many behavioral and psychological factors explain the different aspects of esports and that esports itself should be viewed as a media ecosystem of its own.
Original article: Donghee Yvette Wong, Guo Freeman. “Live Streaming, Playing, and Money Spending Behaviors in eSports” https://journals-sagepub-com.libproxy.tuni.fi/doi/full/10.1177/1555412019859184
Photo by Pixabay.
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