The Affective Audience in Professional E-sport: An exploration of spectators, and their impact on video game playing

Niels Jørgen Gommesen

Publikation: Working paperForskning


This master’s thesis investigates the members of the audience in professional e-sport. Through a wide range of examples it shows that players, spectators and various nonhuman actors are nested together in assemblages. It states that human-nonhuman actors in ‘co-creation’ constitute the game play. The dynamic assemblages they create with one another illustrate a productive network of circulating intensities that run through a socio-technical system, a network, where bodies are changed and translated into new forms of expressions. On that basis, fans and spectators become important producers and consumers of the game play.
My ethnographic studies draw from a multifaceted approach counting visual ethnography, participant observations and interviews of 35 dedicated spectators and fans, situated at two professional e-sports competitions, the largest digital festival in the world, Dreamhack in Sweden, and the Intel Extreme Masters - The World Championships in Germany.
I conclude that people in the audience, are sharing their experiences not only with one another, but also with the players, as they actively embody themselves in the game playing event. Throughout this work I exemplify that spectators are often sharing their emotional lives with each other and with the players. Their different ways of sharing their emotions and feelings are a result of their capacities to establish emotional and affective relations with one another. Lastly I show that technologies and technological environments have an impact on the spectators and their capacities to affect, and participate in the game playing event.
Antal sider122
StatusUdgivet - 2012

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