Social support in eSports: Building emotional and esteem support from instrumental support interactions in a highly competitive environment

Guo Freeman, Donghee Yvette Wohn

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this paper we report an empirical study of how and what types of social support eSports players can experience from their gameplay. Specifically, we interviewed 26 eSports players and sought out their first-person descriptions of experiences of social support. We found that even though most players started out as strangers, the context of eSports facilitated frequent acts of helping through both tangible and intangible means within the game. Such in-game informational and instrumental support often led to emotional and esteem support, and these different types of support functions not only remained within the context of the game but also "bled" out into in-person interactions and relationships. We contribute to CSCW and HCI by both confirming and augmenting existing theories of mediated social support in this underexplored context. Our findings regarding how emotional and esteem support are built from instrumental support interactions in eSports not only provide a rich description of players' experiences in highly competitive digital environments and the consequences of their social interactions but also suggest a number of future research opportunities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCHI PLAY 2017 - Proceedings of the Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Pages435-447
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781450348980
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 15 2017
Event4th ACM SIGCHI Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play, CHI PLAY 2017 - Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration: Oct 15 2017Oct 18 2017

Publication series

NameCHI PLAY 2017 - Proceedings of the Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play

Other

Other4th ACM SIGCHI Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play, CHI PLAY 2017
Country/TerritoryNetherlands
CityAmsterdam
Period10/15/1710/18/17

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Human-Computer Interaction

Keywords

  • Competitive gaming
  • ESports
  • Social capital
  • Social support

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