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Sportization of competitive videogaming


The objective of this contribution is to examine the sportification process of competitive videogaming. Using the field of sociology of sport (Guttmann, 1978; Elias and Dunning, 1986), the paper question the definition of electronic sport through four objectives and operational criteria regularly used to define modern sports: the motor relevance of the activity, the organization of competitions, the regulatory system and the institutional plan. The data are drawn from observation of the techniques of the body (Mauss, 1936) of regular and casual French gamers of a “versus fighting” competitive video game called Injustice. The research is further informed by interviews with the players, e-sport event’s organizers and different actors of the e-sport community. The first results show firstly that although the common discourse opposes video game and sports (Peter, 2007), particularly through the place of the body (Roustan, 2003) in both contemporary social practices, the phenomenon of electronic sports borrows to modern sports’ dispositive numerous characteristics. But secondly, it appears that e-sport develops an original model of private institutionalization, close to what Bordes (2015) called “para-sports”.
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hal-04015946 , version 1 (06-03-2023)


  • HAL Id : hal-04015946 , version 1


Nicolas Besombes. Sportization of competitive videogaming. International Sociology of Sport Association (ISSA), Université Paris Descartes, Jun 2015, Paris, France. ⟨hal-04015946⟩
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