Digital Tethering: Understanding Digital Immersion within Streaming and E-Sports
Our Photo of the Week series features photo entries from our annual Research Photography Competition taken by BU academics, students and professional staff, which gives a glimpse into some of the fantastic research undertaken across the BU community.
This week’s photo of the week is by Charlie Simmons, a final year undergraduate student on a BA (Hons) Business Studies with Marketing programme. This project was co-created with Dr Elvira Bolat, Senior Lecturer in Marketing in the Faculty of Management, and won a prize for the Centre for Excellence in Learning (CEL) co-creation awards. Charlie’s work is around digital tethering, particularly in understanding digital immersion.
Immersion is used outside of digital space as a term to measure the degree of involvement in a specific activity. Digital immersion is now a ubiquitous phenomenon that can be observed in all human activities starting with consumption of services and products as well as professional tasks. Overall academic literature, in particular business and management literature, lacks understanding of digital immersion, perhaps due to methodological challenges associated with researching this area. Using the context of e-sport, this research study revealed that in the context of digital connectivity immersion is not only a feeling but a state of mind; it causes behavioural changes in its e-sport players and keeps them habitually absorbed. At the heart of digital immersion are people, streamers (influencers) and community whom have the power to manipulate individuals’ behaviour.
At the heart of digital immersion is community; the more an individual is experiencing community and feels part of that community, the more likely they are to be immersed in the digital environment. Entertainment within content is also irrelevant to the digital immersion, which is contrary to existing research. Content allows users to escape from reality and forget about real world problems, and learning in combination with community factors found to have a strong and positive impact on digital immersion. Findings of this research have implications beyond its contextual focus, e-sports. Businesses can utilise learning, escape and community effects to improve online presence and stimulate much more meaningful engagement with a digital content.
For more information about this research, please contact Dr Elvira Bolat here.
Digital Me is an online collection of research publications/narratives within the domain of digital, written by BU academics and students. This research covers various disciplines, i.e. management and marketing, health and social science, computing and media, education and more; and spreads through various topics, i.e. digital consumption, digital business, education and digital and more. Find out more here.
Ever wondered what funding opportunities are available and how to find out more about the funding process?
TIGA, the network for developers and digital publishers, in partnership with Google has launched a new in-depth report that details and assesses the funding sources currently available in the UK for games companies.
The report is split into two parts, a survey of nearly 40 independent UK developers on their experiences with and use of third party sources of funding, and an in-depth source-by-source funding guide.
This guide is free to download and includes case studies and interviews on what funders look for.
It appears that blasting aliens to smithereens, rescuing the princess for the 256th time or pretending you’re Lara Croft may not be so bad after all. New research led by scientists at the University of Essex in cooperation with colleagues in Germany and the United States, looked at why people find video games fun.
The study investigated the idea that many people enjoy playing videogames because it gives them the chance to ‘try on’ characteristics which they would like to have as their ideal self. ‘A game can be more fun when you get the chance to act and be like your ideal self,’ explains Dr Andy Przybylski, who led the study. ‘The attraction to playing videogames and what makes them fun is that it gives people the chance to think about a role they would ideally like to take and then get a chance to play that role.’
The research found that giving players the chance to adopt a new identity during a game and acting through that new identity – be it a different gender, hero, villain – made them feel better about themselves and less negative. In fact, the enjoyment element of the videogames seemed to be greater when there was the least overlap between someone’s actual self and their ideal self. The study involved hundreds of casual game players in the laboratory and studied nearly a thousand dedicated gamers who played everything from ‘The Sims’ and ‘Call of Duty’ to ‘World of Warcraft’. Players were asked how they felt after playing in relation to the attributes or characteristics of the persona they would ideally like to be.