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[edit] Electronic Sports (eSports)

Electronic sports (also known as eSports or competitive gaming) is a term for organized multiplayer video game competitions[1]. They are very similar to sports in that they are commonly played before a live audience and have rewards for winners. Although eSports have long been a part of video game culture, competitions have seen a large surge in popularity from the late 2000's and early 2010's.[2] It is estimated that 71,500,000 people watched competitive gaming in 2013[3]. eSports gaining momentum, especially because of popular live streaming services like, has resulted in bigger competitions with larger prize pools. League of Legends 2014 World Championship boasted $2 million in the prize pool. [4] Remediation is “ is the re-presentation of material in one medium through another.” [5] eSports has both absorbed traditional sports procedures such as using large stadiums and dressing up to support teams, while also being absorbed into traditional sports by having professional gamers being recognized as athletes [6] and eSports being present at sports conventions.

[edit] Gaming Sponsorships

Gaming sponsorships expand from small advertisements in professional gamers’ Twitch livestreams to large, corporate backing with brand attire. Intel has a long standing history as a sponsor in eSports, supporting numerous events and tournament series, it has become one of the most acknowledged brands in the world of competitive gaming.[7] With the Intel Extreme Masters (IEM), the company is funding the major league of ESL, the world’s oldest eSports league. Coca Cola cooperated with Riot Games to anchor Coke Zero as they started the League of Legends Challenger Series in 2013. Companies have developed specifically to help connect advertisers with professional gamers similarly to how recruiters will match athletes with the NFL or NHL. This remediation can be found in SponsorOP, the eSports Sponsorship Agency that has clients such as Team Vulcun and Velocity eSports.[8] Big companies are paying more attention to eSports; for example, League of Legends Team Curse partnered with Nissan North America. Certain companies have become so involved that they have launched their own eSports events. Red Bull has not only hosted their own events, but have sponsored professional gamers and treated them like real athletes, complete with “health and nutrition tips to enable peak performance when training and playing in virtual competitions.” [9] In addition, Red Bull has an entire subdomain on its main website dedicated to eSports, featuring news and articles like you would find on, divided up by game. [10]


As is the nature of corporate sponsorships, eSports have remediated the idea of players representing brands and wearing coordinated team outfits. Like sports, live eSports competitions commonly feature commercial breaks, and eSports has been used to launch or promote products and content such as theatrical releases like 3 Days to Kill, Brick Mansions, and Game of Thrones.[11]

[edit] Gaming Conventions and Conferences

With the rise of eSports, there are now dedicated conferences and competitions for eSports and specific eSports games. One is the LEc2 Convention, held June 12-13 2015 in Virginia, USA, was created as the only League of Legends convention on the east coast to accommodate those who could not travel to World competitions. [12] At the 9th Annual MIT SLOAN Sports Analytics Conference, there was a special panel titled “eSports: The Future of Competition.”[13] eSports has become integrated in both the sports industry and remediated its conference structure—both feature autograph signing, panels and talks, and merchandise. Another conference acts as a combination of the two ideas of eSports serving itself and eSports being looked at as alternative sports—Competitive Gaming Conference Europe, held in Commerzbank-Arena Frankfurt, Germany on June 6, 2015. It describes its purpose as a settlement about the “diplomatic status of gamers equal to athletes.” [14] Speakers include CEOs of gaming companies, international sales and marketing experts, researchers and advocates, and Michael Schulz of Football Players Agent, a TV expert, retired German soccer player, and independent journalist.[15] Over the past 10 years, eSports has evolved to a lucrative spectator sport capable of packing arenas like Los Angeles’ Staples Center and Seoul’s World Cup Stadium to capacity for championship bouts of League of Legends.[16] Typically reserved for sports, eSports have remediated traditional centers and stadiums for electronic gaming.

[edit] Sports Video Game Correlation with Sports

A study of sports video games consumption motives suggested that competition, peer pressure, and skill building for actual playing of sport had statistically significant impacts on the amount of time spent on game playing.[17] The findings indicate that competition is one of the three impact factors for sports video game playing—it is important for gamers to be better than others, to win over others, and to be faster and more skilled in their game experience. In addition, the studies show an overlap between sports gaming consumption and the chosen involvements in five of seven traditional sports behaviors and that sports video games may be an alternative but similar form of traditional sports consumption behavior. Overlaps illustrate that televised sports viewing and Internet usage specific to sport are more related to sports gaming.

A sold-out League of Legends tournament.
A sold-out League of Legends tournament.

[edit] Scholarship on Games & Learning

Image of panelists in "Modalities of Construction, Collaboration, and Conversation in Game-Based Pedagogies" at the 2015 Computers & Writing Conference. Saturday May 31, 2015, 8:30-9:45am, Menomonie WI. Robert Gilmore, Richard Colby, and Rebeckah Shultz
Image of panelists in "Modalities of Construction, Collaboration, and Conversation in Game-Based Pedagogies" at the 2015 Computers & Writing Conference. Saturday May 31, 2015, 8:30-9:45am, Menomonie WI. Robert Gilmore, Richard Colby, and Rebeckah Shultz

A growing number of rhetoric and composition scholars are interested in and/or double as gaming scholars; many of whom focus on gameful learning.

  • Alexander, Jonathan. (2009). Gaming, student literacies, and the composition classroom: Some possibilities for transformation. College Composition and Communication, 61(1), 35-63. (*Note: an interesting dialogue followed this article in a later issue of the journal (61.4) between Alexander and Rebekah Shultz Colby, Richard Colby, and Matthew S. S. Johnson.
  • Colby, Rebekah Shultz, & Colby, Richard. (2008). A pedagogy of play: Integrating computer games into the writing classroom. Computers and Composition, 25(3), 300-312.
  • Colby, Richard, Johnson, Matthew S. S., & Colby, Rebekah Shultz. (2013). Rhetoric/composition/play through video games: Reshaping theory and practice of writing. New York: Palgrave.
  • deWinter, Jennifer, & Vie, Stephanie. (2008). Press enter to "say": Using Second Life to teach critical media literacy. Computers and Composition, 25(3), 313–322.
  • deWinter, Jennifer, Griffin, Daniel, McAllister, Ken S., Moeller, Ryan M., & Ruggill, Judd Ethan. (2010). Computer games across the curriculum: A critical review of an emerging technopedagogy. Currents in Electronic Literacy, 11.
  • Kafai, Yasmin B., & Fields, Deborah A. (2013). Connected play: Tweens in a virtual world. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  • Lamberti, Adrienne P., & Richards, Anne R. (2012). Gaming/writing and evolving forms of rhetorical awareness. Pedagogy, 12(3), 481-495.
  • Moberly, Kevin. (2008). Composition, computer games, and the absence of writing. Computers and Composition, 25(3), 284–299.
  • Stedman, Kyle, & Vie, Stephanie. A new hope for games in the classroom [podcast interviews with Jason Custer, Matt Beale, Phill Alexander, Kevin Moberly, and Samantha Blackmon]. Plugs, Play, Pedagogy.
  • Stedman, Kyle, & Vie, Stephanie. Grumble, grumble: The pitfalls of gaming pedagogy [podcast interviews with Rebekah Shultz Colby, Richard Colby, and Jennifer deWinter]. Plugs, Play, Pedagogy.
  • Steinkuehler, Constance, Squire, Kurt, & Barab, Sasha. (2012). Games, learning, and society: Learning and meaning in the digital age. New York, NY: Cambridge UP.
  • Thompson, Jason C., & Ouellette, Marc (Eds.). (2013). The game culture reader. Newcastle, England: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
  • Vie, Stephanie. (2008). Tech writing, meet Tomb Raider: Video and computer games in the technical communication classroom. e-Learning and Digital Media, 5(2).
  • Vie, Stephanie. (2014). “You are how you play”: Privacy policies and data mining in social networking games. In Jennifer deWinter & Ryan Moeller (Eds.), Computer games and technical communication (pp. 171-187). Burlington, VT: Ashgate.
  • Special issue of Syllabus, 4(1) 2015: Teaching with and about games

[edit] Design, Build, and Assessment Resources

  • Barton, Matt, & Moberly, Kevin. (2010). Quests and achievements in the classroom. In Pavel Zemliansky & Diane Wilcox (Eds.), Design and implementation of educational games: Theoretical and practical perspectives (pp. 206–225). Hershey, PA: IGI Global.
  • Colby, Richard. (2014). Writing and assessing procedural rhetoric in student-produced video games. Computers and Composition 31, 43-52.
  • Kapp, Karl M. (2012). The gamification of learning and instruction: Game-based methods and strategies for training and education. San Francisco, CA: Pfeiffer/Wiley.
  • Ruggill, Judd Ethan, & McAllister, Ken S. (2013). Against the use of computer games in the classroom: The wickedness of ludic pedagogies. In Jason Thompson & Marc Ouellette (Eds.), The game culture reader (pp. 86–102). Newcastle, England: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
  • Sabatino, Lindsey. (2014). Improving writing literacies through digital gaming literacies: Facebook gaming in the composition classroom. Computers and Composition, 32, 41-53.
  • Sheldon, Lee. (2012). The multiplayer classroom: Designing coursework as a game. Boston, MA: Cengage.
  • Squire, Kurt. (2011). Video games and learning: Teaching and participatory culture in the digital age. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.

[edit] References

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