Check out these interesting papers.

Boosting: Rank and skill deception in esports

An extremely interesting paper that brings forth and analyses a lesser known issue in competitive video games, boosting. 

Boosting, as the authors put it, “ is a form of cheating whereby high-skilled players access lower-skilled players’ accounts for the purpose of increasing the rank of the account for monetary gain.”  Boosting exists in almost every game that has a competitive ladder/ranking system (for instance League of Legends, Dota 2, Overwatch etc). As the authors put it, the reasons behind boosting can be many, for instance it can be something as simple as wanting cosmetics or skins that are only accessible if one reaches a higher rank. 

More sophisticated reasons can be the increased perceived status of a player that has reached a higher rank in their respective communities. Overall, this will be a landmark paper of an almost unknown industry that symbiotically or parasitically, depending on one’s own point of view, exists along with the video game industry. The authors estimate that the boosting industry’s revenue for three highly popular video games is approximately €111,566,660 (LoL, €86,446,224; Overwatch, €8,707,529; Dota 2, €16,412,907).

Conroy, E., Kowal, M., Toth, A. J., & Campbell, M. J. (2020). Boosting: Rank and skill deception in esports. Entertainment Computing, 100393.

Researchers’ commercial video game knowledge associated with differences in beliefs about the impact of gaming on human behaviour

This paper addresses how our knowledge and our in-game biases may influence academic papers. It is possible that even though we are experts in one field e.g. neuroscience, we are novices in the field of video games. 

The authors asked a number of experts (Full professors, Associate professors etc) about their videogame expertise. The experts were from the following fields: Education, Game Design, Media Psychology, Game Studies, Cognition, Aggression, Addiction, Communication, Well-being and Social Psychology. The authors created a video game expertise questionnaire in order to assess researcher’s domain knowledge. The video game questionnaire included questions that touched the topics of: video game characters, video game hardware, video game genres and finally video game popularity (sales). 

Researchers found that age was correlated modestly with video game knowledge and that videogame knowledge correlated weakly with certain opinions regarding video game violence and addiction. The researchers conclude that: “Becoming aware of how one’s gaming expertise might influence their research is imperative. To do so, we encourage researchers to engage in interdisciplinary discussions with communities falling outside of one’s primary domain of expertise. For example, an addiction researcher could collaborate with gaming researchers and gaming communities to more broadly consider video game effects. This targeted outreach could alleviate the risk of confirmation bias…”

Klecka, H., Johnston, I., Bowman, N. D., & Green, C. S. (2021). Researchers’ commercial video game knowledge associated with differences in beliefs about the impact of gaming on human behavior. Entertainment Computing, 38, 100406.

The one billion dollar myth: Methods for sizing the massively undervalued esports revenue landscape

The authors of this interesting paper contend the revenue size of the 2019 esports industry is massively undervalued at $1.1bn. USD. The paper revalues the industry at $25bn. USD and provides an analysis of the six major esports sectors; 1) teams, professional players, and streamers, 2) game publishers, 3) streaming platforms, 4) physical products, 5) leagues and tournaments, and 6) digital tools of the esports industry.

Ahn, J., Collis, W., & Jenny, S. (2020). The one billion dollar myth: Methods for sizing the massively undervalued esports revenue landscape. International Journal of Esports, 1(1). Retrieved from https://www.ijesports.org/article/15/html

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