This research project examines the phenomenon of esports with the aim of uncovering which forms of embodiment are involved for the esports-practitioner, and how the esports-practitioner becomes embedded within the his or her correlated virtual world. Here, the concept of ‘esports’ designates practitioners competing within the framework of various video games. The project takes as its premise the phenomenological insight of embodiment as an essential part of the structuring and meaning-attributing in human perception, a notion of embodiment that continuously has proven itself central in the world of sports and sports research.
The multitude of video games in the world of esports involve unique manipulation of hardware, mental agility, complex strategy, as well as distinct forms of social interaction. By generating and analyzing data acquired in interviews with formidable, veteran intermediaries of esports as well as a selection of some of the world’s top practitioners of esports, this project pursues this goal by uncovering the forms of embodiment involved in esports and how the esports practitioner becomes embedded in his or her virtual worlds. By refining our understanding of embodiment in virtual worlds, the project will furthermore expand and refine our understanding of the general role of embodiment.