Recent Comments

Monika Mehta

Dear Lisa:

Thanks for such a generative post! While reading it, many things came to mind. I was curious about how Netflix went about deciding which of their ‘original’ shows would travel globally, and get dubbed in multiple languages. For a country like India which has multiple languages, how does Netflix decide which ones to dub in (and the implications of those choices)? Are the voice actors recognized names? Given that Netflix would have to hire writers, voice actors, sound technicians, and editors, this would be a more labor-intensive operation, and more expensive than subtitling. I wonder how much the script changes to accommodate and gesture to local idioms and cultural knowledge. It would interesting to find out how state, non-government, and/or industry-led media regulation impacts Netflix’s subtitling or dubbing practices.

Monika

LOL Fantasy LCS!
Michael Blight

Hi Dana,

Great observations! There are plenty of articles written about women in esports and some of their struggles. Here are two that might pique your interest: - https://pcgamesn.com/counter-strike-global-offensive/how-the-deck-is-sta... - https://www.polygon.com/2018/1/18/16896858/overwatch-league-women-esports-sexism-geguri

You’re definitely on the right track. One of the biggest obstacles that face esports is the prominence of cultural stereotypes stacked against female gamers. The old adages of, “Girls don’t play video games!” is a reoccurring theme for most women who are interested in becoming pros. Combine that with the negativity surrounding being a female streaming and you’ve got an uphill battle for women in the space: - https://kotaku.com/the-stereotype-that-women-on-twitch-are-asking-for-it-1822454131

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Dana Gavin

Michael,

I really enjoyed the fact that you bring esports into the conversation; I want to think more about the intersection of technology, ludology, and physical, professional sports.

You don’t explicitly point toward heteronormativity, though I could see how, possibly, there could be some kind of heteronormative-esque bias regarding esports as not being “properly” masculine. Is that what you meant? I would really love for you to expand upon that. I’ve certainly witnessed discussions about how “sportsmen” are “men” who get on the field and physically interact with each other, and that any mediating technology removes the essential masculinity. I feel like your post presents a strong counter argument — am I on the right track?

Dana Gavin

Alex, this is a fantastic post; you bring up several issues I hadn’t considered, so thank you!

This is wild: “Rather, those attending the games are positioned as enhancing the televised product being watched at home as many associated with the league believe that a sold-out stadium greatly enhances the experience of watching it on television.” I’d never thought of myself as part of the product, AND YET. I’m supposed to perform “the fan” as part of the product … so help sell FOMO? But that flies in the face (maybe) of the idea that it’s more fun to be at home with multimedia, or at a pub with a bunch of TVs, than at the game. Which can be really true. Especially as attending NFL games is cost-prohibitive.

I’m also now thinking about how I feel stressed at stadiums — I want to look at the field, but I want to see all the close ups on the big multimedia screens, but when I look away from the field, I think, “Well shoot, I’m losing the ‘in person’ experience because I’m turning back to the tech.” I have a certain perception of what the “in person/ in stadium” experience is supposed to be, and I’m not sure that’s a very good bias of mine!

FanDuel Bingo
Michael Blight

I wonder if we can categorize or somehow separate the different types of viewership. I’d imagine there would be different tiers that roughly shake out to,

(1) individuals hyperfocused on simply winning; (2) people who want to win first, but are rooting for their favorite team’s success; (3) people who want “their team” to win first, but winning in fantasy is cool, too; (4) etc.

Your sentiment of, “elevating the level of involvement” is likely interdependent with the monetary payouts. The euphoric experience of winning a bit pot certainly tugs at positive affect. On the other hand, losing on a big buy-in… yikes! It might be interesting to examine both ends of the continuum - winning and losing.

LOL Fantasy LCS!
Michael Blight

Thanks for the encouraging comments! I had a blast writing this piece and creating the corresponding video.

You hit the nail on the head with your comments regarding revenue streams. There are a ton of implications for differentiating between sports betting and fantasy sports. The answer of, “Should we differentiate?” might not be as important as the reality of the government trying to impose restrictions on the growing industry.

As a general statement, esports have been trying to emulate the successes of traditional sports for quite some time. Examples include franchising within the different games/leagues, branding, corporate sponsorships, arenas to house events, etc. One unique component here is that the vast majority of esports viewership (with the exception of the ELEAGUE on TBS) is done online, which means that players are already watching on a device that has access to sports betting.

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Steven Secular

Excellent post! Really appreciate your framing of DFS within the NBA’s larger moves towards esports.

The blurring of lines – between fantasy sports, DFS, sports betting in general, and even sports in general – is an issue that I’ve tried to make sense myself. You address it nicely here by calling it out directly. It raises the question of which revenue streams we can even differentiate, or perhaps should differentiate, in order to draw meaningful conclusions.

I also had no idea that esports betting was a growing market – it only further demonstrates the convergent trends you’ve highlighted. Definitely curious to see how DFS and esports relate moving forward, as sports betting spreads more widely through the U.S.

FanDuel Bingo
Steven Secular

Thanks for the reply!

Yeah - New York has been one of the more aggressive states in figuring out how sports betting might work moving forward. Really eager to see how all of this turns out.

As far as the fan experience, speaking for myself, it has definitely been more positive than negative – the games seem to matter more and I follow all the news, injury updates, and statistical trends much more closely than I would have. Which I suppose is true of fantasy sports in general. But the daily competitions, as opposed to season-long leagues, as well as the higher financial stakes and tangible payouts really elevate the level of involvement. Plus, the fact of participating in these tournaments with thousands of other people, keeping track of the news alongside them, soliciting advice from them – the communal aspects of fantasy sports feel intensified.

FanDuel Bingo
Dana Gavin

This is really fascinating, and it’s making me think more critically about the efforts in New York, championed by State Senator John J. Bonacic, to legalize and regulate sports betting (http://www.recordonline.com/news/20180308/bonacic-introduces-bill-to-reg...).

Based on your research, do you feel this is positively or negatively impacting the fan experience? You write, ” the paradigm developed by DFS points towards a future of even deeper integration of television and betting” — do you think this benefits fans in the long run? Is it going to be harder for fans to play in fantasy leagues and avoid gambling?

My 2017 Fantasy League came in 3rd Place!
Dana Gavin

Hi Michael,

Thank you!

I appreciate the disclosure, and I look forward to reading your post with an eye towards how our two pieces might intersect.

Yes, the physical location is certainly a part of the experience for me. Not only would it be expensive for me to purchase NFL ticket, my home (tragically!) only has two TVs, so I would miss out on the other games playing concurrently on full screens! I also enjoy having the in-person camaraderie of the people at the pub who aren’t my direct fantasy competitors. In terms of how I am regarded as a “female player”: obviously, I don’t know how each person privately regards me. In terms of how I perceive the way I am perceived, I do not feel like my interactions with the men and women who gather to watch the NFL games treat me in any specifically gendered way. I can say that I am never quizzed by the men (or male-presenting people) in a way that makes me “prove” I’m not a “fangirl.” People know the teams I’m following, and often offer me good wishes if some team (coughSaintscough) is playing well or playing poorly. I have seen women and girls being given “fan purity” tests in all manner of fandoms, and yet, my interactions at the pub are mostly free of that. I have to note, though, that there is a pretty even balance of genders on any given Sunday, so I’m just one of the many.

I have to also note that I’ve been pretty successful in my leagues, so I don’t provoke a lot of inter-league hazing. I encountered some of the “stereotype” when I was playing in the in-person league, until I beat them all to claim the cash prize. I think, though, more and more — *especially* with anonymous online gaming — we’re getting away from having “one right (masculine) way” to draft a team and create line up strategies. There’s less off the “Oh, did you draft that guy because you think he’s cute?” and more “Ahhh, what do you know about that player that I don’t? Is this going to be his year?!”