ERN Conference 2022 “Sustainable Esports  in the Digital Society”

International In-Person Conference presented by the Media, Management & Transformation Centre at Jönköping International Business School in Sweden

ERN Conference 2022 “Sustainable Esports  in the Digital Society”

International In-Person Conference presented by the Media, Management & Transformation Centre at Jönköping International Business School in Sweden

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Important Dates

Held  21-23 November 2022 in Jönköping, Sweden followed by DreamHack Winter (24-27 Nov). Abstract Submissions Deadline: July 15th 2022 

This year’s conference will be a live in-person event in one of esports most iconic locations, Jönköping the ‘City of DreamHack’. Key events and talks will be lived streamed through Twitch while researchers can present and engage with fellow researchers at Jönköping University.

All attendees can stay after the conference to experience DreamHack Winter, the world’s biggest digital festival, where thousands of gamers and esports enthusiasts gather as a passionate community to create the true magic of esports.

There are more plans in the works and we will announce keynotes, sessions and extra events as they are confirmed so watch this space. So mark your diaries and start planning your submissions and we look forward to meeting you all in person after a long time stuck behind our screens.  

 

Important Dates

Held  21-23 November 2022 in Jönköping, Sweden followed by DreamHack Winter (24-27 Nov). Abstract Submissions Deadline: July 15th 2022 

This year’s conference will be a live in-person event in one of esports most iconic locations, Jönköping the ‘City of DreamHack’. Key events and talks will be lived streamed through Twitch while researchers can present and engage with fellow researchers at Jönköping University.

All attendees can stay after the conference to experience DreamHack Winter, the world’s biggest digital festival, where thousands of gamers and esports enthusiasts gather as a passionate community to create the true magic of esports.

There are more plans in the works and we will announce keynotes, sessions and extra events as they are confirmed so watch this space. So mark your diaries and start planning your submissions and we look forward to meeting you all in person after a long time stuck behind our screens.  

 

Main Topic

Sustainable Esports  in the Digital Society

 

With sustainability being a paramount topic in today’s consumption-minded society, this conference will focus on esports sustainability, or the ability of esports to keep developing and maintain the opportunities it presents for a better society. Creating a sustainable esports ecosystem goes beyond the economic perspective but requires the inclusion of social and environmental aspects (Nyström et al. 2022). ERNC22 will be held in Jönköping, the ‘City of DreamHack’ one of the most influential cities in esports history and for grassroot esports (McCauley et al. 2020).

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Esports is constantly evolving and changing. The impact of esports is far broader than just the categorization of it as competitive video games. Esports is truly digital and acts as a “total social fact” (Brock, 2017): it’s a cross-sectional phenomenon linking gaming, entertainment and media, culture and art, education, business and talent, diversity and inclusion, and sports. While esports has entered a phase of popularization and professionalization since the beginning of 2010 (Taylor, 2012), the question of its sustainability is becoming a major challenge (Scholz, 2020). Thereby, the esports ecosystem highlights the issues of sustainability for the digital society.

On the outset, it appears that esports’ growth will continue for a long time due to developments such as mobile esports. However, a closer look into distinct ecosystems shows that esports is not always sustainable. Especially from a business and social perspective, examples like Overwatch are alarming (Ruotsalainen et al., 2022). While the esports industry is more than just the top professional teams, if many of these organizations are unable to create a sustainable business model, research must dig deeper to uncover why. There is a connection between professional and grassroots esports, however, it could be fostered even further and utilize the existing value co-creation (Kunz et al., 2021). In recent years, sustainability in esports research has mostly centered around economic aspects, while social issues are currently rising to the forefront. Still, topics on environmental and social sustainability are often neglected.

Although this is similar in most digital ecosystems or platform economies, esports may highlight these issues even further (Partin, 2020). The games themselves are not the sole centerpiece in esports, rather the competitors playing esports. Thus, esports organizations should be people-driven. Furthermore, esports, like any digital environment, have the issue that their environmental impact is mostly invisible, but their footprint is quite extensive. Esports can only achieve a sustainable business model if they take care of their players through a holistic, nurturing supportive environment as well as tackle their environmental impact. Consequently, using esports as a testing field for sustainable ideas could be beneficial for digital society as esports has become more similar to the working world since Covid-19 and its enforced digitalization.

Main Topic

Sustainable Esports  in the Digital Society

 

With sustainability being a paramount topic in today’s consumption-minded society, this conference will focus on esports sustainability, or the ability of esports to keep developing and maintain the opportunities it presents for a better society. Creating a sustainable esports ecosystem goes beyond the economic perspective but requires the inclusion of social and environmental aspects (Nyström et al. 2022). ERNC22 will be held in Jönköping, the ‘City of DreamHack’ one of the most influential cities in esports history and for grassroot esports (McCauley et al. 2020).

Your Title Goes Here

Your content goes here. Edit or remove this text inline or in the module Content settings. You can also style every aspect of this content in the module Design settings and even apply custom CSS to this text in the module Advanced settings.

Expand to read more

Esports is constantly evolving and changing. The impact of esports is far broader than just the categorization of it as competitive video games. Esports is truly digital and acts as a “total social fact” (Brock, 2017): it’s a cross-sectional phenomenon linking gaming, entertainment and media, culture and art, education, business and talent, diversity and inclusion, and sports. While esports has entered a phase of popularization and professionalization since the beginning of 2010 (Taylor, 2012), the question of its sustainability is becoming a major challenge (Scholz, 2020). Thereby, the esports ecosystem highlights the issues of sustainability for the digital society.

On the outset, it appears that esports’ growth will continue for a long time due to developments such as mobile esports. However, a closer look into distinct ecosystems shows that esports is not always sustainable. Especially from a business and social perspective, examples like Overwatch are alarming (Ruotsalainen et al., 2022). While the esports industry is more than just the top professional teams, if many of these organizations are unable to create a sustainable business model, research must dig deeper to uncover why. There is a connection between professional and grassroots esports, however, it could be fostered even further and utilize the existing value co-creation (Kunz et al., 2021). In recent years, sustainability in esports research has mostly centered around economic aspects, while social issues are currently rising to the forefront. Still, topics on environmental and social sustainability are often neglected.

Although this is similar in most digital ecosystems or platform economies, esports may highlight these issues even further (Partin, 2020). The games themselves are not the sole centerpiece in esports, rather the competitors playing esports. Thus, esports organizations should be people-driven. Furthermore, esports, like any digital environment, have the issue that their environmental impact is mostly invisible, but their footprint is quite extensive. Esports can only achieve a sustainable business model if they take care of their players through a holistic, nurturing supportive environment as well as tackle their environmental impact. Consequently, using esports as a testing field for sustainable ideas could be beneficial for digital society as esports has become more similar to the working world since Covid-19 and its enforced digitalization.

Topics

This year’s Esports Research Network (ERN) Conference will focus on the topics of sustainability and the main tracks will be separated into economic sustainability, social sustainability, and environmental sustainability.

This allows all 3 to be closed upon loading the page.

Your content goes here. Edit or remove this text inline or in the module Content settings. You can also style every aspect of this content in the module Design settings and even apply custom CSS to this text in the module Advanced settings.

1. Economic sustainability

Economic sustainability is the effective use of resources concerning economic growth. Esports is driven by growth and this growth is characterized by emerging markets based on demographics, geographical, and cultural trends. This problem is not exclusive to esports, but also relatively typical for emerging businesses throughout the digital world.

Esports exists beyond just business, encompassing areas of sport, culture, media, education, and society. As such, there is a need to create an ecosystem that fosters sustainable growth from an economic perspective to ensure that broader social impacts can be maintained and managed strategically. How can esports become financially viable and still stay true to the grassroots origins?

Potential areas of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Sustainable business models
  • Long-term strategic management
  • Creating an authentic organizational culture
  • Fostering innovation to adapt to the fast-pace environment
  • Expanding to emerging economies with a sustainable growth model
  • Making marketing sustainable in a fast-paces sponsoring environment
  • Connecting with grassroots esports and traditional sports clubs
  • Sharing business models in a platform-dominated ecosystem
  • Balancing standardization (industry norms) and flexibility of esports
  • Career development and entrepreneurial opportunities for esports players
  • Duality of governance in creating long-term structures and staying flexible
  • Dealing with IP and ownership in esports in a sustainable way

2. Social Sustainability

Social sustainability centers on equity, physical well-being, basic needs of individuals, quality of life, employment and working conditions. The social sustainability of esports has also emerged in recent years with increasing attention given to a range of important topics such as: health and well-being in esports, diversity and inclusion in esports, policy-making, governance and regulation, grassroots communities and education. These aspects of social sustainability are still emergent themes and require more practical applications and guidelines to further sustainability and inclusion in esports and the digital society.

The development of this digitized culture requires further research and dialogue between the academic entities and stakeholders of esports. The social values and culture inherent in esports have implications and applications for the wider world. Like the values provided to society by established sports, it is crucial to teach and educate social values in esports in an efficient way. For example, topics in this category might help answer: How can we create ‘GG for all’ in esports? How can we leverage esports to enhance modern society? How can we advocate for long-term athlete development in esports?

Potential areas of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Labour and employment conditions
  • Health, illness, and injury
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Mental health and burnout
  • Prejudice, stigmas and inequalities (racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism etc.)
  • Discourse on ethics in esports
  • Utilizing esports for training and education
  • Performance optimization

3. Environmental sustainability

Environmental sustainability is about conserving and protecting the global ecosystem by transforming towards regenerative technologies and towards a circular economy. Given the global climate crisis, environmental sustainability is massively neglected in esports with few organizations addressing it. This dimension of sustainability will certainly become a prominent aspect of esports in the future as the understanding of the environmental effects of gaming and esports industries expand.

The young audience of esports is the demographic most impacted by climate changes and often highly conscious of the issue. As a result, it is imperative that research targeting impactful environmental-related actions is supported at this juncture. We welcome submissions that investigate the negative impact of gaming and esports on our world as well as research how we can use these mediums to affect change in perceptions, actions and impact on this vital topic.

Potential areas of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Identifying the environmental footprint
  • Creating visibility on ecological impact of esports
  • Educating the esports audience
  • Creating transparent standards on esports environmental impact
  • Fostering proactivity for environmental sustainability
  • Ecological impact of esports arenas or events
  • Implementing environmental impact in the esports ecosystem
  • Ways to reduce energy, avoid waste and recycling in esports
  • Transforming the esports ecosystem towards a circular economy

Topics

This year’s Esports Research Network (ERN) Conference will focus on the topics of sustainability and the main tracks will be separated into economic sustainability, social sustainability, and environmental sustainability.

This allows all 3 to be closed upon loading the page.

Your content goes here. Edit or remove this text inline or in the module Content settings. You can also style every aspect of this content in the module Design settings and even apply custom CSS to this text in the module Advanced settings.

1. Economic sustainability

Economic sustainability is the effective use of resources concerning economic growth. Esports is driven by growth and this growth is characterized by emerging markets based on demographics, geographical, and cultural trends. This problem is not exclusive to esports, but also relatively typical for emerging businesses throughout the digital world.

Esports exists beyond just business, encompassing areas of sport, culture, media, education, and society. As such, there is a need to create an ecosystem that fosters sustainable growth from an economic perspective to ensure that broader social impacts can be maintained and managed strategically. How can esports become financially viable and still stay true to the grassroots origins?

Potential areas of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Sustainable business models
  • Long-term strategic management
  • Creating an authentic organizational culture
  • Fostering innovation to adapt to the fast-pace environment
  • Expanding to emerging economies with a sustainable growth model
  • Making marketing sustainable in a fast-paces sponsoring environment
  • Connecting with grassroots esports and traditional sports clubs
  • Sharing business models in a platform-dominated ecosystem
  • Balancing standardization (industry norms) and flexibility of esports
  • Career development and entrepreneurial opportunities for esports players
  • Duality of governance in creating long-term structures and staying flexible
  • Dealing with IP and ownership in esports in a sustainable way

2. Social Sustainability

Social sustainability centers on equity, physical well-being, basic needs of individuals, quality of life, employment and working conditions. The social sustainability of esports has also emerged in recent years with increasing attention given to a range of important topics such as: health and well-being in esports, diversity and inclusion in esports, policy-making, governance and regulation, grassroots communities and education. These aspects of social sustainability are still emergent themes and require more practical applications and guidelines to further sustainability and inclusion in esports and the digital society.

The development of this digitized culture requires further research and dialogue between the academic entities and stakeholders of esports. The social values and culture inherent in esports have implications and applications for the wider world. Like the values provided to society by established sports, it is crucial to teach and educate social values in esports in an efficient way. For example, topics in this category might help answer: How can we create ‘GG for all’ in esports? How can we leverage esports to enhance modern society? How can we advocate for long-term athlete development in esports?

Potential areas of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Labour and employment conditions
  • Health, illness, and injury
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Mental health and burnout
  • Prejudice, stigmas and inequalities (racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism etc.)
  • Discourse on ethics in esports
  • Utilizing esports for training and education
  • Performance optimization

3. Environmental sustainability

Environmental sustainability is about conserving and protecting the global ecosystem by transforming towards regenerative technologies and towards a circular economy. Given the global climate crisis, environmental sustainability is massively neglected in esports with few organizations addressing it. This dimension of sustainability will certainly become a prominent aspect of esports in the future as the understanding of the environmental effects of gaming and esports industries expand.

The young audience of esports is the demographic most impacted by climate changes and often highly conscious of the issue. As a result, it is imperative that research targeting impactful environmental-related actions is supported at this juncture. We welcome submissions that investigate the negative impact of gaming and esports on our world as well as research how we can use these mediums to affect change in perceptions, actions and impact on this vital topic.

Potential areas of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Identifying the environmental footprint
  • Creating visibility on ecological impact of esports
  • Educating the esports audience
  • Creating transparent standards on esports environmental impact
  • Fostering proactivity for environmental sustainability
  • Ecological impact of esports arenas or events
  • Implementing environmental impact in the esports ecosystem
  • Ways to reduce energy, avoid waste and recycling in esports
  • Transforming the esports ecosystem towards a circular economy

Submission Guidelines

The submission deadline is 15. July 2022 with decisions anticipated by the start of September. Abstracts submitted after the deadline will not be considered. Abstract submissions should be made through the EasyChair system which will integrated at a future date.

Abstracts can be no greater than 750 words. An additional 250 words are allowed for relevant references. For citation, please use the APA guidelines.

All submissions will undergo a double-blinded peer-review process. Therefore, the authors should remove any information that could give an indication of authorship within the submitted abstract.

Full details and links will be forthcoming.

Submission Guidelines

The submission deadline is 15. July 2022 with decisions anticipated by the start of September. Abstracts submitted after the deadline will not be considered. Abstract submissions should be made through the EasyChair system which will integrated at a future date.

Abstracts can be no greater than 750 words. An additional 250 words are allowed for relevant references. For citation, please use the APA guidelines.

All submissions will undergo a double-blinded peer-review process. Therefore, the authors should remove any information that could give an indication of authorship within the submitted abstract.

Full details and links will be forthcoming.