The Effect of Visual Appeal, Social Interaction, Enjoyment, and Competition on Mobile Esports Acceptance by Urban Citizens

Nufri Wilis, Lindung Parningotan Manik
Interdisciplinary Journal of Information, Knowledge, and Management  •  Volume 17  •  2022  •  pp. 601-624

This study investigated a model of mobile esports acceptance among urban citizens based on an extended Technology Acceptance Model (TAM).

Currently, esports are increasingly popular and in demand by the public. Supported by the widespread development of mobile devices, it has become an interactive market trend to play games in a new model, mobile esports.

This study collected data from 400 respondents and analyzed it using partial least squares-structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM).

This study addresses two research gaps. The first gap is limited esports information systems studies, particularly in mobile esports acceptance studies. The second gap is limited exploration of external variables in online gaming acceptance studies. Thus, this study proposed a TAM extended model by integrating the TAM native variables with other external variables such as visual appeal, enjoyment, social interaction, and competition to explore mobile esports acceptance by urban citizens.

Nine hypotheses were accepted, and four were rejected. The visual appeal did not affect the acceptance. Meanwhile, social interaction and enjoyment significantly affected both perceived ease of use and usefulness. However, perceived ease of use surprisingly had an insignificant effect on attitude toward using mobile esports. Moreover, competition significantly affected the acceptance, particularly on perceived usefulness.

Fresh and innovative features, such as new game items or themes, should be frequently introduced to enhance players’ continued enjoyment. Moreover, mobile esports providers should offer a solid platform to excite players’ interactions to increase the likelihood that users feel content. On the other hand, the national sports ministry/agency or responsible authorities should organize many esports competitions, big or small, to search for new talents.

Visual appeal in this study did not influence the perceived ease of use or usefulness. However, it could affect enjoyment. Thus, it would be worth revisiting the relationship between visual appeal and enjoyment. At the same time, perceived ease of use is a strong driver for the continued use of most online games, but not in this study. It could indicate significant differences between mobile esports and typical online games, one of which is the different purposes. Users might play online games for recreational intention, but players would use mobile esports to compete, win, or even get monetary rewards. Therefore, although users might find mobile esports challenging and hard to use, they tend to keep playing it. Thus, monetary rewards could be considered a determinant of the continuation of use.

Nowadays, users are being paid for playing games. It also would be an excel-lent job if they become professional esports athletes. This study investigated factors that could affect the continued use of mobile esports. Like other jobs, playing games professionally in the long term could make the players tedious and tired. Therefore, responsible parties, like mobile esports providers or governments, could use the recommendations of this study to promote positive behavior among the players. They will not feel like working and still con-sider playing mobile esports a hobby if they happily do the job. In the long run, the players could also make a nation’s society proud if they can be a champion in prestigious competitions.

A larger sample size will be needed to generalize the results, such as for a nation. It is also preferable if the sample is randomized systematically. Future works should also investigate whether the same results are acquired in other mobile esports. Furthermore, to extend our knowledge and deepen our understanding of the variables that influence mobile esports adoption, the subsequent research could look at other mobile esports acceptability based on characteristics of system functionality and moderator effects. Finally, longitudinal data-collecting approaches are suggested for future studies since behavior can change over time.

esports, technology acceptance model, mobile
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