Data, Diversity and Inclusion
The DDI esports project, based at the Digital Creativity Labs at the University of York, examines the interactions during an esports match of the game DOTA 2 held in Autumn 2017, where data was collected from a variety of the communication formats used during the three day event. The current direction of the DDI research project concentrates on an exploration of the role of the audience participants, the commentators and the Twitter backchannel during the presentation of this esports event. The project is currently exploring the many possibilities for a mixed methods approach to these data, and the methodological implications for the use of these tools and forms of analysis.
The directions and focus of the multitude of interactions between the actors during the event in question presents an interesting challenge for the social researcher, and one which lends itself to a deeper understanding of the activities that take place within online discussion channels that may be actions of exclusion, interjection or inclusion. These multiple, but restrained communications within themselves offer opportunities for understanding the process by which audience participants navigate their enjoyment and understanding of the esports event in real time. Here, these audience participants can also develop and enact their participation and sense of belonging, or exclusion, or enact the process of excluding others, within the complex interactions of viewing communities-as-collectives, as well as negotiate, identify and assert their individual voices within the community itself.
Overall, this project currently aims to better understand the nuanced forms of exclusion, inclusion and community formation, and how data sets such as these might be used to highlight issues surrounding widening participation and inequalities within the esports and gaming industries.