Identity transformation, stigma power, and mental wellbeing of Chinese eSports professional players
journal contributionposted on 05.05.2021, 13:15 by Yupei Zhao, Yimei Zhu
In China, the expanding eSportsculture has produced a vast cohort of video game players whose peak age ranges between 16 and 22 years. This study explores the dynamic identity transformation and mental wellbeing development processes of eSports professionals in a risk-prone society. It is comprised in-depth interviews with players, coaches, managers, and commentators working in fifteen top eSports clubs in the Chinese cities of Shanghai, Guangzhou, Suzhou, and Chengdu. We find eSports is perceived as non-secure, casual, and irregular by the Chinese public and that the mental changes experienced by eSports professionals throughout their careers have been significantly affected by a more sophisticated state power and social norms, including cultural cognitive beliefs, economic stimulation, and authority attributions.