The phenomenon of fantasy sports could be very surprising for non-consumers of such an activity, but have you ever been caught in the middle of a conversation like this?
- Which team do you want to win this game?
- “I don’t know, but the away goalkeeper should keep a clean sheet and the home striker should score at least once because I got them in my fantasy team”.
This reply seems to be accurate as the followers of fantasy sports often do not care about the final outcome of the game, their focus is solely on the individual performance of several players from one or both teams.
According to the Cambridge Dictionary definition, fantasy sports are “games in which you choose a team of real sports players from different teams and win points according to how well the players play each week. The main point about fantasy sport is that it is nothing to do with football, or baseball, or ice-hockey, at all.”
The one word that stands out from the above-mentioned definition is games. Jon Radoff in his book History of Social Games mentions that “the history of games dates to the ancient human past as games have always been an integral part of all cultures and are one of the oldest forms of human social interaction.”
The main question here is, is just watching the game enough for all stakeholders or are all the involved parties looking for something more? Is it still only a game or like the famous slogan from EA Sports says: “It’s in the game”?
We do believe that fantasy sports games are more than just a game because this type of entertainment could present an interesting tool for fan engagement. This article aims to introduce the fascinating world of fantasy sports games, demonstrate its importance as a fan engagement platform and share the results of a brief pilot research study of this phenomenon among approximately 200 fantasy sports games players around the world.