A Beautiful Game: Interpreting Football Videogame Experiences

Lankyung Kim, Tien Chin Tan*, Alan Bairner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The purpose of this study is to explore football videogame playing experiences using a videogame esthetic that draws upon the MDA (mechanics–dynamics–esthetics) framework. In accordance with MDA, videogame esthetics comprises eight aspects—sensation, fantasy, narrative, challenge, fellowship, discovery, expression, and submission—derived from game-playing experiences. As a means of collecting and interpreting data, semi-structured interviews and qualitative thematic analysis were used. The study involved 30 interviewees who are both football players and football video game players. In view of the findings of the study, the concept of football videogame as sensual pleasure encompasses a number of attributes—game as make-believe, game as drama, game as a social framework, and game as self-discovery—because these attributes are valued in their relation to pleasure. Moreover, football videogames function as an uncharted medium in the field of football simulation due to their transcendence of time and space. For the esthetics of football videogames, the study proposes two major implications. It is essential to note that the esthetics of football videogames emphasize discovery and sensation, and playing football videogames is another way to consume football.

Original languageEnglish
JournalLeisure Sciences
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2023


  • MDA framework
  • association football
  • football videogame
  • videogame esthetics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


Dive into the research topics of 'A Beautiful Game: Interpreting Football Videogame Experiences'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this