A1 Journal article (refereed)
Continuous play : leisure engagement in competitive fighting games and taekwondo (2023)

Siutila, M., & Karhulahti, V.-M. (2023). Continuous play : leisure engagement in competitive fighting games and taekwondo. Annals of Leisure Research, 26(1), 100-116. https://doi.org/10.1080/11745398.2020.1865173

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editorsSiutila, Miia; Karhulahti, Veli-Matti

Journal or seriesAnnals of Leisure Research



Publication year2023


Issue number1

Pages range100-116


Place of PublicationAbingdon

Publication countryUnited Kingdom

Publication languageEnglish


Publication open accessOpenly available

Publication channel open accessPartially open access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX)https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/80526


In order to better understand the development of play and games in modern lives, this article examines two competitive leisure groups: digital fighting game players and traditional taekwondo practitioners. Drawing on qualitative offline/online interviews (n = 56) and close reading of externally documented life narratives (n = 14), we explore how the modes and motives of engagement fluctuate in competitive players over time. The study provides a new developmental approach to continuous competitive play as leisure. Our results show rather than making linear progress from ‘casual’ to ‘serious’ leisure, individuals in both groups perceive their lasting relationships with these activities gradually evolving through their lives in three stages: acquaintance, attachment, and accommodation, The players fluctuate between casual and serious engagement, occasionally reaching a state of subjectively meaningful and socially cemented life permanence. The study suggests that the patterns of long-term play and gaming may not differ much between digital and non-digital domains.

Keywordstaekwondoelectronic sportsdigital gamesmartial artsplaying (games and sports)leisurecommitting oneself

Free keywordsacquaintance; attachment; accommodation; serious leisure; casual leisure

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Related projects

Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2023

JUFO rating1

Last updated on 2024-14-06 at 23:47