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 editors: Siutila, Miia; Karhulahti, Veli-Matti

Journal or series: Annals of Leisure Research

ISSN: 1174-5398

eISSN: 2159-6816

Publication year: 2023

Volume: 26

Issue number: 1

Pages range: 100-116

Publisher: Routledge

Place of Publication: Abingdon

Publication country: United Kingdom

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/11745398.2020.1865173

Publication open access: Openly available

Publication channel open access: Partially 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.

Keywords: taekwondo; electronic sports; digital games; martial arts; playing (games and sports); leisure; committing oneself

Free keywords: acquaintance; attachment; accommodation; serious leisure; casual leisure

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Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2023

Preliminary JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2023-02-05 at 13:13