Health, Exercise, and Sports Sciences ETDs


Eui-Yul Choi

Publication Date



eSports, an abbreviation of electronic sports, is a virtual leisure activity (KeSPA, 2011). eSports has been developed through online networks and game software development (Jonasson & Thiborg, 2010), and has commanded national attention and popularity in South Korea. Within cyberspace linked over the Internet or Local Area Networks (LANs), many participants match electronic game skills against other participants with little spatiotemporal restraint. However, illegal downloading of game materials over the Internet has been prevalent and caused economic losses to game development companies (Korea Creative Content Agency, 2006b). The main purpose of this study was to propose a theoretical model describing determinants of game piracy among eSports game users in South Korea. The study specifically investigated the piracy behaviors of game users according to their demographic background, awareness of copyright laws, and intention to commit game piracy. Using the theory of reasoned action (TRA), the intention was also examined according to attitude towards game piracy and subjective norm. A convenience sample was made up of 354 eSports game users who attended an eSports arena to see the regular season games of a professional league. A binary logistic regression and multiple linear regression analysis were employed to answer the research questions of the study. The results showed that males were more likely to pirate game materials over the Internet than were females. The more intention individuals had, the more they were likely to commit game piracy. Attitude towards game piracy and subjective norm played significant roles in the behavioral intention. Most importantly, the behavioral intention was shaped more by their attitudes towards game piracy than by subjective norms. This study may initially offer people in eSports and game industries, related research communities, and Korean game content agencies an understanding of how and why eSports consumers pirate game materials. By doing so, the findings of the study may inspire further investigation of game-related piracy and policies aimed at reducing the piracy of game content.'


Copyright, eSports, Game Piracy, South Korea, Theory of Reasoned Action

Document Type




Degree Name

Physical Education, Sports and Exercise Science

Level of Degree


Department Name

Health, Exercise, and Sports Sciences

First Committee Member (Chair)

Seidler, Todd

Second Committee Member

Scott, David

Third Committee Member

Kim, Yongseek