DOI: 10.3727/152599523x16907613842110 ISSN: 1525-9951

An Examination of the Virtual Event Experience of Cyclists Competing on Zwift

Adrian Devine, Frances Devine, Amy Burns
  • Marketing
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Business and International Management

The Virtual Sport Experience Design (VSX) framework, which was adapted from Funk’s (2017) Sport Experience Design (SX) framework, was used to examine the event experience of cyclists who competed on the Mixed Reality platform, Zwift. Using a mixed methods approach, the findings suggest that Zwift is a viable substitute for real-life cycling events in that it provided users with realistic and serious competition in a social environment. High levels of technological embodiment, the quality of the in-game graphics and the gamification elements added to the experience by creating a sense of presence and control. However, it was the social dimension and the ability to communicate and create a sense of ‘communitas’ with other riders that provided the most compelling argument that Mixed Reality can provide a digital alternative to real-life events.

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