This article provides an overview of the origins and early development of sports video games. The first generation of sports video games were developed by scientists in laboratories for academic purposes. Together with the rise of microcomputers and the widespread adoption of television (TV) sets, commercial video games began to emerge in the early 1970s. Like their laboratory predecessors, most of the first-generation commercial games were sports-themed and primarily designed as a platform for competition between players. In the second half of the 1970s, ball-and-paddle-based games began to be replaced by more sophisticated games adopting the rules and actions of real-life sports. By the late 1970s and early 1980s, intense competition between video game companies gave birth to many innovative titles, with various sports disciplines adapted into games. Most of the sports games created in this period were based on competitive sports including American football, basketball, baseball, soccer, and tennis, as well as recreational sports like bowling, pool, and darts, many of them long popular in Western Europe and North America, some with a huge fan base in Japan. They were clearly produced to cater to the needs of gamers and sports fans in the world’s three major TV, personal computer, video game, and sports markets at the time.
Yeomi Choi, Akilah Carter-Francique, DeAnne Davis Brooks, Judy Liao, and Katherine M. Jamieson
Raja Malikah Rahim and Rita Liberti
Tina Sloan Green, Nikki Franke, Alpha Alexander, and Linda Greene represent an integral part of a culture of Black women in sports who created a place and space for themselves and others in opposition to the long history of racism and sexism that suffused sports in the United States and global world. As founders of the Black Women in Sport Foundation (BWSF), their activism and organizing on behalf of Black women and girls in, and beyond sport, is as varied as it is vast. While the founders have been interviewed about the BWSF numerous times throughout their respective careers, those interviews fail to capture the paths that led them to successful careers or the incorporation of the BWSF. Using oral history narratives, this paper contends that their experiences from childhood to young adulthood offer incredible insights about the origins and evolution of their critical consciousness around race and gender that emerged during their formative years. It illuminates the familial, communal, educational, and sporting legacies of BWSF founders from childhood to the mid-to-late 1970s, when their worlds collided at Temple University. Their histories underscore how they navigated and negotiated the ideologies of racism and sexism from childhood to adulthood. As young Black women who lived before the passage of Title IX, their stories depict the early struggles and successes of women and girls’ participation in sports and broader society. Individually and collectively, BWSF founders’ oral history narratives offer a great understanding of Black women in sports and society in the past and present.
Mario Muñoz and Jennifer A. Bunn
This study evaluated the differences in training and match volume per set by season phase in female high school volleyball. Twelve athletes wore a device to measure total jumps (TJ) and high jumps (HJ), movements per minute (MPM), kinetic energy expended, and stress percent throughout the season phases: preseason, tournament, and district. In matches, athletes jumped less and had lower MPM in preseason (4.4 ± 2.3 TJ/set, 1.9 ± 0.5 MPM/set) compared with tournament (13.2 ± 8.1 TJ/set, 6.4 ± 1.7 MPM/set) and district (16.5 ± 9.9 TJ/set, 6.7 ± 1.8 MPM/set; p ≤ .001 for all) phases. District registered more HJ/set (2.6 ± 2.2 HJ/set) than preseason (0.7 ± 0.7 HJ/set, p = .007) and tournament phases (292 ± 172 J/lb/set, p < .001), and more kinetic energy expended/set (488 ± 174 J/lb/set) than preseason (201 ± 94 J/lb/set, p = .001). The highest training volume occurred during preseason with more TJ (preseason: 70.9 ± 26.0; tournament: 44.3 ± 19.3, p < .001; district: 34.7 ± 3.4, p = .004) and kinetic energy expended (preseason: 1,645 ± 547 J/lb; tournament: 980 ± 506 J/lb, p = .018; district: 1,108 ± 362, p = .016). Preseason training had higher stress percent (16.6 ± 3.0%) than tournament (19.4 ± 3.7%, p = .004) and more HJ (7.7 ± 6.3%) than district (3.1 ± 2.9%, p = .012). Match volume was unbalanced across the season phases, with preseason showing the lowest volume and district having the highest volume. This was counterbalanced with a higher training volume during the preseason compared with the other phases.
Gashaw Abeza and Jimmy Sanderson
This article introduces a special issue of the International Journal of Sport Communication containing insightful commentaries by distinguished scholars in social media scholarship in sports studies. By inviting 25 scholars in the field, who contributed a total of 16 scholarly commentaries, the issue benefits from their extensive knowledge of the interplay between social media and sport. The scholarly commentaries address current trends, critique methods, challenge theories, and propose fresh approaches to understanding the impact of social media in sport. These scholars offer unique perspectives, innovative methodologies, and engaging writing that caters to a diverse readership. The articles provide valuable critiques; shed light on critical issues, controversies, and gaps in knowledge; and identify future directions for sport and social media scholarship to traverse. Importantly, the diverse perspectives presented in this issue stimulate academic dialogue and foster productive discussions within the field of social media in sport studies.
Building on the foundational study conducted by Abeza et al., this work extends the investigation by critically reviewing social media research in sport studies published from June 2014 to June 2023. Methodologically, the review involved an examination of 153 original research articles from five prominent journals in sport communication and sport management, namely the International Journal of Sport Communication, Communication & Sport, Journal of Sport Management, Sport Management Review, and European Sport Management Quarterly. The study identified the research streams, platforms, theories, and research methods that have garnered attention in the social media research community. The findings reveal several key insights that contribute to the ongoing dialogue in the field, stimulating further exploration and advancing knowledge at the intersection of social media and sport.
Steven Salaga, Natasha Brison, Joseph Cooper, Daniel Rascher, and Andy Schwarz
Social media and sport research has produced a significant corpus of academic literature. This work has enhanced our understanding of the influence of social media in various areas of the sport industry. This work, however, has often glamorized social media and its benefits, leading to a normalization about social media that obscures its negative effects and impacts in sport. This commentary reflects on how social media and sport research has evolved over time and calls for more consideration to be given to critical approaches to social media research that look beyond analysis of social media content. The commentary specifically addresses areas of inquiry around athlete welfare and social media, social media and young athletes, and social media professionals and their work environment. The commentary aims to encourage more critical perspectives related to social media that will enhance the inclusivity of the social media and sport literature.
Stacey Pope, Rachel Allison, and Kate Petty
This article offers an original contribution by examining both the quantity and quality of English print media coverage of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup and how fans perceive and respond to this coverage. It is the first longitudinal analysis of media coverage of women’s football in the United Kingdom and compares print media coverage between the 2015 and 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cups. We draw on a content analysis of five English national newspapers and 49 semistructured interviews with fans. We develop new theoretical insights through the development of our framework of the “next stage” of the “new age.” Our findings show media coverage of women’s football has substantially increased, with respectful coverage sustained. The new theme of gender equality made visible several types of inequality, but the media industry failed to acknowledge its own role in reinforcing gender inequalities. Interviewees were critical of the time-limited “revolution” whereby coverage was limited to the duration of the World Cup. To advance gender equality, future media coverage must be sustained, meaningful, and prominent.
Erin L. Kelly, Michelle Minehan, and Kate Pumpa
This study considers the potential relationship between maximal strength training and positive body image by exploring the lived experiences of female powerlifters. Semistructured interviews were conducted with eight female powerlifters from Australia, and data were analyzed thematically. The study identified five themes related to positive body image and participation in maximal strength training: (a) appreciation of the functionality of the body, (b) embodiment, (c) rejection of societal body ideals and self-objectification, (d) self-compassion and body image flexibility, and (e) being surrounded by a body-positive community. These findings are consistent with existing literature on positive body image and participation in activities that promote embodiment. There is value in further investigation of maximal strength training as an intervention to develop positive body image in women.