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

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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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-167
Number of pages17
JournalEvent Management
Issue number1
Early online date2 Aug 2023
Publication statusPublished online - 2 Aug 2023


  • interactivity
  • mixed reality
  • presence
  • technological embodiment
  • virtual experience


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