Double Take

This may be a big call….but I think playing sport related videogames can lead to an improvement in ones physical game.

The idea of videogaming as being educational or having a positive effect on the physical games seems counterintuitive. This is somewhat due to public discourse surrounding videogames, which tends to focus on the negatives of videogaming – such as teen violence, obesity and addiciton.

However, according to a survey conducted by FIFA of more than 10,000 registered gamers, 58% of players believe that virtual skills learned playing EA SPORTS’ FIFA 12 on PS3™ has improved their real-life skills.

Playing videogames requires strategy, mental focus, skill and technique…and as my boyfriend would argue, playing Rugby Challenge before playing the physical game improves pre-game stress, mental preparation and performance. The graphics, images and player representation in video games now come close to matching real life. Playing videogames also claims to improve motor skills, fight off depression and encourage healthy competition.

A remarkable 43% of the gamers surveyed claimed that playing video games helped in better understanding of soccer tactics and 95% of players who could pick themselves as an avatar, did. I would suggest that playing video games is a learning experience to platform the different players on each team, a greater insight of the teams philosophies, the highlighted skill of each player, the position that athletes normally play and much more. It is also helpful when playing the actual physical game by better understanding how to move around the pitch and knowing how to react when one has possession of the ball.

Sport video games are specifically designed to mimic the actual settings, players, strategies and other conditions that athletes may encounter on the field. There is an undoubted nexus between virtual and physical sport and the opportunities for learning remains untapped.

The nature of videogaming allows players to experience immediate and often unpredictable consequences of their actions. Because videogames have a wide range of narrative possibilities, this allows the gamer to understand a wide variety of mental possibilities.

I would suggest that as technology improves and as more resources are injected into the video game industry, particularly into the sporting genre, people are going to be able to participate in new worlds, which may have a positive impact for gamers.

So think twice, before you contemplate having an argument because he wants to get one more game in before dinner, and learn from her mistake….maybe he was destined to be the next Dan Carter.


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