Can sports-themed video games be beneficial in real life sports? Can it develop the players’ intelligence in real life as well? Let’s find out. #videogames #sports #essay
Sports have always played a huge part in my life. I´ve played sports through my whole life and I watch it regularly on TV as well. At the same time, I`ve always played sports-themed video games as well. Every year I buy the new FIFA-football game and sometimes I want to change it a bit by purchasing the basketball themed NBA2k video game. Is it possible, that these video games aren’t only entertainment for the players? Could there be some benefits?
As my own personal experience, I can say that it helps in the same way, as watching sports on television. It gives you new perspectives, that you can’t get on the pitch. In for example football, you see the whole pitch from a bigger perspective. When you are on the pitch yourself, you can only see the pitch from a smaller view and you don’t see the big picture so well. In this case, playing football-themed video games has helped me to understand and see the pitch from different perspective. You get this perspective while watching sports on television, but in that case you are only spectating. If you are actually playing the game, you can affect what you see on the screen. Obviously, it’s not the same as playing the sport in real life, but I have experienced it as beneficial.
Other things sports-themed video games improve are hand eye-coordination and reflexes. This skills are crucial almost in every sport. Without good reflects it’s really difficult to become fast and explosive in your sport.
In a study made by the University of Sri Lanka Rajarata, they researched the connections between real life sports and sports-themed video games. As a method, they collected data from people who play video games by asking them 45 questions with five different answer options for each question. They got 200 responses from the students in the university, who played sports-themed video games.
The study showed, that sports-themed video games can have significantly positive impact on real life sports. “Besides cognitive engagement, affective engagement, behavioral engagement and accessibility have significantly correlated with the real life sport involvement”, the authors argue. The authors also say, that although video games are often thought to be inactive, they actually can be an operative tool to develop real life sport participation and physical activity.
As a conclusion, I claim that sports-themed video games can in fact be helpful in real life sports. They may not work for everyone, but it´s worth a try, if you are interested in sports overall. What do you have to lose, if you just try?
The source of the picture: https://www.ea.com/games/fifa/fifa-21/features
Bandara, K., Pemarathana, R. (2019): Impact of Sports-themed Video Games Playing on Real-life Sports Involvement of Undergraduates in Rajarata University of Sri Lanka