Raise Your Game in Life by Playing Esports, Here’s The Science Behind It

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(SPOT.ph) Chances are high that if you are familiar with ahardcore or competitive gamer, you’ll find that they seem to do reasonably well in many different games, creating an aura that they are impossible to beat.

Most of the time, credit is given to gaming experience or having natural talent for video games. This reinforces the point that gaming can develop transferrable skills and applications across multiple games and in real life as well.

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Esports develops real world skills

One common example is that while games like Tekken and Street Fighter seem to be vastly different from each other in terms of characters, abilities and game mechanics (what you can and cannot do in the game), being able to play solid defense such as blocking and moving out of dangerous situations carry over.

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Similarly, CS:GO and Valorant are both FPS games with vastly different game mechanics, however the physical reflexes and in-game knowledge such as crosshair placement can carry over across the two similar genres.

These fundamental yet intangible qualities of a game are often shared across games with similar genres. In the same right, a good fighting game player can likely identify characters and moves that are good and strong in different games just by understanding a game’s mechanics.

Esports aids in experiential learning

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Cross-genre learning can happen. For instance, a good MOBA player (like Dota 2 or League of Legends) oftentimes make decisions based on the current state of the game (whether they are in a strong, weak, or neutral position compared to the enemy) and the information available in the mini-map.

Being able to make a sound decision and play according to the information in the map as well as the information communicating with teammates are strong qualities that are also useful in Valorant.

The ability to learn from different experiences is known as Experiential Learning. In this theory, we assume that our knowledge is built upon our experiences and applied accordingly after considering our social context or environment. This is similar to the idea that winners do not simply win, but they know how to win.

Esports helps develop fluid intelligence

Another concept that reinforces this idea is that of Fluid intelligence: our capacity and/or ability to apply old knowledge to new or unique situations. Fluid intelligence can also explain how skills such as hand-eye coordination and dexterity, identifying patters and problem-solving solutions can be honed in a gaming-perspective while being practical and applicable in everyday life.

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So how exactly do gamers do it? Win conditions are the most basic requirement to identify who wins a game. Chess, for example, with its millions of possible moves and openings simply boil down to checking a players king whilst the checked player cannot make any possible legal moves to resolve the threat (thus, a checkmate.)

In fighting games it is to reduce your opponent’s life points to 0 or to have the most amount of life at the end of a timed round. This skill, a cornerstone of strategy can also have applications on sports, and even card games.

Gaming skills can also be applied in a non-game setting as shown by professors of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas that music-game players scored high in a profile for music perception skills, that is identifying tempo, tuning, melody and rhythm for example, and these scores are comparable to that of formally trained musicians.

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Video games are canvasses which allow players to express themselves according to its rules. With more gamers speaking up on the benefits of gaming applied to the real world, one can only hope that more people acknowledge that gaming does have practical benefits, even if you aren’t a pro-gamer.

About the author: James Dominic Flores is a lecturer at Far Eastern University Manila, specializing in psychology. He is also a competitive gamer specializing in fighting games.

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