Do video games improve sport performance?

I have been an avid “gamer” since I was very young. Some of the first games I remember playing were Spyro, Crash Bandicoot and one of my all time favorites Tony Hawk Pro Skater on Play Station 1. I have had many imageconsoles and some gaming devices since the PS1. I had a Play Station 2 then switched to team Xbox when the 360 came out, and I currently own an Xbox One. I have also always been an athlete since a young age, I first started playing basketball in first grade and played multiple other sports along the way. I have always wondered if the video games and sports can go hand in hand. My parents were always preaching about getting out and being active instead of playing games all day.

I am interested in studying video games because I think they have a substantial effect on people. I remember being young and everyone would say that video games did nothing but waste time and ruin your eyes because you stare at a screen all day. But I feel like games have helped me to become a better athlete and looking into things like effects, pros/cons, hand eye coordination and new developments is what I am most excited for in this class. I am interested to find out if things like reaction time, quickness and mental aspects from video games translates to sports. I feel as a gamer and athlete that has played games like Call of Duty, Forza and even fighting games like Mortal Kombat and Super Smash Bros , my reaction time and quickness was improved by these fast paced reaction based games. This reaction time would have been translated to the Basketball court when you need quick reaction time and stellar hand eye coordination. In Basketball you have to dribble while looking up so you can see the court. If you look down at the ball a defender can easily steal the ball because you won’t see him coming. The same is true with video games, if you have to keep looking at the controls during a Mortal Kombat fight, chances are high that you won’t win the fight. I am eager to learn about the impact games have in real life. I was always told that playing too much video games was bad for you, but in my opinion it made me a better athlete with quicker reaction time and stellar hand eye coordination.

Super Smash Bros Battle

The video linked above shows just how quick your reaction time needs to be in this game. Whoever is controlling Ness has slow reaction time because he got destroyed by Little Mac at :40 and 2:17. However, he won the overall match but those two KO’s by Little Mac were impressive. It is clear in the video how fast paced and reaction based the game is. There are other games which are similar but Smash Bros is one of my favorite fighting games. I am very excited to dig deep into video games in this class and see if all my years of video games wasn’t a waste of time like I was always told.

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