BCM215 Contextual Essay

BCM215, Uncategorized

Using movement and non-movement-based video games to train professional athletes

I created my digital artefact to explore the possibility of using video games as a form of training in the professional environment. Sport-related video games, such as Madden NFL, NBS and MVP Basketball – to name a few – are increasingly popular in the community. Virtual Reality (VR) has additionally become more accessible, and with proper research conducted by STRIVR, we can determine the future possibility of using gaming as a form of professional training. I additionally wanted to break the couch-potato stereotype that video games are tied to, especially now that more research is being made on this topic.

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My digital artefact is presented as two short podcasts. The first one explores movement-based video games focusing on Virtual Reality as a training tool for professional athletes. The second podcast notes the skills that can be obtained through non-movement based sport-related video games and how these skills can be transferred into the real-life games.

My structuralist approach allows me to look at the material elements such as the gameplay which in turn allows me the look into how gameplay can have an impact on game skill and therefore skill in the real-life environment.

I implemented an analytical framework into my digital artefact, focusing on 3 critical frames:

Spatiality

As I focused on both non-movement based and movement-based video games in my podcasts, I explored multiple platforms that players can use to access these games e.g. PlayStation, Xbox and Virtual Reality modes. However, these sport-based games (depending on when released and who released them) can be accessed on multiple platforms from PC’s to mobile devices.

Modality

Sport-related video games are their own genre in the Esports gaming list. The games that I have explored such as Madden are team-based games – just like their real-life inspirations. Therefore, these games can be used in either single-player or multiplayer modes. Either way; it is the individuals themselves that are obtaining the skills that come with playing video games. Multiplayer mode may be more useful in the fact that you are opposing a real-life gamer rather than a computer.

Technical Strata – Development Context

I delve quite deep into how new technology is being implemented into athletes professional training, including new media such as virtual reality which has only been developed quite recently. I also note how realism in our gaming (which has improved over time with new technology) can lead to a better understanding of the game when played professionally in the real athletic environment.

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I obtained my research through both academic journals and blog posts as more research is now coming to light regarding video games and their positive benefits. I wanted to make sure that these journals were relevant in breaking the couch potato stereotype by notice the scientifically proven benefits behind playing these games e.g. benefits in reaction time, memory and coordination etc. I also researched companies that were invested in using gaming equipment e.g. virtual reality to prep professional athletes for competition. An example of this is STRIVR – which I mention in podcast 1.

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Breaking the couch potato stereotype

My podcasts are the equivalent of 1024 words. I chose to use an audio format (short podcast) because I wanted to explore a different media format that I had never used before. This was also an idea based on my feedback from my peers in the pitch and the beta as originally I was going to create two blog posts. I also believe that podcasts are easier to process at times and can be used while multitasking. These podcasts are suitable for individuals who are interested in the benefits of video games on their athletic capacities. Professional or not – individuals play certain sports because that is what they enjoy to do, so incorporating another ‘hobby’ that they enjoy into their training schedules will not only add more job but allow the individuals to reap the benefits e.g. strengthening their skill set.

Overall, I believe that my project was successful in concluding that video games do have a significant benefit in training for sport, and have already been implemented to some degree in the professional world already. As much as I wanted to include more information and more example, I had a word count limitation and therefore did not delve as deep as I would have liked.

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Virtual Reality as a new form of training

You can access my two podcasts by clicking here

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