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What Gamers Have In Common With Top Athletes 201

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the we're-all-totally-xtreme dept.
nk497 writes "It's no surprise that professional gamers aren't quite as fit as elite athletes, but they do have something in common. According to a British academic, top-level players show similar psychological attributes as top athletes, such as the ability to manage anxiety, and have reaction times on par with fighter pilots. Dr. Micklewright said, 'When I first got asked to do [the study], my initial reaction was "don't be ridiculous, gaming is nothing like sport." But the more I thought about it, the more similarities [became clear], and I became more and more convinced that it was close in many ways to sport.' While sitting in front of a screen might not have the same physical demands as running a marathon, neither do playing snooker or darts. Still, while gamers show good reflexes, their health was worse than expected, with one 20-something professional player showing the same aerobic health as a 60-year-old smoker." This story is based on a BBC radio report which you can currently hear, although that link seems to say that it won't last.
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What Gamers Have In Common With Top Athletes

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  • Re:Unpopular answer (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Aladrin (926209) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @01:02PM (#32498096)

    I was going to go for something more along the lines of "both serve no purpose to society other than entertainment", but yours fits, too.

    On the other hand, are they the 'top athletics' and 'top players' because they have the coordination and ability to handle stress, or did becoming the 'top X' cause them to gain these abilities? I suspect it's the former and they served only to train them a bit.

    I'm a diehard gamer, but I'm not foolish enough to think it's anything other than pointless entertainment, just like almost all hobbies.

  • by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @01:14PM (#32498344) Journal

    If you're going to plug yourself, at least set up a webcam.

    *pause for laughter*

    Seriously though, I think there are a lot of physical activities that gamers would enjoy if they just put forth the effort to go and try them. For example, I own just about every Star Wars game there is, and I'm pretty big on medieval settings.

    There was a thing this past weekend at the local military museum, which had preformers of warriors from all era's, ancient Roman Gladiators, Vikings, Crusaders, Imperialistic, civil war, WW2, you name it. For me, it was interesting to watch the Gladiators face off and to watch the knights have duels. As a fun activity, they were giving beginner sword fighting lessons to people willing, in a full suit of chainmail. Complete with all the fixings, leather gloves, a tabard, iron helmet, greaves, pauldrons...

    It was a very intense workout, just running around swinging a sword. I think I may try it again, should I get more time. I think its things like that (not necessarily the only case), that there are physical activities gamers might enjoy but they... well... don't...

  • Re:Unpopular answer (Score:2, Interesting)

    by vlm (69642) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @01:50PM (#32499034)

    Football players aren't real athletes? Let see you take a hit from a 280 pound person that moves like a gazelle.

    So, a little old lady whom takes a hit by a 3K pound car must be approximately ten times more of a "real" athlete than a football player?

    You might want o rethink criticizing other peoples intellect until you've sharpened your ability to have a discussion.

    You sound like someone who insults mathematicians because you don't understand the subject

    I'm referring to the intellectual level of the coverage on ESPN, and to some extent the culture of willful stupidity that surrounds it. Try watching it sometime. Note, I used to be highly interested in football, watch all the Packers games. Its a game of considerable tactical maneuvering, strategic insight, logistical long term planning. That's what I got out of it, anyway. What I see in ESPN and media sports coverage in general is a bunch of "grunt grunt yell look at that hit grunt grunt" on to the next story, probably about the soap opera drama of the players, which actually has nothing to do with the game or sports itself. There's too much junk to filter to bother watching anymore.

    You comments is stupid.

    Well sorry if I hit a little too close to home with you. I'll stick to less controversial topics, like bashing religion and race in the future. Geeze. It's just a kids game, nothing to get worked up about.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @01:54PM (#32499162)

    No kidding. Years ago when I played Quake 3 professionally I had regular workouts and they helped a lot. Especially with fatigue and such, really keeps your mind sharp. I think it also helps prevent RSI type problems.

    Similar to how race car drivers or golf players lift weights (although maybe not obvious, race car drivers undergo a great deal of physical stress; another hobby of mine). Strength helps in many ways, including gaming.

  • by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @02:11PM (#32499488) Homepage Journal

    Seriously though, I think there are a lot of physical activities that gamers would enjoy

    This might sound crazy, but I've found that my gaming skills have improved over the years, thank in part to my study of tai chi chuan.

    I used to notice that I'd get all cramped up with painful hands and feet after a half-hour of playing a game (or just sitting at my computer, for that matter). I'm older than the average gamer, and I found that no matter which online game I tried, I'd be one of the worst players in the game.

    My ability to sustain relaxed attentiveness, along with the improved mental processes that come from the study and practice of tai chi have helped me to improve across a wide variety of gaming types. Now I find that I learn the game more quickly and am more able to be competitive. With some games, like Modern Warfare 2 or Borderlands, my ability to focus better and react faster have made me surprisingly good, not just for my age, but for any age. In games like Eve Online, I am more patient and seem to be able to process more information.

    Outside of gaming, the improvements in function and enjoyment have been even greater. If any of you would like to become more fit as well as more relaxed, healthy and balanced, I would highly recommend taking the time to find a good tai chi teacher and give it a chance. It's not very hard at the beginning and the benefits come very quickly. I see all types of athletes in the school in which I study and they all say that tai chi has improved their respective game. There have been some recent studies that show tai chi increases the body's production of HGH and improves cardio-respiratory function. They used to believe that you had to raise your heart rate to improve your cardio fitness and stamina, but it turns out that's not the case.

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