[pr0k] Computer games are good for you! Part 1.

  • From: "Steven Pick" <steve.pick@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <pr0k@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, "Tim Wright" <tim@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>,"Rob Owens" <rob.owens@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>,"Rich Connell" <rich.connell@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>,"Paul McNally" <paul.mcnally@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>,"Paul Byrne" <paul.byrne@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>,"'Patrick Davies'" <patrick.davies@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>,"Ken Frankland" <ken.frankland@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>,"Gareth Richards" <gareth.richards@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>,"Ali \"Big Boss\" Wright" <ali.wright@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>,"Paul Gaze" <paul.gaze@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>,"Jonathan Clapham" <jonathan.clapham@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 29 Jul 2002 09:37:40 +0100

According to a study by BBC World's ClickOnline, computer gamers experience an 
increased level of alpha brainwave activity, a phenomenon usually only 
associated with a state of complete rest (such as during meditation). This 
brain wave activity is known as the Flow State. It's common knowledge however, 
in scientific and sporting circles at any rate, that sports people performing 
at the very peak of their abilities can experience an increased level of alpha 
brainwave activity. Recent research has suggested that it could be possible for 
a person immersed in a computer game to achieve the same level of meditative 
concentration. Thus ClickOnline teamed up with Brunel University in London to 
test out the theory with the help of their Sport Psychology Research Unit.

Two test subjects, a top Virtua Fighter player and an international athlete 
javelin throwing, were asked to engage in their specialist area for a set 
period of time. It was an artificial environment for both participants, who are 
much more familiar with the pressures of group competition rather than 
individual performance in front of a TV camera. After this a self-report 
analysis questionnaire known as Flow State scale version II -- an established 
method of scientific analysis, aimed to assess nine specific factors associated 
with Flow State -- was administered to both men.

The findings of the study support the aforementioned theory -- the Virtual 
Fighter player scored an average of 17 (and we're looking for an average of 16 
or above to attain Flow State), whereas the javelin thrower scored 17.44, so 
they both experienced Flow to some extent. Obviously there is more research to 
be done to validate the findings, but if initial indications are correct, there 
could suddenly be a lot more interest in computer gaming both as a science and 
as a sport. 


Steve ;)~

Art Monkey

"Without art, we are just monkeys with car keys."

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