In the Netherlands, we’re well-acquainted with the Eredivisie. Now, we’ve been introduced to the E-Divisie, where eSport players from 18 premier league clubs battle for the FIFA 17 championship. But is playing FIFA beneficial, or just a waste of time, as some parents might believe?Read more: FIFA Gaming: Impact on Brain and Cognitive Abilities
The Role of Video Games Today
Video games have become an integral part of our lives, particularly among the youth. Whether it’s the PlayStation or Xbox, gaming is a favorite pastime. Consequently, scientists are deeply invested in studying the effects of video games. It’s evident that action games, like Call of Duty, can enhance reaction time, concentration, and attention. However, on the flip side, some games can strain the nervous system. Addiction, as seen with World of Warcraft, or real-life aggression, as influenced by GTA, can be detrimental.
Delving Into the ‘Sport’
A study from the University of Iran delved into the effects of playing FIFA on the brain. 32 male students, averaging 20 years of age, volunteered for this research. After being paired, they participated in a knockout tournament. To discern the effects, the players were evaluated before, during, and post-tournament. Initially, the PASAT test mapped out cognitive abilities. Subsequent steps involved saliva samples, questionnaires, video recording during gameplay, and EEG to measure brain activity.
The findings were mixed. The stress hormone, cortisol, was notably reduced in saliva samples. While the PASAT results didn’t indicate increased intelligence, participants showed significant speed in their reactions after a FIFA game. Moreover, attention span seemed enhanced, but not significantly. The EEG readings displayed increased brainwave activity during gameplay.
Multiple studies have proven that video games can influence and train the brain. Cogmed, an online training tool, is designed specifically to enhance working memory. Based on the University of Iran’s study, it’s evident that FIFA can have a positive impact on cognition and behavior. FIFA seems to be stress-reducing and improves reaction time. However, some might question the “stress-reducing” claim, especially when thinking of players who display aggressive behavior during gameplay.
Curious about the study? Check out the link below.