Are games elite performers?
Better yet, are they team oriented and versed in mental skills techniques and applications?
After visiting with the Gamers doc, Dr Levi Harrison on my podcast, my perspective has shockingly changed, or been challenged to say the least!
I mean, we knew we were in an era where the E3 gaming summit has gained tremendous popularity and where a generation of NBA 2k, Fortnite, and Call of Duty warfare players have been organized into sponsored teams, competing in tournaments and playing countless hours per week. We also know that gaming is a lucrative profession for many young athletes and that being a performer that is physically and emotionally ready for battle is crucial to securing the win!
What I most enjoyed about this first hand expose of a physician who is on the front lines of treating and educating athletes is there is care and investment being placed on holistic, mind-body approaches to gamers.
Rather than stigmatize, stereotype or be afraid of the curiosity of the next generation with play and exploration of the technologies of virtual and augmented realities, perhaps we need to prepare them for it. This article capsulizes parent concerns and how the psychology community pathologizes and categorizes gaming: Gaming Disorder Deemed an Official Illness?
The reality of learning environments being based in the technological realm and utilized multiple platforms and tools to access learning is upon us and only expanding. So, maybe learning how to implement practices that allow for preventative care is the best course of action for parents, educators, and clinicians working in this frame.
This preventitive protocol according to Dr. Levi would include physical breaks (stretching, hydration, and circulation) as well as mental, emotional breaks (socialization with family or friends offline, balanced activities, other hobbies, and proper sleep).
Like any other athlete or sport, if we are to embrace and learn about peak performance, we may also want to be careful not to diagnose or judge gamers for pursuing peak performance and achievement in any way other than we would athletes cut from a different cloak.
Years ago, extreme sports suffered the same challenge for inclusion and acceptance, and now, Tony Hawk is a household name. I for one, can’t wait to see gamers applying visualization and performance planning for their next mission, or maybe they are well ahead of the game already.