Motion-controlled games boost sports skills


Motion-controlled video games have been under study lately, giving some interesting results. According to a study performed at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, games that make players use their bodies may improve their skills in real sports.

The study used three different groups. The first one played eighteen rounds of a golf game using a motion-controlled system, another one used a regular controller, and a third group that didn’t play the game. Researchers said that the first group performed better at real-world golf than the others.

Edward Downs, associate professor of communication at University of Minnesota-Duluth in the US had this to say about this discovery. He mentioned that the study proved that “the putting motion in the game onto a real putting behavior closely enough that people who had 18 holes of practice using motion controllers actually perform better than the group that spent 45 minutes or so, using the push-button controller.” This comes to no surprise, because practice is practice, be it on a real golf course or a simulated one swinging a controller like a pretend club that controls everything with the swing. This clashes with the timing required with the button-pushing on the controller.

Researchers have gone as far as to admit that virtual reality and motion-controlled games are turning video games into simulations. Professor Downs says that “the games are getting people up and physically rehearsing,” hoping that it will end up “physically simulating an action close enough that it will change or modify someone’s behavior.”

The study was based on a golf game, which might be able to create master golfers, but sports that require more demanding physical activities like baseball probably wouldn’t have given such positive results. Bear in mind, however, that this focuses solely on sports; unless you don’t mind being laughed out of space and time, don’t assume that your hours of Trauma Center qualify you as an expert surgeon.

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