The increase in popularity of eSports and professional gaming has meant that we have been able to study the best way of achieving gaming performance. You will not become a professional gamer by playing video games as often as possible, but rather you may become a professional gamer by following a structure more similar to that of a professional sports player. Important factors in becoming a professional gamer include; strong communication skills, social skills, physical and mental fitness, and a number of other factors. The following subheadings are areas that the performance optimisation program focuses on.
Sleep and Naps
Quality of sleep, as well as duration, is key for high performing athletes. At the bare minimum, seven hours of sleep is recommended, but even nine or ten hours is also considered healthy. Power naps can be taken throughout the day to supplement for shorter sleeps. Our bodies begin to secrete a substance called melatonin as light disappears in the evenings, but screen time can delay the secretion of melatonin by up to an hour and a half. Even if you go to sleep immediately after gaming, the first hour and a half of sleep will be disrupted by the lack of melatonin, causing an overall diminished quality of sleep.
Physical exercise is an important component of a healthy lifestyle, and it can significantly improve performance in regard to video games. A study conducted in 2020 tested League of Legends players, while giving some the task of exercise and reading, and others to simply rest. Those who were told to exercise were introduced to high intensity interval training (HIIT). After 15 minutes of HIIT and 20 minutes of reading, they were told to return to the game. Compared to those who were told to rest, the exercise group was more effective in their gameplay and committed less errors.
Meditation allows for the brain to relax. By boosting the brain’s regeneration, we are able to take control of it. Other benefits of meditation include reducing anxiety, lowering blood pressure, regulating the hormonal system, as well as improving the quality of sleep. Introducing mindfulness and meditation into your routine is extremely helpful for cognitive function and concentration. To begin integrating meditation into your lifestyle, try to make an effort to meditate before sleeping. In the absence of screen time, with dim lights, nightly meditation helps to release melatonin before falling asleep, and improving overall sleep quality.
Small breaks can help to improve sustained attention, which is highly important in successful gaming. After a certain amount of time doing any task, our attention to it declines. In order to counteract this drop in attention, Gamewell suggests several different strategies to increase blood flow and mitigate against lapses in attention. Stretching is a tactic that aims to refocus the mind and improve focus through movement. Another option to refocus during a little break is to focus on breathing techniques. Deep breathing is known to decrease stress and increase energy, which then enables the gamer to have deeper focus.
Food and Drinks
A balanced diet can help to improve cardiovascular health as well as cognitive functioning. In order to perform at your very best, nutrition is very important. Having access to healthy foods to snack on during little breaks will help improve performance and foster good habits. It is also important to note the levels of caffeine that you are ingesting, and how they affect you personally. Caffeine has a half life of four hours, meaning it can affect us for longer than we think. For this reason, it is advisable that gamers refrain from drinking caffeine for five hours before they intend to sleep.
One particular study of gaming timings conducted research on two separate groups who were told to play Starcraft II over a period of seven months. One group was to play excessively, and the other group was to play moderately. In the beginning, the group who played excessively showed a higher skill level, but eventually, the other group caught up and ultimately surpassed them. Those who played excessively played so often that they required longer periods of rest, but the moderate group could continue to improve their gameplay incrementally. Gaming for too long can be harmful to your skill level, your neurotransmitters, and your sleep schedule.
How Performance Optimisation Can Help
Video games use up our mental capacity, and gaming performance can be enhanced by improved physical health. Approaching eSports and professional gaming as you would another professional sport will help to address the specific areas that can increase game performance, as well as overall quality of life.Finding motivation?
This post looks at motivation, not only how it can be used in e-sports and gaming, but also in other areas of life. Through some theory exploration, as well as practice sessions, the goal is to help the viewer to understand how to effectively use motivation to their advantage.
Motivation comes from the latin word, movere, which means “to move”. This is why we like to imagine that motivation is something that, metaphorically, moves you. What moves you to play? What moves you to work?
Some people may have watched motivational videos in an effort to capture the motivational theories of celebrities or star athletes. These videos can be inspiring – but they are short term solutions. Motivation comes from within, not from an outside source; this program will guide you in how to do that. We will show you how to create a positive feedback loop that generates momentum and ensures a consistent source of motivation.
Through the analysis of motivation we can start to understand the different types, and how people are driven by different forces. The motivation continuum serves as a complex set of motivational theories that explains feelings which arise as a result of different motivators and pressures.
When we think about motivation, we wonder what exactly causes people to do the things they do. What drives people to act, behave, or perform in a certain way?
Controlled motivation – “mustivation”
Autonomous motivation – “wantivation”
Another set of terms that work similarly to these explanations is extrinsic motivation, and intrinsic motivation.
|People who are driven by extrinsic motivators||People who are intrinsically motivated|
|Do things because they have toAre fixated on rewards and outcomesBecome depleted of energy when they fail||Do things because they want toTake pleasure in the processHappily continue on their path despite failures|
The motivation continuum also provides us with an opportunity to analyze different motivators, such as pressure and drive. Someone who is pressured to do something will fear the backlash of what will happen if they don’t do it – this is again fitting for the term “mustivation”. For those who are powered by their own drive, and their own desire to do something, they will be more passionate about what they’re doing, and focused on the process more than the outcome.
Motivation is about satisfying our three basic human needs:
Autonomy – self governance and independence
Competence – feeling capable and effective
Relatedness – a sense of belonging and respect of peers
Fulfillment of these basic human needs prevents emotional exhaustion and keeps us energized to accomplish our goals.
Discipline – How Can I Perform Consistently?
Discipline is at the service of motivation. When we are depleted of energy, we fall back onto our routines. Discipline helps to ensure a level of consistency in our lives. We educate our clients on common barriers to discipline, and show them how to implement strategies which produce results through long-term consistency.
Instant Gratification – I Want it Here, and I Want it Now!
What encourages this pattern of thought? What has conditioned us to think this way?
There is an undeniable role of social media in regard to instant gratification – likes, views, comments, followers, subscribers, these things all provide us with some enjoyment, and it happens instantly. Gratification from social media is rewarded by increased levels of neurotransmitters in the brain like dopamine, but if it remains the only source of satisfaction, people lack discipline and are instead too focused on instant results.
The ultimate goal is to build discipline over time. The discipline build-up is the gradual, incremental implementation of attainable goals.
How do we set ourselves up for success?
Viewers will learn about goal setting, different types of goals, and how to use them effectively. This means that they will be able to set their own aspirational yet achievable goals which are personalised to their specific needs. We will also explain the process of how to accomplish these goals in a manageable way.
What kind of goals are there?
Process vs. Outcome
When the only motivation is the result, not achieving that result depletes you of energy.
We show our viewers how to focus on the execution, the performance, and the small objectives that lead towards long term goals.
Through more detailed, thorough explanations of these motivational theories, as well as the encouragement or practice and self reflection during the sessions, viewers will be better equipped to motivate themselves in a way that works for them. The goal of this program is to help viewers to be intrinsically motivated, and work towards goals because they want to.From healthy to problematic gaming?
Video gaming divides people’s opinions; some people love them and see the positive impact they have, whilst others think that they are a waste of time and can be detrimental to people’s wellbeing. Treatment for problematic gaming follows the same polarised model of thinking, with most treatment providers encouraging abstinence for gamers.
At Gamewell, we take a revolutionary approach to problematic gaming. We are not anti-gaming; we are pro-gamer. This means that we show our clients to achieve a healthy relationship with gaming, without having to commit to totally giving them up. Our ed-tech platform aims to educate and inform users, so that they can better understand what healthy gaming looks like for them, and how to go about accomplishing it. Our idea is that with knowledge comes power; the power of being able to game healthily.
Mainstream problematic gaming treatment usually mimics that of drug or alcohol treatment. Whilst there are certain behavioural and neurological similarities, this does not take into account the unique circumstances of individuals who play video games. We are composed of several therapists who are not only highly qualified in their field, but are also informed about gaming. It is this combination which makes Gamewell unique. We understand that gaming has many benefits, including social, recreational, and educational.
In general, time spent gaming is used as a measure across scientific literature related to gaming disorder. However, when we examine video games and their effects on cognitive function, social skills, and beyond, we see the need to involve more complex measures to diagnose gaming disorder. Playing time, on its own, is an insufficient measure that fails to capture the intricacies of gaming, and doesn’t take individual circumstances into account.
In order to assess and treat disordered gaming, it is important to do it holistically. This means looking at the gamer’s life as a whole. This means that we must look at an individual’s motivations to game; do they simply do it for fun, or are they using it to distract themselves from negative aspects of their lives? We also need to consider whether or not gaming is taking precedence over other areas of their life. Is their schoolwork or employment being affected by it? Is their time spent gaming to the detriment of their personal relationships? In examining this, we can build a picture of how gaming fits into the individual’s life.
Not all gaming is unhealthy, but there is reason to believe that unhealthy gaming can present itself in a number of ways. The Gamewell Ed-Tech Program aims to discuss the various manifestations of unhealthy gaming, while also outlining how gaming can be enjoyed in a healthy and fulfilling manner. In cases where severe problematic gaming does exist, therapeutic interventions such as those discussed in the Gamewell Training Programme for Professionals, can be used effectively to help gamers return to playing video games in a healthy and productive manner.
Gaming as Part of a Healthy Lifestyle
Though video games have been subject to fear mongering and negative attention, there are studies that support gaming as part of a healthy lifestyle. One of the most common criticisms of gaming is that it leads to social isolation, due to the isolated nature of the activity itself. The theory is that since games are played in solitude, people distance themselves from friends and put their social skills at risk. The results of studies from the last five years tell a different story – that there are no differences between non-problematic gamers and non-gamers in regard to the quality and quantity of social relationships in their lives. Gaming also has many social and educational benefits when used correctly.
The Effects of Gaming on Neurotransmitters
Gaming can have positive effects on the brain’s reward system and serve as a healthy way to receive boosts of neurotransmitters in the brain, such as serotonin and dopamine. When an individual maintains an unhealthy relationship with gaming it can be the individual’s sole source of these feeling-boosting neurotransmitters.. Among excessive video game users, it is common to find “unbalanced dopamine”, “dopamine exhaustion”, or low availability of dopamine receptors. However, the brain’s neuroplasticity, which is its ability to change, means that even if gamers are suffering from these symptoms it is possible to return to natural levels without completely giving up gaming.
Being a professional gamer can be very lucrative, in the sense that it can provide a stable and competitive income, as well as serve as a rewarding and exciting career path for those who are interested in gaming. Gamewell provides training to help people achieve their goals in relation to gaming – whether they want to cut back on their playing time, have a healthier relationship with gaming, or become a professional. Becoming a professional gamer is not a simple task, but there are steps that individuals can take to reach their goals. Obsessively spending every waking hour of the day gaming is not an effective way to become a professional gamer.
Why Use Gamewell?
Gamewell’s Ed-Tech Platform can be used by parents, clinicians, teachers, university professors, lawyers and HR. In fact, Gamewell can be used by anyone who may come into contact with a gamer who struggles with poor gaming habits. Gamewell offers certification to institutions and individuals who are looking to become accredited to handle gaming related issues professionally, but Gamewell’s approach is useful to more than just professionals. Parents can utilise Gamewell programs and frameworks to educate their children on the benefits and restrictions of video games. As one of the most progressive approaches to gaming education, Gamewell provides everyday people with the opportunity to become familiar with the scientifically backed neurological and social benefits to gaming, as well as the negative effects of maintaining an unhealthy relationship with gaming.A Successful Career in Gaming?
A successful career in gaming can mean different things to different people; it could be winning international tournaments, it could be building a large fanbase who watch videos and live streams, or it could be both. Gamewell promotes healthy gaming; in order to have any kind of successful gaming career people must have a positive relationship with gaming.
If you observe any sort of top athlete, you will see that they approach their sport holistically. This means taking care of every part of themselves. Professional basketball players do not spend every waking hour on the court. Instead, they have rest periods, carefully control their nutrition, study tactics, and practise mental techniques to help them cope with the immense pressure their career entails. Gaming is no different. Playing video games for hours upon end can negatively affect mental and physical health, and also does not actually improve the quality of play. Gamers must look after their physical and mental health just as much as they spend time actually playing them.
A History of Professional Gaming
Professional gaming has surged in popularity over the past decade, although it is not totally new. The gaming industry itself brings in over 100 million U.S. dollars annually around the globe, and eSports are projected to make over a billion U.S. dollars in 2020.
eSports Vs. Streaming
With the rise of eSports came another form of gaming entertainment – streaming. There are now several different revenue streams for those who are seeking an entry into the world of paid gaming.
One of the ways to earn money is by winning tournaments, which are hosted by large organizations. These tournaments usually take place in front of an audience, and are streamed online by many avid gamers and fans alike. The Fortnite World Cup is one of the anticipated eSports events in 2020. Fortnite has an estimated user base of 250 million players, so the competition is incredibly high. Last year in 2019, the total prize pool for competitors was 100 million U.S. dollars.
Another popular way to earn money through gaming is through online live streaming. Some professional eSports players stream their gameplay so that fans can watch them play online. There are no barriers to entry for streaming, and as a result many non-professionals also stream but don’t necessarily get paid for it. For users that generate a high number of followers, companies may offer them sponsorship. For 18 to 25 year olds worldwide, watching video game streams online is more popular than watching sports.
Whether the goal is to become a streamer, professional eSports player, or anything in between, the two things that are necessary is a passion for video games and the online world, and dedication. Promoting healthy pathways to allow gamers to achieve their dreams can help to reduce the negative impacts of an unhealthy relationship with gaming, and to encourage a forward thinking dialogue that puts the best interest of gamers at the forefront of the discussion.
The Rocky Balboa Approach
In the popular boxing film from 1976, Rocky Balboa puts everything on the line, devoting all of his time and energy to a fight against the undisputed heavyweight champion, Apollo Creed. At the end of the film, Rocky wins, but what would have happened if he did not?
The current attitudes towards eSports and professional gaming encourage gamers to take the Rocky Balboa approach, but what happens if they fail? There is a more logical approach that actually takes the best interest of gamers into account.
The Healthy Approach
The healthy approach encourages a regimented approach to gaming. In a healthy approach to gaming, users do not dedicate their entire lives to playing video games. Of course, to become a professional gamer one has to be extremely dedicated to the craft. However, this craft includes self-care, and as such, one must also be dedicated to this.
Gaming must not take a precedence over other areas of life. Our lives are made up of many interplaying, complex parts which do not function totally independently. This means that if we neglect one area of our life, it can negatively affect another. This includes gaming performance. It is highly important that gamers take part in social activities off-screen; this gives us the chance to develop and practise our social skills and self-esteem. As well as taking part in these activities, it is also important that aspiring professional gamers take care of their nutritional needs and their sleep. Both of these factors are linked to increased performance in gaming when they are at optimum levels, but a declining performance if these levels are allowed to decline.
Through completing Gamewell’s training program, you will be equipped with the essential tools to improve your wellbeing and therefore your gaming performance. However, professional gaming is very competitive. Whilst we might not all become professional gamers, we can all take care of our mental and physical health.