Monday, September 18, 2006

A How to - Get Your Lady to Play Video Games

Hey Folks,

I won't lie to you. I do like to play video games. I've heard all the data, and there are studies that state playing video games is good, and there are those that say it is bad. Now the big question for all of you is how does video games relate to Ultimate.

Pictured Above: Kieran McConnel takes a breath at Nationals 2004 in Vancouver. Kieran just left the Toronto scene for greener pastures out West.

It's pretty simple. Playing video games is a great way to train your decision making. For the rest of this post we can look at the benefits of different styles of games.

Let's start with the versus fighter. This style of game is great for reacting to what the opponent gives you. In general, the play of the game, like martial arts, is set on reacting to the opponent, adapting to the opponent, and implementing a plan. Playing against the computer is good for developing base strategies, but playing against a human opponent will allow you to see how adaption and reaction are all part of the decision process.

Next, I like the sport games. My preference is to soccer games where you have to identify where the attack points against a defense exist. This training becomes even better when a group of you can get together. Elements of team work and communication become part of your game in a matter of hours. Additionally, the team work and training element comes without the physical challenge.

Of the other sports games that I think are valuable:
- Hockey provides a fast paced game that you need to react and decide quickly.
- Football provides the perspective of a throwing decision maker, which closely translates to Ultimate. You need to watch a play unfold and pick out a target.
- Baseball is a reaction based sport that forces you to control multiple runners at the same time.
- Curling is a sport which I wish there was a good video game, much like Ultimate. I'm not sure there would be any great benefits, but man that game would rock.

Let's not leave out first person shooters. These games can provide both team communication training as well as individual reaction times. Plus your three dimensional skills of knowing where people are when they can't be seen is a great skill to have on the field.

Some additional skills that are of benefit from video games are reacting and identifying opponent styles, planning ahead, and hand eye coordination.

The machine will play with you all day and is a great and tireless training partner. We can see the value of this as more and more of these concepts are introduced into athletic domains. Examples like the race car driver and golfer, where in both cases the video game provides virtual access to their courses. That's just the tip of the iceberg.

Too many people discount video games, but I honestly believe they are one of the least respected and yet one of the best training tools for team sports. One of the best things is only your thumbs get worn out. See you on the virtual field.



taylor said...

I'm no game guru, but I think there was a curling game as part of the Nagano Olympics that N64 put out. I think?

shawn said...

Yes, let's not forget about first person shooters. These are awsome for team comunication and knowing where your teammates are in virtual space. Plus they're cool. I think these should be played exclusively at Pete's from now on.

Jeters said...

To Taylor: I want quality game not some quick mini curling game. I want ro play Randy Ferbey.

To Shawn: Based on the merits of all games you'll never get that exclusive contract.


ivar v. said...

there *IS* an ultimate game.. and a pretty fine one at that ! check it out at

Jeters said...

To Ivar,

Earlier in my postings we discussed making an Ultimate Video game. I've tried out the link you supplied in the past. In this post, I'm looking more at how to develop your skills using other games.


lexanator said...

This lady still needs some convincing : P