The wildly explosive world of esports has sky rocketed exponentially in the past few years, despite being relatively young.

 

Already boasting millions of fans and almost a billion dollars in revenue, esports only promises to keep growing. The term refers to organised, competitive video game playing, featuring the likes of DoTA 2, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, FIFA, League of Legends, and PUBG. And, it is no longer just a fringe hobby, as it might once have seemed. Esports is projected to reach an audience of over 300 million viewers, generating billions in revenue worldwide.

 

Esports has become so popular, that even the International Olympic Committee is trying to understand it better. The IOC and the Global Association of International Sports Federations are jointly hosting an eSports Forum at the Olympic Museum in France.

 

The IOC isn’t the only organisation taking esports seriously.

 

All said and done, OMEN believes that gaming isn’t just gaming. The destination of this action-packed journey should reach a quantum where the Gamer (or Player) reaches a state of “Gamefulness”.

So, just what is “Gamefulness”?

It’s beyond a trend, statement, mantra or even a stand. “Gamefulness” is an encapsulating state that seeks to improve 7 facets of a player’s mindset. These 7 facets being:

FOCUS

An important aptitude, in all that we do – focus. Researchers have demonstrated that just one hour spent playing video games has an effect on the brain. The research team found changes in brain activity and increased performance on tests of visual selective activity in subjects who had spent one hour playing League of Legends. Rejoice!

RESPONSIVENESS

Society says “The world is moving at such a speedy pace”. So, how do we keep up, then? The second facet of “Gamefulness” aims to develop players to achieve a heightened sensitivity to what is going on around them, and this benefit doesn’t just make them better at playing video games, but improves a wide variety of general skills that can help with everyday activities like multitasking, driving, reading small print, keeping track of friends in a crowd, and navigating around town.

MENTAL STAMINA

Not everyone is Professor ‘X’. Mental stamina is something that we can cultivate and enhance. By achieving “Gamefulness”, mental fortitude is real – through playing games with genre such as strategy, analysis and endurance of thought – we stretch mental capacity and improve mental stamina, similarly to how muscles develop strength through added stress of weight resistance.

CREATIVITY

Paying tribute to the right-side of our brain. Current titles are designed to optimise the development of creativity while retaining their entertainment values such that a new generation of video games will blur the distinction between education and entertainment – yes, “Gamefulness” defines “enjoying to learn, and learning to enjoy”.

STRATEGIC THINKING

Omen believes, through achieving a state of “Gamefulness”, one learns and becomes a strategic thinker. At the University of London, researchers discovered that those who played titles such as DoTA 2, Warcraft and StarCraft were quicker and more accurate in performing cognitive flexibility tasks, than non-gamers.

In another study, quoting Dr Brian Glass from Queen Mary’s School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, “Our paper shows that cognitive flexibility, a cornerstone of human intelligence, is not a static trait but can be trained and improved using fun learning tools like gaming”.

RELATIONSHIP BUILDING

Quality family time goes beyond TV nights. Gone too, are the days, friends meet at malls over a burgers and shakes.

 

70 percent of gamers play their games with other people. Contrary to the popular image of the gamer as an awkward, socially inept loner, players are actually engaged with one another. Think back to that educational community that emerged in every 1980s pizza parlor around the Ms. Pacman machine. Gamers play cooperatively. They play competitively. They share tips and tricks. They work together. The teach each other how to get better at the game – now that’s “Gamefulness”.

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