Starting from the common grounds of sports, now is the time to pause and gaze deeper into the gaming community.  This and future installments in the discussion of gaming will examine more closely each “genre” of games, looking specifically for the developmental potential that each genre possesses.

Sports

As previously described, sports are games wherein two opposing teams of players compete against one another, exclusively on a designated playing field of some sort.  Specialized equipment is often required in order to play any sport.  Both teams continue play until a predetermined condition is met, which is commonly after a time passes and one team has scored more points than the opposing team.  It is easy to see how sports are common knowledge among the populous, as sports are easily the oldest known form of games and the most widespread.  Sports has existed throughout human history and have appeared in nearly every country across the globe.

Examples-hockey, soccer, American football, rugby, basketball, baseball, wrestling, cricket, billiards, archery, boxing, curling (not kidding), track, cycling, darts

Developmental Potential
Physical-the physical developments of sports should be obvious. One should be in reasonably good physical condition (e.g. lack of bad heart, no major impairing/crippling injuries) in order to participate in sports, but the physical condition of the athletes will improve with continual play and practice. Improvements can include cardiovascular, hand-to-eye coordination, strength, flexibility, gross motor skills, endurance, fine motor skills, and overall improved energy levels; all of these improvements depend upon the sport in particular.

Mental-biologically, constant strenuous activity (whether stressful or leisurely) causes the body to release chemicals that elevate mood and help maintain one’s mood at those elevated levels.  Beyond that, sports can not only help improve basic math skills, but also aid in planning and resource management; sports depend upon effective strategy and tactics in order to achieve victory and both of those qualities are necessary (among others) in order to design a good strategy.  In many “thinking’s man” sports (e.g. billiards), advanced math skills are improved as one learns geometry and the precise applications of force in order to effectively play said sport.

Intersocial-all sports are social games, because they pit people either against each other or alongside one another.  In sports, one learns to be gracious in defeat and humble in victory; in fact, it is refered to as “good sportsmanship.”  These social graces can accomodate social interactions outside of sports.  When playing on a team, one learns to evaluate other team member’s strengths and determining the best applications of those strengths.  Also, one learns to communicate goals, intentions, and ideas with others in order to achieve victory; needless to say, effective communication has multiple applications outside of sports.  Lastly, athletes in teams work together with their teammates; the operative term being a “team player.”  Working in a team takes interpersonal coordination in addition to those qualities already mentioned.

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