OCT 08, 2018 5:12 AM PDT

Esports Curriculum to Study the Brain and Gaming

In the field of neuroscience, there is a lot of research on the effects video games have on the brain. Video game addiction has been declared a medical disorder by the WHO, but some research supports the benefits of certain video games in treating specific disorders. Some games can help those on the autism spectrum with social skills, and there are game platforms like Kinect for stroke recovery and memory loss.

At the same time, esports are gaining popularity. What are esports? Much like teams that play baseball or football in a brick and mortar stadium, esports are teams of video game players that compete against each other in online tournaments and competitions. The popularity of esports is driving academia as well. Ohio State University is getting in the game by beginning an esports project across five of its colleges to create a curriculum and research program that looks at the effects video games have on the brain and body, provides instruction in developing video games, and brings esports to their students as both an activity and a potential career field.

The goal of the program at Ohio State is to gather faculty, resources, and staff from academics, collegiate competition, and multidisciplinary research to give students as many opportunities as possible to be a part of the gaming industry.

Deborah M. Grzybowski is the co-director of the game studies and esports curriculum development and an associate professor of practice in The Ohio State University Department of Engineering Education. She explained, "With Ohio State being a leader in engineering, academics, research, and medicine, it seems a natural fit to pull all of these together to support the esports program."

The main part of the program is an interdisciplinary involving five colleges from Ohio State and will focus on game studies and esports. Financial experts estimate that it's a growing field in the tech economy and is the first of its kind in higher ed. Ohio State will offer undergraduate and graduate degrees, elective courses in esports content production, and online certification programs for individual specialties in gaming. They will also host well-known pioneers in gaming for a speaker series. An arena is being built on campus with state the art equipment for gaming and will be open to all students, not just those pursuing gaming-related degrees. Ohio State will join with other universities in a new esports league that has been formed to oversee the competition.

 

RELATED: Gaming Disorder

Research into the effects gaming has on the brain and body will also be part of the mix with experts at the Wexner Medical Center heading up studies on the impact of video game play at this level. Here neuroscientists and others will study how esport athletes can train efficiently, improve reaction times and how the brain is impacted by high-level gaming. James Onate, co-director of the Sports Medicine Movement Analysis and Performance Program at the university said, "Ohio State is known for high-performance athletics, and esports plays to this strength. The methods are the same as any other sport; the skills are just different. We have a lot to learn from studying esports athletes, from their exceptional reaction times and rapid decision-making abilities to their physical attributes and health behaviors."

Check out the video below to learn more about what this program can bring to neuroscience, education and the growing video game economy.

Sources: Ohio State University, Esports Observer

About the Author
  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
You May Also Like
SEP 01, 2020
Clinical & Molecular DX
Scalp Implants Monitor Epileptic Seizures
SEP 01, 2020
Scalp Implants Monitor Epileptic Seizures
Neuroscientists have developed devices that, when implanted under the scalp of individuals living with epilepsy, can mon ...
SEP 14, 2020
Clinical & Molecular DX
Peek into the Inner Workings of the Spinal Cord
SEP 14, 2020
Peek into the Inner Workings of the Spinal Cord
Scientists have established a state-of-the-art method for observing and analyzing the complex flurry of neurological act ...
SEP 16, 2020
Neuroscience
Men and Women Have Different Circadian Rhythms
SEP 16, 2020
Men and Women Have Different Circadian Rhythms
From a meta-analysis, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania have found that men and women tend to have differe ...
SEP 21, 2020
Neuroscience
Scientists Compare Structural and Functional Evolution with First Atlas of Cavefish Brains
SEP 21, 2020
Scientists Compare Structural and Functional Evolution with First Atlas of Cavefish Brains
Cavefish are fish that dwell in caves, unable to access the outside world. Often, they were separated from their closest ...
OCT 21, 2020
Neuroscience
New Theory Says Consciousness Arises from Electromagnetic Energy
OCT 21, 2020
New Theory Says Consciousness Arises from Electromagnetic Energy
Professor Johnjoe McFadden, a researcher from the Univerity of Surrey in the UK, has proposed a new theory for conscious ...
NOV 06, 2020
Clinical & Molecular DX
Your Earwax Says You're Depressed
NOV 06, 2020
Your Earwax Says You're Depressed
Cortisol, commonly known as the “stress hormone”, is the body’s built-in alarm system that sends siren ...
Loading Comments...