Video Games, Competition and Exercise: A New Opportunity for Sport Psychologists?

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Shane Murphy Western Connecticut State University

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The increasing influence of technology on sports and games is examined and the widespread popularity of video and computer games is identified as an opportunity for sport and exercise psychologists. Modern video and computer games can involve considerable physical activity and social competition and are thus a suitable subject for the application of sport psychology theories and intervention methods. A brief overview of some of the existing research from other fields on video and serious interactive games is presented. The advantages of studying competition, cooperation and exercise in video game play include application of existing theories to new areas, methodological research advantages, and new applied opportunities for practitioners. Sport and exercise psychologists are encouraged to research the long-term viability of studying important sport and exercise psychology topics such as aggression, teamwork and psychological skills using video game and related technologies.

Murphy is with the Dept. of Psychology, Western Connecticut State University, Danbury, CT 06810.

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