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Upper-Body Pain in Gamers: An Analysis of Demographics and Gaming Habits on Gaming-Related Pain and Discomfort

Garrick N. Forman and Michael W.R. Holmes

With the rapid growth of both the gaming and esports industries, millions of individuals are now playing games as a hobby or career. The intense and repetitive nature of gaming can likely increase an individual’s susceptibility to musculoskeletal injuries and pain. The purpose of this study was to assess demographic information and gaming habits of gamers and determine any association with upper-body, gaming-related pain. An online survey was used to obtain demographic information and gaming habits of individuals, as well as the location and description of upper-body pain experienced when gaming. Of the 522 respondents, 77.8% (n = 406) reported experiencing gaming-related pain in the upper body. The most prevalent areas of pain were the neck (43.9%), lower back (41.4%), and the distal upper limb (37.9%). Few strong correlations were found between any demographics or gaming habits and the presence or intensity of pain in the upper body. The results of this study demonstrate that gaming-related pain is a problem; however, due to its complex nature, it is likely that a multifaceted interaction of both gaming habits and unaccounted lifestyle factors contributes to individualized pain development.

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Volume 1 (2023): Issue 1 (Jan 2023)

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Indexing Esport Performance

Benjamin T. Sharpe, Nicolas Besombes, Matthew R. Welsh, and Phil D.J. Birch

The assessment of an athlete’s performance can play a key role in determining their current state, their readiness to compete, the impact of an experimental manipulation, and/or the influence of an intervention. At present, there is limited empirical evidence stating the indicators that encapsulate individual performance within any esport. To identify the variables that are historically associated with indicating Counter-Strike: Global Offensive performance, a literature review was conducted. Identified variables were accumulated and presented to three technical expert panels composed of world-class esport athletes, researchers, and practitioners. We utilized a modified Delphi method to provide direction concerning the examination of performance in esports. The expert panelists presented numerous opinions on what encapsulates performance, considerations for best practices, and concerns associated with the semantics of performance. This study presents the opinions of various domain-specific experts and encourages the use of more explicit terminology when discussing performance measurement. It was the intention of the project to generate an open discussion rather than draw a unified conclusion on best practices.

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Perceptions of Effective Training Practices in League of Legends: A Qualitative Exploration

Callum Abbott, Matthew Watson, and Phil Birch

While scientific interest in electronic sports (esports) is steadily growing, there remains an absence of research evidence concerning training practices in specific esports such as League of Legends. Anecdotal evidence suggests that current approaches to training may be suboptimal in terms of performance and, concerningly, linked to negative consequences for player health and well-being. In order to address the lack of literature and aid understanding of the (in)effectiveness of current training practices in esports, our study sought to qualitatively examine the experiences and perceptions of training in a sample of professional and semiprofessional League of Legends players. Through interviews with 10 players who ranked in the top 0.24% of the playing population, three core themes were identified: (a) the state of training, (b) training experiences, and (c) motivational change. This study provides important insights into current training practices in esports and players’ perceptions of the (in)effectiveness of these practices. The paper concludes with practical recommendations for coaches and support staff working in esports.

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Competitive Racing in Virtual Cycling—Is It Possible, Realistic, and Fair?

Jonas Bjärehed and Marlene Bjärehed

Competitive racing through virtual cycling has established itself as an entirely new discipline within cycling. This study explores what equipment racers use and examines important power metrics for racing. Data were collected from three different races from the current ranking of the most highly regulated and professionally organized race series on the virtual cycling platform Zwift. Power output data from 116 race participants, over five power durations (5 s–20 min), and two separate power measuring sources were collected and analyzed using the Bland–Altman method. The findings indicate that the physiological efforts of these races are comparable to those found in traditional competitive cycling. Furthermore, findings also support that the equipment typically used produces similar power outputs with good agreement between different power meters for most measurement points. Finally, the implications of these results for the status of virtual racing are discussed.

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Perceptual-Motor Abilities of Professional Esports Gamers and Amateurs

Haneol Kim, Seonjin Kim, and Jianhua Wu

Esports demands exceptionally fine motor skills. Perceptual-motor abilities such as anticipation, eye–hand coordination, and peripheral perception are essential for esports gamers to achieve high-level performance and win the game. However, the understanding of perceptual-motor ability in professional esports gamers is still limited. The aim of this study was to compare the perceptual-motor skills between professional esports gamers and amateurs. Eight male professional gamers and eight amateurs participated in this study voluntarily and completed three tasks: anticipation timing, eye–hand coordination, and peripheral perception. Results showed that the professional gamers had an earlier and more consistent anticipation timing in the anticipation-timing task than amateurs across four stimulus speeds. The professional gamers displayed a wider visual perception angle than the amateurs in the peripheral perception task. Our results demonstrate that long-time esports training advanced the development of anticipation timing and peripheral perception but might not affect the ability of eye–hand coordination.

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Introduction to the Journal of Electronic Gaming and Esports

David P. Hedlund

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Journal Scope and Submission Topics

Ahead of Print

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Volume 1: Issue A: Introducing JEGE