Parents don't need to worry, UI research says playing competitive games has a positive impact


The concerns of parents and teachers about the impact of playing games on students have now found an answer. The results of UI research and MABAR Esports Students Athlete Research show that playing competitive games can actually help students develop their personality.

With good support and forums, playing competitive games can be a means of self-actualization as well as forming the identity of intelligent students with character, and encouraging them to become Pancasila Students. The research was carried out by the Cognition, Affect, and Well-Being Laboratory (CAW Lab) Team of the Faculty of Psychology, University of Indonesia (UI) with, a competitive game platform specifically for students.

The research was conducted by comparing three groups of students, namely first, competitive gamer students, casual gamer students, and non-gamer students. The three groups received the same tasks to measure their cognitive and psychological abilities, the results found a tendency that playing competitive games was better than playing casual games.

“There are at least four main cognitive and psychological aspects where competitive gamer students are superior to other groups,” said the Head of the Research Team from the CAW Lab, Faculty of Psychology, University of Indonesia, Psychologist Dr. Dyah T. Indirasari, MA, quoted from a press release, Sunday, 4 September 2022.

First, on the aspect of response control that makes people more focused. Second, much higher accuracy. Third, the ability to regulate emotions is better and the fourth is a personality that is not impulsive and not prone to stress.

Chair of the CAW Laboratory of the Faculty of Psychology UI Agnes Nauli SW Sianipar added that these aspects are strong provisions in developing good personalities for individuals. Cognitive aspects such as response control functions are also very basic in various academic learning processes, sports, and music.

Research results also show that e-sports can train students’ fighting power or grit. This ability is most prominently shown by the competitive gamers student group compared to the other two groups.

“There are a number of assumptions that today’s young generation is the strawberry or mushy generation. We found that esports can actually increase student grit. In psychology, grit can be increased when a person has a goal, an interest in that goal, and a strong effort. These three aspects are found in e-sports. Research results also show that grit can improve the ability to regulate emotions through e-sports,” said Agnes.

From the results of this study, it was also found that Competitive Gamers use e-sports as a forum for self-actualization and identity formation. Dyah explained that in the Psychosocial Development phase, accommodating the interests of students in their teenage years plays an important role in helping them form a more positive identity. Because it can accommodate self-actualization needs, including through e-sports.

CEO and Co-Founder of Aziz Hasibuan assessed that e-sports forums can answer the concerns of parents and teachers regarding the impact of playing games. Because, there are a number of fundamental differences between playing competitive and casual games.

In competitive games or e-sports, a team of students needs to work together, implement strategies, hone accuracy, while for casual players these aspects are less pronounced.

“From the results of this research, we recommend that schools intervene in students’ interest in playing games by facilitating and making schools an Esports Development Center for Student Athletes. Thus, students can understand how to direct their hobby of playing games to develop their character, not just for entertainment needs,” said Aziz.

This is also driven by the high interest of students in e-sport games. Aziz explained that the platform in less than three months had more than 10 thousand users from 1,000 esports teams from 800 schools in 16 provinces. With such high interest and positive potential, it’s a shame that they don’t get support and direction.

The results of the MABAR E-sports Student Athlete Research research also show that the strength of positive characters in the competitive player student group can be the foundation for the formation of the Pancasila Student profile, in accordance with the Ministry of Education and Culture Vision 2020-2024 with six profile elements. Namely reasoning critically, creatively, independently, having faith, fearing God Almighty, and having noble character, mutual cooperation, and global diversity.

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