Hi! I’m Maria and you may know me as the person behind the ETT social media accounts. I’m in my third year of Creative Technology and for my minor project, I chose to team up with ETT. My project is about what happens to esports athletes’ physical and psychological state after hours of scrimming and competing.

I have chosen to gather my findings and display them through an interactive website, which functions similar to a point-and-click adventure game. The reason why I chose this topic is that, on one hand, many gamers and esports athletes alike manage to neglect their health, especially when it comes to highly competitive games. On the other hand, people who are not familiar with gaming might be inclined to believe that being an esports player is easy since ‘they play video games all day’. My project will highlight exactly how much work and dedication goes into a career like this, while also raising awareness about the possible health risks that come with esports, and how to manage them accordingly.

The project is divided into three stages. The first stage consisted of gathering resources, such as articles, papers, interviews about this topic, and filing them in a big document. I also gathered some databases related to the topic, since I wanted the project to have a large focus on statistics and data visualization. The second stage would be the current stage I’m in, which is the interviews and questionnaire one. This is where ETT comes in. I will interview and send questionnaires to some of our athletes in order to receive a bit more insight when it comes to the lifestyle of an esports athlete. Our players are very passionate about what they do, as the results they brought might show. The final stage will consist of finishing the interactive website, as well as gathering all the information and logging all the activities in a final report that will be available to read later on. Be on the lookout for the website as well, which will most likely be posted on our socials!

As of right now, my findings show that whilst gaming for hours on end doesn’t have any positive impact on one’s health, there are ways to maintain a fit lifestyle as an esports athlete. Knowing when to stop is key to balancing esports with your personal life. Setting timers for breaks is a good start to keeping track of time. Doing eye exercises and wrist movements in between games will reduce the strain that your body goes through. Ditching energy drinks and junk food might actually help you improve your skills, and more importantly, your health.

But these are all pretty straightforward and self-explanatory. I wanted to go deeper into the subject and find more interesting effects of prolonged gaming, which led me to the so-called ‘Tetris effect’. This refers to a symptom ‘born out of a subconscious type of memory’, also known as procedural memory. What this implies is that a person that spends a great amount of time playing a certain game (the original study followed Tetris players) will eventually start looking for concepts of the game in real life. The Tetris players will start noticing how certain objects will stack, for example, boxes in supermarkets and so on. This effect seems fascinating and is the perfect subject to include in the project and further investigation. By collaborating with Esports Team Twente, I will analyze whether or not the Tetris syndrome is present in the team’s players’ lifestyles.

This was a short summary of what my project entails and I hope that reading this, it sparked your interest in all the amazing opportunities that ETT can offer you! If you’re interested in learning more about the project, you can contact me by email: m.voicu@student.utwente.nl.

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