Double Play: Athletes’ Use of Sport Video Games to Enhance Athletic Performance

Lauren Silberman

Lauren Silberman

A design feature of contemporary sport video games allows elite athletes to play as themselves in life-like representations of actual sporting events. The relation between playing sport video games and actual physical performance has not yet been established. Drawing on data from interviews and observations of elite athletes playing sport video games, this thesis explores why elite athletes are playing these video games as their virtual selves, and establishes a framework for understanding how this play may enhance learning opportunities. Building on theories based in the disciplines of psychoanalysis, education, and neuroscience, this thesis argues that virtual play by athletes playing as themselves in sport video games has the potential to support and encourage physical performance.

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