Hand-eye coordination in gamers: concept and exercises
Who hasn't dreamed of having the same reflexes as Anakin Skywalker during his podracer race on Tatooine?
Achieving this same level of performance implies exceptional hand-eye coordination. As a pro gamer, you know that this coordination is essential to be the best . Several Anglo-Saxon studies point out that the video game itself is a very good exercise to improve this ability.
In this article, we explain what it is, the problems associated with it and the exercises you need to know to maintain a good level of coordination.
In this article :
- What is hand-eye coordination?
- Our coordination exercises
Problems acting on coordination
What is hand-eye coordination?
A "skill" at your fingertips
Hand-eye coordination (or oculomotor coordination) is defined as the ability to coordinate our eyes and hands simultaneously .
In other words, in the gaming world, it is the ability to synchronize what we see on the screen and what we control via our gamepad.
Why is this so important?
For a player like you, nothing will be more important than working on this coordination to improve this relationship between what you see and what you do in the game.
Here, we explain to you why this ability is so essential and why it will certainly allow you to avoid being killed by a sniper who is camped at the back of the map:
- First of all, our eyes make it possible to apprehend the visual elements which appear in a game but also to orient our character or our avatar in the space of a level. Our attention is then solicited in order to send the perceived image to our brain and react accordingly.
- Then, according to the visual information received and assimilated by our cerebral system, our hands will receive a certain number of orders which will determine specific tasks and actions in a simultaneous and coordinated manner. This is the idea of action-reaction .
In high-level sports, so in esports of course, eye coordination is taken very seriously. As this skill improves, your reflexes and in-game action response will improve .
How do I know my level of coordination?
It will not be enough to click on the Start button and check your personal file to know your level of coordination. Life isn't The Sims. In fact, it is quite difficult to assess your level of hand-eye coordination precisely since there is not really an official scale to "grade" this faculty.
Anyway, it is possible to improve it and that, at all ages.
You should know that this ability evolves from birth . You probably don't remember, but all the little wooden games that your parents bought you when you were little allowed you from your first months to awaken this motor skill.
Our brain is an organ that can change according to the activities we learn . We talk about neuroplasticity. Of course, the older we get, the harder it will be for us to mold or improve this ability, but it's never too late to train it.
Neuroplasticity refers to the faculties of reorganization in our nervous and cognitive system . By improving our eye-motor coordination, areas of our brain – the somatosensory areas – grow and register what we learn. It's like when you level up one of your Pokemon, except the Pokemon here is your brain.
From then on, our capacities improve and become more and more robust. This is also why: the more you play a game, the better you will perform in it .
How to maintain good hand-eye coordination?
In the world of esports, when we talk about improving your hand-eye coordination, you immediately think of improving your reaction time, your speed of action and your precision in the game. game. There is a real synchronization of the movement of our hands in relation to the information acquired and captured by our eyes.
There are a few essential prerequisites that make it possible to preserve this coordination on a daily basis:
Have good eyesight : eye health will always be an essential prerequisite for this coordination. The eye captures visual information, so it must be in good condition to perceive all this data. An examination with your ophthalmologist and if necessary obtaining glasses to increase your points of vision can make a big difference.
Get good rest: A good night's sleep can regenerate your brain power. Remember to always rest well to have your concentration bar at the maximum and react at lightning speed during a match.
In addition to this essential base, there are exercises to know to improve your oculomotor skills. We have selected a few for you to optimize your hand-eye synchronization so that it approaches that of a superhero.
Our selection of coordination exercises
One of the most interesting (and simple) practices to strengthen your hand-eye coordination.
All sports are generally good for improving and maintaining good eye-hand coordination, but ball games (tennis, rugby, handball) are particularly suitable exercises for developing your eye-motor skills .
We recommend sports such as
- Ping pong
If you're short on time or can't find interesting sports activities around your home, you can always have fun yourself by throwing a ball against a wall and catching it. It may seem sketchy but it's also an excellent exercise and there are nice variations to set up (with several balls for example).
Still in ball games but this time with a more artistic aspect, learning to juggle is a particularly effective discipline for boosting your hand-eye coordination . There is probably no better way to reinforce the correlation that exists between your eyes, your brain and your hands.
If you want to get started, there are plenty of tutorials on Youtube to learn and get started. Once you can juggle two balls, add a third. And then, little by little, add some additional difficulties!
If you don't become a champion on Starcraft II, you will at least have learned something else to shine in society!
The practice of rock climbing
As stated in an article by the Institute of Cerebral Motor Skills , rock climbing is a discipline very often recommended in the improvement of hand-eye coordination . Indeed, in this sporting exercise, your eyes determine the path that you will set up in your ascent. There is therefore a constant exchange between what your gaze assimilates and what your hands will catch to move forward. In addition to being useful for your motor skills, it is an excellent sport to stay in good physical condition.
From painting Warhammer miniatures, to assembling an X-Wings, to building a Lego Technics , all of these hobbies are beneficial on an oculomotor level. Even if it seems like a simple hobby for you, it will also improve your hand-eye coordination (and it will allow you to relax between two intense games.
Manual and creative activities allow you to improve the control of your hands and fingers according to what your eyes send you as information.
Educate your concentration
Concentration is part of the mechanics that come into play in hand-eye coordination . By increasing your ability to move quickly between a close object and a distant object, you will work on your concentration.
To improve this skill, nothing complicated. Take two objects of similar size, like two books. Then place them at two different distances. First focus on the closest object for a few seconds, analyzing it carefully, then move on to the other, more distant object. Keep going back and forth for a good minute, trying to discover new details each time you go back and forth.
Problems with hand-eye coordination
Hand-eye coordination can be disturbed by various environmental and pathological phenomena. Generally, these disorders result from a dysfunction of the cerebellum, the area of our brain that coordinates our movements.
Poor eyesight can also be taken into account in abnormalities of oculomotor coordination since good quality of the eyes is an essential factor in this synchronized interrelation.
To avoid these problems, you must:
- Avoid excessive alcohol consumption which can irreversibly damage the cerebellum.
Vitamin E deficiency causes alterations in the coordination of our movements. It is important to always follow a healthy and balanced diet, as we suggest in our article on diet for gamers .
Protect your eyes after long hours in front of your computer or television screen. To do this, what better than to choose the best pair of protective glasses by consulting our guide .
Practice a sport or physical activity regularly to keep your body in shape, improve your coordination skills, free yourself from daily stress and boost your concentration.
Finally, remember that...
... hand-eye coordination is a fundamental element for all high-level gamers . In fact, this quality improves the motor process that coordinates your hands and eyes in order to have a better performance during your game performance.
To stimulate this ability, there are many exercises. From simple physical activity to other more manual practices, the possibility of improvement can be beneficial if it is coupled with the principles and rules of a healthy and balanced life.