Could Computer Game Players React as Quick as Table Tennis Athletes and Perform the Right Action

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Şahin Ş., Sağdilek E.

Medical Science and Discovery, vol.3, no.2, pp.91-97, 2016 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)


Objective: Table tennis athletes have short reaction times and specialized skills. Computer games may also decrease reaction times. However the actions of the computer game players are limited to mouse/keyboard/joystick use. The objective of the study is to compare the reaction times and the achievement levels on selective action array of athletes and players. Material and Methods: 10 medical school students that played computer games 10 hours a week for at least 5 years, and 9 table tennis athletes that were trained 10 hours a week for at least 5 years were included in the study. Right/left-hand/foot reaction times against auditory and visual stimuli were recorded for each subject. Selective action array was implemented utilizing a table tennis robot. The robot was set up to send 120 balls in different colors, to different points on the table, in random colors and 90 balls per minute at the same speed. The subjects were asked to ignore the white balls, to touch the yellow balls and to hold the pink balls. The actions that the subjects took, or did not take against each ball were transformed into points. Results: It was found that the mean reaction time for athletes was 196.8ms and 196.0ms for the players. The selective action array total points were similar in athletes and players. While the athletes scored better with yellow and pink balls, players scored better with the white balls. Conclusion: The similar scores and reaction times by players and athletes could be interpreted that it could be beneficial to prioritize visual perception, attention and focusing in selecting athletes and in designing training programs.