It may sound like a rather unbelievable concept – video games really improve real-life skills? As strange as it sounds, the answer is yes! This concept is something which behavioral scientists have termed “Transfer of Gaming”.
As defined, Transfer of Gaming is “the degree to which knowledge, skills, and attitudes that are acquired by playing a game can be used effectively in real (operational, professional) situations” (Korteling et al. 2011).
When this “transfer” phenomenon occurs, it is often triggered by an individual’s association of real-life stimuli (such as sounds and actions) with elements from the video game itself. This association results in the subsequent alteration of mental processes, sensory perceptions, impulses/reflexes, and/or actions. It is generally presumed that the more similar a game’s environment is to a real-world situation, the more likely it is for “transfer” to occur (Ortiz de Gortari et al. 2011).
With that being said, the THINQ Golf training games were designed with visuals and sounds similar in nature to those that occur during on-course situations. Of course, this was done in an effort to increase the likelihood that skills such as adaptability, attention, awareness, intention, and synchronicity would be effectively used or “called-upon” on the course and in stressful performance situations.
Now, why is the concept of “transfer” important to you? First of all, the mental side of golf is something that is fairly abstract and thus, can be challenging to train. Without spending a fortune on coaches and books, THINQ Golf has created a simple and fun method that allows golfers to train the skills which are shown to increase the synchronicity of a player’s brain maps, and in turn, creates better shots.
Research has shown that elite level golfers display more “synchronous” brain maps than their amateur counterparts. Furthermore, the same research has shown that there is a direct correlation between the quality of an individual’s shots and the synchronicity of an individual’s brain maps at the time of performance. Therefore, if the skills that promote this heightened state of brain function can be trained through video games and then transferred to the course, THINQ Golf is truly an effective way to work on the mental side of golf.
But, how do you know if the skills you have learned playing the THINQ Golf games are transferring to the course? Well, at times you may be completely unaware that transfer is even occurring. There are two (2) methods through which transfer can occur (Ortiz de Gortari et al. 2011). The first is termed “automatic transfer” as it can occur spontaneously and without any sort of pre-meditation. An example of this would be a player who trains regularly using the THINQ Golf games and then suddenly finds him/herself playing one of their best rounds while also subconsciously utilizing skills such as adaptability, awareness, and so forth. The second method is “intentional transfer” and it occurs when an individual voluntarily engages in practicing the skills trained in a video game, but within the context of a real-life scenario. An example of this would be the golfer who decides to consciously practice the skill of awareness on each and every hole in their round.
In closing, although Transfer of Gaming is a concept that is relatively new and can be complex to accurately study, current evidence suggests that the skills learned within games can be transferred to real-life performance. This research has the THINQ Team very excited, especially as we continue to make changes and improve upon our mental training program.
 Korteling, J.E., Dr., A.S. Helsdingen, Dr., R.R. Sluimer, Dr., M.L. Van Emmerik, Dr., and B. Kappe, Dr. Transfer of Gaming: Transfer of Training in Serious Gaming. Rep. N.p.: TNO: Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research, 2011.
 Ortiz De Gortari, A.B., and M.D. Griffiths. An Introduction to Game Transfer Phenomena in Video Game Playing. Rep. NY: Nova, 2011.
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