League Of Legends

The computerization of the human life has become a norm in a contemporary society. However, it has also brought several problems. Nowadays, the computer is a tool, with which one can earn money, communicate with other people, and study. However, the benefits it brings depend on the way in which it is used. This statement also applies to video games that can be played via it,  especially since they attract a representative of different social groups. In particular, there is a common belief that they are dangerous to the player’s mind, providing for the development of aggressiveness, narrowing of the range of interests, and the impoverishment of the emotional sphere. However, the positive influence of video games is also undeniable. It concerns namely in the terms of their educational value. It is especially true for the multiplayer games as they involve a direct contact with people, with some of them being the bearers of different languages and cultures. The following work focuses on the definition of the educational value of one of the representatives of this genre, i.e. League of Legends.

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League Of Legends Analysis

League of Legends is a video game that belongs to the genre of a multiplayer online battle arena. It is combining the elements of a real time strategy and a role-playing entertainment. In it, the two teams of players compete with each other on a map of a special kind. Each member controls one character, which possesses specific abilities, selected from a predefined roster. During the match, these heroes can become stronger, gain new skills and equipment. The ultimate goal in a course of the match is to destroy the main building of the opposing team with the help of both human-controlled characters and the units directed by the artificial intelligence. In League of Legends, the player assumes the role of a summoner, who controls champions engaged in team battles in different locations. Each winner has the own gameplay features and a unique set of skills. The usual goal of the battle is to destroy the enemy’s nexus that is located behind several rows of defence towers. In each fight, champion development starts from the level one (i.e. from the very beginning) with the member receiving experience points to make the hero stronger and currency to purchase special items for it. As a result, it provides for a unique and competitive gameplay.

The research on the game has uncovered that League of Legends enjoys a significant popularity on the global scale. In fact, it is being among the most popular PC games in North America and Europe basing on the number of hours spent by players. Currently, League of Legends is played by more than 65 million unique users per month, 27 million people per day, and more than 7.5 million individuals during the peak hours. Such immense popularity was the primary reason for the choice of this game for the research. It provides significant opportunities for the interaction with other people. As a result, one can develop communication skills and learn to work as a member of the team.

The study uses numerous sources, including scholarly works, materials from gaming journals, and personal interviews. Each of them is having a particular value for the research. For example, scholarly works provide the necessary contextual and technical knowledge, including scientific theories regarding the impact of video games on a person. Gaming media provide an opinion of professional journalists and reviewers on the product. Finally, personal interviews can dilute dry facts of the study, providing an opportunity for analyzing the problem comprehensively and assessing the attitude of players towards the game.

By playing League of Legends, one can hope to learn the following things. First of all, it is possible to learn to develop oneself, and thus, deal with the problem of self-determination. As a role-playing game, League of Legends clearly shows that one cannot be a professional in every area. Some of its characters are skilled archers while others are powerful magicians or swordsmen. Moreover, in the course of their development, they do not stray from their path. In other words, they have a specialization, which makes them very useful for specific tasks rather than being jacks of all trades that do not excel in any aspect. In turn, this example demonstrates that one should focus on something he or she is good at and stay true to this path instead of spraying the efforts.

The next thing one can master is teamwork. As an online game, League of Legends is primarily focused on the interaction of players. As a result, it can be considered a school where one can learn to work as a member of a team that has a specific role and contributes to the success of a mission. For example, in case a healer makes a mistake at the crucial moment, the battle will be lost. The same outcome is inevitable if someone disobeys the orders of a team leader. Such situations resemble the ones in the real world, where a misstep of a single individual may affect many other people. Moreover, in League of Legends, one can assume a role not only of a subordinate but also a leader thus practicing the management skills. In this regard, a clan system of the game is a good example of advancement in the team. Initially, the new player is an ordinary participant of a group. Later, the one may become a permanent member of the raids and even be trusted and skilled enough to lead them, uniting them under their own banner. In this case, League of Legends helps developing such human qualities as leadership, punctuality, perseverance, as well as the ability to help and teach other persons.

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Finally, to achieve success in the game one must be able to plan the actions. Such task often proves to be difficult in the real life. Meanwhile in League of Legends, one can experiment with long- and short-term planning and learn from this experience. In particular, before proceeding directly to the action, it is necessary to think carefully about what, how and when everything should be done. In other words, the player must develop an algorithm of the actions, which can be tweaked and improved depending on the situation. As a result, by playing League of Legends, one can learn about the importance of a careful consideration of all possibilities and forecasting of the consequences for the development of a plan.

As a result, the potential educational value of League of Legends is manifested in the fact that it provides an opportunity for the development of skills that can be used in the real life. First of all, the ability to control one’s development is useful when making the important choices in life. It may be the decision regarding the enrolment to the university or applying for a particular position in the company. The ability to work as a member of a team can prove useful during the group assignments in the educational institution, as well as the work in the organization with the teamwork-based corporate culture. Finally, the skills to plan one’s actions are useful not only at the educational institution or in the course of work but also in the everyday life. For example, they can be used to improve the productivity and efficiency of almost any type of activity, ensuring that everything that has been planned is done within the deadline.

At the same time, it is possible to provide the scientific theory to explain the educational effects of League of Legends described above. In particular, the concept of social intelligence can be applied to the game to define its impact on players. According to it, the team activities increase the burden on certain sections of the cortex, which, in turn, can lead to the positive changes in the volume of the grey matter in specific parts of a brain. As a result, it starts adapting to the new conditions, which demand the ability to achieve one’s objectives in a changing social environment (i.e. a battlefield that houses many players with a different approach to the situation). At the same time, it is impossible to define a level of social intelligence that will be sufficient for the player to ultimately defeat the others in a complex and volatile social environment. The consciousness of other members also adapts to recognize fraud and increase insight, thus requiring the use improved methods of deception. As a result, in League of Legends, one’s potential for improvement is incredibly vast.

It should be noted that because League of Legends is a multiplayer game focused on the interaction with other people, its members’ experience varies greatly. For example, when interviewed on 3 May 2016, Derek Jones, an avid player that has participated in  several tournaments, said the following thing. Simply playing a game is not enough to succeed because it requires significant analytical skills. For the training of individual ability, it is best to play alone or with a few allies. To simulate the tournament, the training must involve at least ten people with the team ratio being 50/50. Of course, the discussion of strategies and new ideas is also important. As a result, it is essential that any team has a coach that gives instructions on the characters that should be used to play or their particular combinations. The more one plays, the better, but it is still imperative not to overdo it. Thus, the training is rather strenuous, but the emotions received there during winning streaks are remembered for a long time. In fact, every game provides some new feelings from those people receive during the other competitive activities. Therefore, for Derek, the joy of victory is one of the primary stimuli to increase his skills as a gamer.

On the other hand, when interviewed on 4 May 2016, Steve Freeman, a seasoned player that plays League of Legends just for fun, claimed the following fact. For him, the experience required to play the game has varied significantly over the years. According to his statement, it is easy for a newbie but difficult for a pro. In other words, the difficulty of the game changes depending on the skills of the game member. Each of the characters has the own bag of tricks. For example, some of them can take out the dangerous foes even near the defence towers. The others have an enormous capacity for stalking. Therefore, when used correctly, they are difficult to break away from, meaning that they can serve as decoys. The ability to play on the highest difficulty level is ultimately the knowledge of such small widgets and the skills to use them sensibly. At the same time, the correct movements, micro- and macro-control, the work with wards, understanding the actions of enemies, and teamwork are general abilities that are necessary for any player. Thus, for Steve, the game is primarily a challenge to be mastered.

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The professional journalists express a somewhat similar point of view. In particular, Ryan Scott of Gamespy notes that the play is easy to get accustomed to. It is quite addictive despite its colourful, somewhat cartoony, and graphic style. In other words, a newcomer will not have any trouble getting immersed in the world of League of Legends. At the same time, the process of unlocking the new heroes is very steep and requires much time and many efforts to complete. In turn, it means that the players that desire to control all the champions available in the game will have to be quite diligent, and, most importantly, patient. They have to be able to plan their activities in a long-term perspective. On the other hand, Leah Jackson of IGN describes League of Legends as a model of generosity, which gives players a chance to test many different heroes and combinations before defining the play style that suits them. Moreover, the game’s tutorial provides an excellent insight into MOBA mechanics, making the game rather player-friendly. Thus, it is possible to say that rather lax requirements in the terms of the experience of gamers are meant to attract as many people as possible. Meanwhile the addictive gameplay prevents them from leaving.

As it has been mentioned before, currently, League of Legends is immensely popular among gamers. Moreover, it is a major e-sport discipline, which attracts many players and spectators worldwide. The highly addictive nature of this entertainment (i.e. the outburst of positive emotions, the ability to try out different combinations of skills and characters) ensures its popularity with many people spending days battling the others on the virtual arenas. Moreover, the success of professional teams during the tournaments serves as a powerful stimulus for the others. It is forcing them to make the process of improvement of their gaming skills a primary focus of their lives. At the same time, it is possible to expect that the described impact will remain strong in the future. In particular, e-sports has been developing rapidly during the last years, becoming a global-scale phenomenon. Nowadays, it is driven by many large companies sponsoring high-level tournaments and professional teams. As a result, it is possible to assume that the popularity of League of Legends will grow in the future. It means that even more people will be affected by this entertainment. On the one hand, there will be more skilful, calculating, and level-headed players that will be capable of dealing with almost any in-game situation, and, most, importantly, apply the abilities they have acquired to the real-life activities. At the same time, one cannot exclude a chance that there will also be an increase in the number of people that will become more aggressive due to the effect of the game, with a narrow range of interests, and an impoverished emotional sphere. In other words, the future effect of League of Legends cannot be perceived unambiguously.

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In conclusion, it is possible to say that, like any online game, League of Legends has a significant influence on gamers. By being able to interact and compete with other players, the course of actions of which can be unpredictable, the people that play it experience the educational impact. In particular, they learn to plan their activities, create and improve algorithms, and work as the members of a team, etc. However, a coin always has two sides as gaming addiction always accompanies all types of electronic entertainment. Thus, it is not worth plunging into the virtual space, even for the sake of learning, forgetting about reality. In the end, the lessons learned in the games, including League of Legends, will be truly useful in the real world.

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