The humble Sony PlayStation Portable (PSP) (called humble now with respect to the Next Generation Portable, or the PSP2) is actually helping Japanese soccer players by getting rid of all that I am the most valuable player everattitude and filling everyone with the team spirit! More precisely, it is the dinosaur-killinggame called Monster Hunter.
It is a well known fact that Japanese people play a lot of portable games. Sony’s PSP has always remained popular in the home country and the Monster Hunter series have always taken the sales market by storm. The success comes largely due to the cooperative play modes offered by the games. Some monsters in Monster Hunter are almost impossible to defeat playing solo and the grind is quite hard to ignore. However with the magic of teamwork and skill all the monsters, from the lowly Hermitaur to the dreaded Akantor can be defeated.
Thus when the coach of the Samurai Blue team of Japan introduced the game to his players, he [probably] knew what he was doing. The sessions seem to have paid off as star player Keisuke Honda went from being a lone-wolf to a team player, eventually resulting in the team’s victory over Australia in the Asia Cup.
Is this a new era where portable cooperative gameplay also helps out in physical sporting events? That is not certain, but it is quite heartening to hear indeed!