to popular belief, playing video games is a not waste of time.
Video game players may actually be better thinkers than most. Video
games force gamers to be fast on their feet. Action-games in
particular encourage players to better use evidence drawn from their
senses in decision-making. According to Business
Week and WebMD a
new study in the Current
suggests that video game play helps gamers develop a skill known as
"probabilistic inference", which refers to how we process
the information we have when we need to make a snap decision.Video
game players absorb information quickly and make sound snap
decisions, the research indicates."They are making more
efficient use of the information that is out there," said C.
Shawn Green, postdoctoral associate at the Kersten Computational
Vision Lab at the University of Minnesota and lead author of the
study. "Video game players pull more
information from the sensory world, related to the decisions facing
them."The research suggests that this skill only applied
to action games, specifically "shooter
games" like Halo.
Strategy and role-playing games, did not have the same impact."The
games are teaching them to learn how to learn, to learn how to solve
new tasks rapidly," Green said.The researchers tested
two groups for a total of 50 hours. One group spent 50 hours
playing a strategy game while the other group played a shooter game.
The subjects who played action video games were faster, yet just as
accurate as the subjects who played strategy or role-playing games
for the same duration of time.Green said these video games
are teaching people to become better at taking sensory data in, and
translating it into correct decisions. "There is
always some uncertainty about what is going on. Our eyes don’t take
in everything and our ears don't either, so you take the sensory data
that you have, and make a decision based on the probability of being
right," said Green.According to Ian Spence, PhD, a
professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, the new
findings are consistent with previous studies. "Perceptual
functions are the various brain functions involved in seeing,
hearing, smelling," stated Spence.Spence added that in
the future, researchers may be able to offer guidelines for game
design that would retain the perceptual training features
shooter games, without the violence that discourages some people
from playing them.The study suggests real-world applications
for this research in the future. The U.S. armed forces
video games for military
training in the past.
quote: Contrary to popular belief, playing video games is a not waste of time. Video game players may actually be better thinkers than most. Video games force gamers to be fast on their feet. Action-games in particular encourage players to better use evidence drawn from their senses in decision-making.
quote: And this needs to be determined as fast as possible. Because i'll determine all that in 0.075 seconds.
quote: Video game players may actually be better thinkers than most.