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Video Games Lead To Quick Thinking Skills

CmdrTaco posted about 4 years ago | from the and-no-add-whatsoev dept.

Games 174

shmG writes "Parents who dismiss video games as mindless entertainment with no intrinsic value for their children may not have a leg to stand on anymore thanks to science. Cognitive scientists from the University of Rochester have proven action based video games train people to make quick, accurate decisions. These skills acquired from video games, which help players develop a heightened sensitivity to their surroundings, can be used in real world applications. This includes multitasking, driving, reading small print, keeping track of friends in a crowd, and navigating around town."

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Video Games (5, Funny)

wbav (223901) | about 4 years ago | (#33580438)

Creating first post people everywhere

Re:Video Games (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33580508)

That makes no sense.

Re:Video Games (0, Redundant)

Jakeva (1429603) | about 4 years ago | (#33580800)


Re:Video Games (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33580890)

Is there anything they CAN'T do?

Re:Video Games (0, Offtopic)

tqk (413719) | about 4 years ago | (#33582114)

Is there anything they CAN'T do?

Yeah. Interest me. I'll admit spending too much time on a tetris clone a long time ago, but no, I don't do video games. I far prefer hacking perl or shell. Gaming bores me to tears.

I don't own anything Apple made either. I don't own an mp3 player, and almost never do anything with my cellphone. I must be a deviant. Call the authorities.

Re:Video Games (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33582684)

You must be fun at parties.

Re:Video Games (3, Funny)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about 4 years ago | (#33580994)


Re:Video Games (1)

melikamp (631205) | about 4 years ago | (#33581198)

Exactly. Ever since I played my first computer game, it became very important to me to make accurate real-time and real-life decisions leading to more gaming, with as little downtime as possible.

I quickly determined... (2, Funny)

Bai jie (653604) | about 4 years ago | (#33580454)

the article was tl;dr

Re:I quickly determined... (4, Funny)

Tiger4 (840741) | about 4 years ago | (#33580918)

"other results of the study indicated subjects had a reduced attention span when comp... Squirrel!! ...ared to a control group."

Re:I quickly determined... (1)

Scatterplot (1031778) | about 4 years ago | (#33581302)

post tl;dr

Apparently not... (1)

NevarMore (248971) | about 4 years ago | (#33580464) this on Ars and saw it on Engadget days before it made /.

Re:Apparently not... (2, Funny)

meteficha (1332195) | about 4 years ago | (#33581492)

NetHack isn't an action based video game.

And this is news? (0)

logjon (1411219) | about 4 years ago | (#33580472)

It's pretty obvious to anyone who cares enough to pay attention. But I guess since it's non-gamers deriding gaming they haven't really developed the awareness to pick up on things like that.

Re:And this is news? (1)

hedwards (940851) | about 4 years ago | (#33580944)

It's a dubious study, Marines do that through extensive drilling, taking as much thought out of the process as possible. Rather than have to think about how to do it, they've trained so much on a lot of it that they can skip the thinking and get right to the doing. Cuts a half second or so easy.

Beyond that though, the study is a bit of bunk. Video games require a specific kind of focus, concentration and thought. It definitely doesn't help with anything that requires physical coordination beyond the portions of the body used. Nor does it help with tasks that require communication, beyond what's possible in game. And it certainly doesn't help with situations where the situation isn't rule base.

Re:And this is news? (1)

tverbeek (457094) | about 4 years ago | (#33581912)

I've never doubted that video games were good at developing the skills needed... well, for video games. And some of those apply to the real world. But parents worried whether their game-obsessed kids are developing other essential skills – such as critical thinking, understanding other people, carefully choosing between complex options, developing new ideas of their own, etc. – they still have reason to worry.

Re:And this is news? (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | about 4 years ago | (#33581060)

It's pretty obvious to anyone who cares enough to pay attention.

Is it? Any time I've played an action game (or any other game), I've found myself repeating what are very obvious, mindless routines once I learned the basics. Very, very few games actually require more mental agility than the ability to endlessly spam for points.

Re:And this is news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33581344)

You need to be playing multi-player online. I think you'll find that if you're repetitive and mindless, you won't last very long.

The two games used in the study are both online games (Unreal tournament and Call of Duty)

Ad... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33580478)

The ONE article I care to read and there's a popover ad that refuses to go away.


Re:Ad... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33581270)

Quit bitching [] .

If you don't use a browser that works with it (or something similar) then wise up and change.

hmmm (4, Interesting)

nomadic (141991) | about 4 years ago | (#33580480)

I am utterly convinced that sitting in front of a computer as a pre-teen, staring at a computer for hours at a time trying to figure out how to get through infocom games has given me a huge mental payoff through my life.

Re:hmmm (4, Interesting)

nschubach (922175) | about 4 years ago | (#33580678)

They did for me. Well, getting them to run on those PCs by tweaking autoexec.bat and config.sys files, conserving hard drive space and learning all about zip, then eventually running out of compatible games and having to write my own in good old QuickBasic (which I couldn't even imagine working in now...)

Of course, that was post TRS-80 days of cassette loading, 5.25 (if you were lucky) drives that were the size of a PC today and typing in BASIC programs from the back of a magazine.

Mental payoffs come in many forms though. I think the original story was talking about boosting your brains processes of quick recognition skills, reaction, and dexterity... I think I am (we are?) talking about knowledge and critical thinking skills where speed wasn't so much an option.

Re:hmmm (1)

Alexandra Erenhart (880036) | about 4 years ago | (#33580794)

Oh wow you took me back 14 years. I did all this too just to make games load

I hate you with all my heart, conventional memory, EMS and XMS !!!

Re:hmmm (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | about 4 years ago | (#33580922)

>>>Well, getting them to run on those PCs by tweaking autoexec.bat and config.sys files

Should have bought an Atari, Commodore, or Amiga. These computers were plug-and-play simple and didn't make you dick around with that shit. You just inserted the game, typed LOAD, and played. Even today I still can't get the Wing Commander 1 and 2 to operate on a PC, but on my Amiga it just works.

Also I think maybe I understand now why people say, "Jr.Pac-Man is hard. I'd rather play Pac-Man." If your brain has not been trained to twitch gaming, which requires fast decisions, you too would think Junior is hard and prefer the slow-as-snails original.

Re:hmmm (1)

PRMan (959735) | about 4 years ago | (#33581292)

You just inserted the game, typed LOAD...

You had to type LOAD? Atari had self-booting disks.

Re:hmmm (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | about 4 years ago | (#33581348)

Really? That's pretty advanced for a 1979 computer. Commodore didn't have any self-booting disks until they released Amiga in 1985.

Re:hmmm - The Bronze Age of Computers. (1)

BraksDad (963908) | about 4 years ago | (#33582782)

Ah, the days of copying programs from the back of a magazine.

Remember programming those TI calculators to play moon lander?

Re:hmmm (1)

Relic of the Future (118669) | about 4 years ago | (#33580748)

Except the study was about action games, and the improvement was in speed, not accuracy.

Not that you're necessarily wrong, just that your claim is completely unrelated to this story except for the fact that it involves computers and games.

Re:hmmm (3, Funny)

znerk (1162519) | about 4 years ago | (#33580998)

Except the study was about action games, and the improvement was in speed, not accuracy.

From the summary:

action based video games train people to make quick, accurate decisions.

Speed and accuracy.

I'll just assume you're not a gamer, shall I?

Re:hmmm (1)

quercus.aeternam (1174283) | about 4 years ago | (#33582374)

Unfortunately, the summary cannot be trusted further than you can throw it.

Which is of course to say, not at all.

Re:hmmm (3, Interesting)

hedwards (940851) | about 4 years ago | (#33581014)

They're asserting that action games help with both speed and accuracy. They're suggesting that it's based upon "probabilistic inference" basically a process similar to card counting in black jack.

The main problem with that is that you're only training the brain to deal with certain types of stimulus, primarily visual and auditory. It's definitely a real phenomenon, but I'm thinking that they're overstating it and I doubt very much that it extends much beyond a narrow range of tasks.

Yep (3, Funny)

Dyinobal (1427207) | about 4 years ago | (#33580484)

I know grand theft auto helped me learn learned how to drive, and perhaps how to lose the cops.

Re:Yep (1)

Dyinobal (1427207) | about 4 years ago | (#33580538)

minus the learned

Re:Yep (1)

pilgrim23 (716938) | about 4 years ago | (#33580708)

and how to enjoy a coffee break

Re:Yep (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | about 4 years ago | (#33580974)

>>>I know grand theft auto helped me learn learned how to drive, and perhaps how to lose the cops.

Ditto but for me it was Test Drive and Outrun (which had the coolest music) - []

Re:Yep (1)

shoehornjob (1632387) | about 4 years ago | (#33581400)

Yeah after a long all nighter playing San Andreas I had some temptations the next day. I'm late to work(quid pro quo after an all nighter) stopped at a traffic light and I mentally calculated the amount of time it would take to jack the car in front of me and get away before the cop across the street would see me. That game owned me.

Details (1)

CodingHero (1545185) | about 4 years ago | (#33580486)

It would be interesting to know what sorts of questions that the participants were asked to perform. That is to say, were these puzzles that involved logical thought or ones that, while still having right and wrong answers, could be considered "quick decisions" in their own right?

Navigating around town? (1)

Dunderflute (1001355) | about 4 years ago | (#33580498)

Umm.. my sense of direction is so bad that I was given a GPS for Christmas. Navigating around town versus Vvanderfell? It's not really the same thing.

Re:Navigating around town? (1)

nschubach (922175) | about 4 years ago | (#33580724)

I can still tell you exact directions on how to get from Freeport to Qeynos... but I don't know if I can give you directions to a town just 15 miles from my parent's house. I'm sure with enough driving I could find it though.

Re:Navigating around town? (1)

Dunderflute (1001355) | about 4 years ago | (#33580880)

Yup. Same here! :D

Anecdotal Evidence (5, Interesting)

decipher_saint (72686) | about 4 years ago | (#33580506)

I actually agree quite a lot with the summary, I'm legally blind, I have no depth perception and I had a lot of trouble tracking moving objects (like frisbees or baseballs). When started playing video games I started to notice that my reflexes were getting a little better the more I played. Soon I was able to catch a frisbee and throw it back. It was an amazing change for me.

I've also noticed that I have some innate ability to make intricate maps of everywhere I go. I never get lost (this is important as I can't read street signs without assistance). I'm not sure if playing video games where map memorization is key or what but I do seem to be better at it than many of my non-gamer friends.

Interesting stuff...

Re:Anecdotal Evidence (2, Interesting)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | about 4 years ago | (#33580582)

I've also noticed that I have some innate ability to make intricate maps of everywhere I go.

You know, I'm sort of the same way. If I spend a couple minutes looking at a map of where I'm going I can generally navigate there without looking at the map again. If I actually drive somewhere, I can typically find my way back to the same place years later without checking directions. I definitely spent a lot of hours when I was younger playing RPGs and other games with maps. Of course, there's no telling how I would be if I hadn't played those games.

Re:Anecdotal Evidence (1)

countSudoku() (1047544) | about 4 years ago | (#33581032)

I think that's a combo of good sense of direction and a good memory. I was able to do that stuff prior to my video game craze setting in. Although, GTAIII+ have all helped too. I seem to know just where a good shortcut is, even without the map. Repetition is also the key, as is much repetition.

Personally, there's nothing like multitasking, driving, reading small print, keeping track of friends in a crowd, and navigating around town, all at the same time! Videogames, is there anything in life you don't make better?!

Re:Anecdotal Evidence (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33581040)

I know I was bad remembering how to get places when I was a kid. I then started playing Bards Tale on the C64 and I was soon able to get to the 4 dungeon level without any torches. After that once I've been some where or looked a at a map I will always know.

Re:Anecdotal Evidence (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | about 4 years ago | (#33581050)

>>>I'm legally blind, I have no depth perception and I had a lot of trouble tracking moving objects (like frisbees or baseballs). When started playing video games I started to notice that my reflexes were getting a little better the more I played. Soon I was able to catch a frisbee

"Video Games: Helping the blind to see since 1972." ;-)

We need more of these stories to share with idiots that thinking gaming is bad.

Re:Anecdotal Evidence (1)

hedwards (940851) | about 4 years ago | (#33581086)

Eh, it's got nothing to do with video games. You can train the brain to do the same thing without the video games. It's how I managed to get so good at catching things with my non-dominant hand. Visualization exercises are what does it, the video game is just a tool to make the visualization happen.

Re:Anecdotal Evidence (4, Interesting)

war4peace (1628283) | about 4 years ago | (#33581596)

Let me point out the difference:
By gaming, you passively train your brain to do "the same". You get some skill-ups by having fun. Others, who don't play games, can actively train their brains to do the same stuff, but they don't have that much fun in the process.
My girlfriend doesn't play PC Games. At all. She is bright but can't make sense of stuff I immediately understand. E.g. she hated the new phone I bought her; she had and still has problems configuring this and that; she manages to do so but takes her a lot more time than it takes me to do that. It may be a result of me playing puzzle games. Also, orientation in unknown environments (such as finding the route back to a hotel in a foreign city) is more difficult for her than is for me. It may be a result of me playing quite a few dumb FPS games with complex levels. You'd say probably my girlfriend is dumb. But I know she isn't. She lacks certain skills. And maybe if she played games, those skills would have been better.

Re:Anecdotal Evidence (4, Interesting)

gknoy (899301) | about 4 years ago | (#33581930)

It's interesting, though. Do we like these kinds of games because we are innately gifted at such puzzle-solving, or did playing those games make us good at it? Did I like playing with Lego because I had (have?) good 3d-visualization skills and common engineering-sense, or did I develop that from playing with Lego?

I was astounded to see how much I've (unconsciously) learned by playing FPS games. I tried to introduce my father in law to COD4, and watching him puzzle out how to look around, move, and do both, was both fascinating and cringe-inducing. I guess it's what drivers feel when they like watch non-drivers learn.

Re:Anecdotal Evidence (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33582688)

You should keep telling her that. I bet if you keep nagging her to play video games, she'll.... eh actually she'll probably leave your ass.

It's true (5, Funny)

eln (21727) | about 4 years ago | (#33580526)

I once played Call of Duty for 72 hours straight. On my way to the 7-11 to get another case of Code Red I heard a loud bang right behind me. Instantly I spun around, dove to the ground, and emptied the clips on the two handguns I keep strapped to my sides at all times in order to fend off any crazy baseball-bat-wielding maniacs (I play a lot of Grand Theft Auto too). Anyway, it turns out it was just a school bus full of kids backfiring, but the incident gave me a lot of confidence in my ability to react quickly in any given situation. Shame about the kids, though.

Re:It's true (4, Funny)

nschubach (922175) | about 4 years ago | (#33580752)

Kids get a lot of hit points these days thanks to the sugars and fatty foods. They'll be fine. ;)

Re:It's true (1)

HeckRuler (1369601) | about 4 years ago | (#33581190)

If there's one thing that games have taught me over the years, it's that eating food makes the pain go away and restores hit points.

The pinnacle of this was perhaps Odin Sphere where you had to feed the souls of those you killed in combat to plants so you could mix their fruits with various storebought foods into delicious recipes that gained you experience and health.

Re:It's true (1)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | about 4 years ago | (#33580784)

Everyone runs faster with a knife in their hands.

Re:It's true (2, Funny)

Nyder (754090) | about 4 years ago | (#33581314)

Everyone runs faster with a knife in their hands.

Double Dragon taught me to wait for the other person to reach down for the knife, then attack.

video just wasd.. make me spaz.. (2, Funny)

bl8n8r (649187) | about 4 years ago | (#33580552)

when I wasd type. Not sure wasd about decisiveness though.

More shocking news.... (1)

hellraizer (1689320) | about 4 years ago | (#33580562)

Masturbation as a teen makes you a better lover in adult life ...... "all hands on deck !!!!!"

Quick indeed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33580572)

Those stupid QTEs since Shenmue mustve done something.

When I think to buy a pepsi or a coke, I press B B B B B B B B B to act on getting one of them

Re:Quick indeed (1)

Qzukk (229616) | about 4 years ago | (#33580840)

I press B B B B B B B B B to act on getting one of them

And then it turns out the 6th B should have been X, so you get a kick in the balls instead.

Hum. (2, Interesting)

CannonballHead (842625) | about 4 years ago | (#33580578)

So video games affect our brains but violent video games don't.

I hope Slashdot responds with the same correlation != causation responses that accompany any "violent video games cause insert something here" claims... :)

Unless I can be shown where this actually IS proven causation...

Re:Hum. (5, Informative)

MBCook (132727) | about 4 years ago | (#33580664)

The main thing to note (based on what I read of this study) is that it doesn't make you better at making decisions, it makes you faster (without loss of quality).

Basically, video games have the same effect as a job that forces you to make lots of decisions really fast. It just exercises the "make decisions" part of the brain, where as reading or watching TV or painting a wall probably doesn't.

Actually, I would expect this to almost be used as proof against violent games. After all, violent games make people violent (an accepted truth by those making these kinds of claims), and video games make you faster at making decisions (this study)... so ergo video games make people violently snap and kill people faster than normal people.

Re:Hum. (1)

warkda rrior (23694) | about 4 years ago | (#33580770)

... so ergo ...

Nice touch there.

Re:Hum. (3, Informative)

Rary (566291) | about 4 years ago | (#33580976)

The study shows that, immediately following an action gaming session, gamers were quicker to respond. However, it does not indicate whether this actually lasts. They could just be on an adrenaline rush (or something similar), which could wane eventually. It doesn't seem to indicate that they have actually been "trained" to make decisions more quickly.

It may be the case, but it isn't clear, at least not from the article.

Re:Hum. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33580984)

Basically, video games have the same effect as a job that forces you to make lots of decisions really fast. It just exercises the "make decisions" part of the brain, where as reading or watching TV or painting a wall probably doesn't.

On the other hand, playing online air-combat simulations has increased my SA (Situational Awareness) by giving me practice in keeping track of contacts all around my plane in three dimensions, making keeping track of the cars around me on the road in only two dimensions much easier.

On the other hand, it didn't help me much when a car braked suddenly in front of me, and I pulled back on the yoke and hit hard right rudder to pull up and turn right... which had me pulling uselessly on the steering wheel and stomping on the accelerator, running into their rear bumper.

Re:Hum. (1)

hedwards (940851) | about 4 years ago | (#33581150)

That's not apples to apples with the comparison. This study doesn't say anything about morality, it just says that video games appear to improve a person's probabilistic inference. Meaning that while they still might be apt to gun down innocent civilians, it's less likely that they'll do it accidentally.

Morality is a completely different portion of the brain than what they're studying here.

Re:Hum. (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | about 4 years ago | (#33581664)

The thing is, this actually kind of makes sense, since you do have to react pretty fact. The "violent games make people violent" statements don't, because there's no evidence of it and no logical reason to conclude that they're true, or that people don't know how to differentiate between reality and a video game.

At this very moment, (1)

clo1_2000 (1790952) | about 4 years ago | (#33580598)

I'm doing reports, reading /. and responding to email. Unfortunately, I also have a tendency to need to use obscenities and discharge my fire arm every few minutes...

I knew it would come in handy someday (1)

SplashMyBandit (1543257) | about 4 years ago | (#33580600)


1) Video games.
2) Heightened sensitivity to surroundings and quick accurate decisions.
3) ???
4) Profit!

But wait! there's more ... reminds me a a great Gary Larson cartoon from a while back: []

apparently (1)

KillaGouge (973562) | about 4 years ago | (#33580612)

apparently CmdrTaco doesn't play enough games. I recall reading this just this last weekend.

First Post! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33580614)

At least it would have been if I had developed quick thinking skills

My C.V.! (1)

Ironhandx (1762146) | about 4 years ago | (#33580626)

Does this mean I can finally put my old MOHAA ranks and team leading experience on my resume?

Driving... (1)

osu-neko (2604) | about 4 years ago | (#33580634)

Well, duh, of course playing Grand Theft Auto is going to make someone a "better" driver. :p

A step back (1)

Prune (557140) | about 4 years ago | (#33580650)

Sigh, the issue is not gaming vs gaming. It's gaming vs other activities. This study gives no illumination upon the following question which is much more important than the one the study actually answered: Given a distribution of various activities that a (young) individual can engage in, including but not limited to physical activity, mathematics, reading, art, and video gaming, if the distribution is predominantly composed of video gaming, will the individual develop better aptitude to a median distribution of activities in their working and personal life? Improved reaction times and snap decision making might make you a better soldier (but even there, how does it compare to military training?), but would it help the majority of occupations? Of course, we can look at games from purely an entertainment point of view, in which case this is irrelevant, but the context set by the article for this discussion is about additional value with scope beyond the gaming activity itself. From my point of view, that is limited given what most people will do in life, and there are more beneficial activities they can do with some of their leisure time than just gaming. I do still play games, but solely for their entertainment value. Why do we need to look for justification beyond that to play games?

Re:A step back (1)

Prune (557140) | about 4 years ago | (#33580658)

Er, I meant "gaming vs not gaming"...

Re:A step back (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | about 4 years ago | (#33581694)

It's not one or the other. People don't have to constantly play video games, read, be physically active, or practice mathematics to receive their benefits. They can balance them out.

"You fell into a trap!" (3, Funny)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 4 years ago | (#33580692)

"You are damaged by the fall!"

I saw that while playing Rogue back in the early '80s. I'm still considering what I should do next.

Yeah, quick thinking, indeed . . .

I play far too many games (1)

PhrostyMcByte (589271) | about 4 years ago | (#33580716)

I play many games, including ones that want you to navigate large cities, and my skill navigating a city in meat-space has definitely not improved--I'm terrible at it. Can I get my money back?

Re:I play far too many games (1)

penguinchris (1020961) | about 4 years ago | (#33582678)

I find that I'm excellent at navigation in real life (including in complex cities), but terrible in games. Generally I can't get anywhere in a game without looking at the map, even in really linear games. Even with the HUD and all kinds of stuff, there's tons of navigational clues that I use subconsciously in real life that are missing in games.

Think Quickly In This (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33580720)

video game: LSD [] .

Yours In Los Angeles,
Kilgore Trout

P.S.: Arrest Newt Gingrich !

This is no surprise (2, Interesting)

John Saffran (1763678) | about 4 years ago | (#33580736)

Any type of game (and most types of complex activity more broadly speaking) is ultimately determined by the use of the brain's capabilities, be it the purely cerebral such as solving a puzzle or muscular coordination such as sport. Considering that children's games are ultimately training in areas such as team work, body-eye coordination, and strategic thinking for adult life it should come as no surprise that merely changing the playing field from a physical realm to a logical one doesn't necessarily change the gain. The type of game played does bias the type of brain activity triggered, for example turn-based strategic games heavily favour the logical thinking aspects but that's not different from a board game such as scrabble, merely the manner in which the stimulation is received changes. Even the seemingly useless video game arcade games are useful in training quick thinking, hand-eye coordination, and to a lesser extent strategic thinking .. can't say I've ever seen a 'dumb' person be good at any game.

The results aren't a surprise, that people would think games to be useless and of no benefit is more of a surprise.

GTA4 (1)

Average_Joe_Sixpack (534373) | about 4 years ago | (#33580750)

Ever since I completed GTA4 there are times when I confuse driving in real life with the game.

great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33580772)

but they don't seem to help with writing clever slashdot posts.

Shocking (1)

Anomalyx (1731404) | about 4 years ago | (#33580826)

Exercising your reactions and hand-eye coordination actually increases your reaction and hand-eye coordination!

Ever notice how the people who believe videogames rot the brain are consistently watching tv... often far longer than the criticized gamer has been playing. And the critic is exercising nothing, not critical thinking skills (only some games do this, though), not reactions, not hand-eye coordination. I say if you're going to sit in front of the tv for hours at a time, it's better for you to be playing a videogame.

What about pinball that has action without the vio (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | about 4 years ago | (#33580842)

What about pinball that has action without the violence of most Acton games?

Hm. Maybe. (1)

ittybad (896498) | about 4 years ago | (#33580876)

I know that in the several life-n-death situations (usually with a car or near mountain-bike accident) that I am usually very calm and collected and VERY aware. Usually, after the near-death event, I realize how scary the situation was and have to pull over. Oh, and yes, I used to play a ton of video games.

Spark/ARC (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33580954)

I've been playing SPARK/ARC off and on for past 12 years and have definitely noticed an improvement in my reflexes

Try it yourself []

Balance (1)

PPH (736903) | about 4 years ago | (#33580986)

It takes a bit of everything. Sure, your gaming experience helps you navigate a city in map space. But you still need to go outside and play. Or your fat ass is going to get run over by a cab trying to waddle across the intersection before the signal changes*.

* I saw one just the other day. Outside Microsoft's new officees in downtown Bellevue. Perhaps a great programmer. But no clue about the Big Red Hand and no ability to get out of the intersection quickly before almost getting mowed down.

Want to drive better? (2, Insightful)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | about 4 years ago | (#33581048)

Want to drive better? Learn to ride a motorcycle.

Seriously - nothing makes you more aware of *all* of your surroundings quite like having no defenses save your wits and reflexes. The idea of who would be "at fault" in an accident quickly becomes irrelevant, because you understand viscerally that it really doesn't matter in the end [if you value your life, anyway].

Those metal and fiber shells we lumber along in make us very complacent. The skills you learn from being exposed on a motorcycle will result in an immediate improvement in how you drive a car as well. And you'll find yourself wondering how [relatively] oblivious you were before that -- even those of you who are more aware of your surrounding than most.

Here's a quick test you can give yourself - do you look ahead to where you're going when you make a turn, or do you keep your primary focus parallel with your hood? Most people do the latter until they learn to ride, effectively preventing them from truly seeing potentially critical information in the path ahead -- if you don't believe me, just observe a few people doing it.

(I'd also recommend the standard motorcycle safety course - invaluable even if you have experience.)

Re:Want to drive better? (2, Insightful)

PeterM from Berkeley (15510) | about 4 years ago | (#33581250)

I've had some of the same 'benefits' from riding a bicycle.

You constantly have to be on the alert for people who will negligently mow you down.

To this day, I react to lights about 20% faster than most others--I anticipate the light some by noticing the status of the opposing lights, while also being more aware of cross-traffic, and I often arrange to show up at the light just as it turns green so I don't have to fully stop. (Having to fully stop on a bicycle is a big bummer, you lose ALL your hard-won kinetic energy.)


Re:Want to drive better? (1)

FireAllianceNX (881349) | about 4 years ago | (#33581898)

Or you can walk through the Times Square subway station during rush hour and try to get to your transfer train as quickly as possible while weaving through other people doing the same in the opposite direction.

Re:Want to drive better? (1)

Joe Tie. (567096) | about 4 years ago | (#33582092)

This made me both realize that I've never seen a game based on trying to get into a train on time. God help me, I think I need to make it. It is probably the single highest adrenaline rush for the week. That has to translate to a game.

First post! (1)

nih (411096) | about 4 years ago | (#33581102)

what? I play turn based games you insensitive clods!

What about Pr0n? (1)

claytonicforce (1894276) | about 4 years ago | (#33581108)

Please come up with a study that tells me all the thousands of hours spent on fapping wasn't all in vain!

Have you heard of the slow food movement? (1)

presidenteloco (659168) | about 4 years ago | (#33581118)

Unless you are a fighter pilot or a Ninja assassin, quick thinking isn't always the most helpful skill / strategy.

"Decide in haste / Repent at leisure"

"Twice measured / Once Cut"

I think we need a new emphasis on Ent-like pondering. Most of the most important problems that humans
collectively have to solve in this day and age have global and hundred-year-long consequences. Thinking
carelessly but having your solution proposal a day early is likely to be counter-productive.

We need to learn how to do some slow, considered, quality thinking about those kinds of things before
we act. We need to hang out with the problem, try out different conceptualizations of it and its context,
model and explore the scenarios, and then take a tentative and retractable step forward.

With thinking, it's quality, not quantity/speed, that counts.
(Holy crap! Is that a lion?)

*Video Games Save LIVES* (1)

moneymatt (1817930) | about 4 years ago | (#33581424)

I'm convinced video games give users superior hand-eye coordination which can dramatically reduce the risk of Car Accidents,

the NUMBER ONE killer of Teens.

Lets see the study people!!

Yeah that really helped me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33581472)

in call of duty mw2. On the pc version of the game you pretty much need an aim bot to get your nuke. It's bullshit. And even if you actually get a kill it only takes a few seconds for someone else to hear the gunfire and kill you. I've seen at least three people kill each other in succession in the space of a few seconds. That game is so pointless.

Multitasking is not a skill (1)

frist (1441971) | about 4 years ago | (#33581668)

In fact, it is detrimental behavior. Studies (find your own references, it's not hard to google) have shown that people who "multitask" think they are getting more done but in fact are less productive.

I have no doubt that certain types of games are beneficial, in moderation, just like anything else. I play RTSs, LoL, WoW, diabolo clones, flight sims, etc. with my young kids. They are able to use a PC from when they are about 2. I don't have a problem with us playing together for an hour or two per day, as long as they also do their schoolwork, chores, get their exercise in, and play normal kid games that require them to use their imagination. Works out for us.

UNREmoveable popup (1)

mestar (121800) | about 4 years ago | (#33582112)

The FA has an irremovable add that dimms the main page and cannot be removed. No scrollbars on Chrome. So, fuck that site.

Bullshit! (1)

chucklebutte (921447) | about 4 years ago | (#33582558)

My girlfriend plays second life all day every day, she is a fucking vegetable. Completely brain dead. Simple things like making a left or right turn is now a challenge. She is a total fucktard now.

Almost participated in this study (1)

penguinchris (1020961) | about 4 years ago | (#33582708)

I remember seeing fliers for this study when I was a student at the University of Rochester (graduated in 2008). They definitely tried to make it sound as awesome as possible, getting paid to play video games. I think a lot of people signed up to do it; I did a questionnaire via email or something to see how well I fit the type of person they were looking for (plays games a lot - at the time I probably only played a couple hours a month, no surprise they didn't choose me).

Anyway interesting to see the results now, but I'm kind of surprised it took so long, unless this is a second study, or the first one didn't work out. I'm also a scientist and understand these things take time, but a lot of these studies are conducted by grad students in that department at UR and work on shorter time scales. I participated (and was paid a little bit) for several other studies in that department.

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