While the gaming industry has often weathered criticism that their games are responsible for everything from the rise of obesity in America to an increase in violence and crime there are new studies to suggest that online games might be more beneficial than previously thought.
A recent study published in the December 2009 edition of the journal Perception shows not only can game play improve various thinking skills but that it can also boost cognitive speed for those who play action games and can also improve cognitive accuracy for players who solve puzzle and strategy games.
Rolf Nelson, a psychology professor at Wheaton College conducted the study which included 20 different students began by solving a spatial relation problem, the students were then given either a puzzle based or action game to play for one hour. Afterwards there were then given a chance to complete the first task again. The players were a lot faster after completing action games but those who played the puzzle games were more accurate.
While the idea that gaming has positive health benefits might see dubious research by Daphne Bavelier, a researcher from the University of Rochester has also shown this. In a study that she co-authored it was shown that video game players exhibit better hand eye coordination, heightened visual processing, as well as improved visual spatial memory.
Of course there are other games that may also boast some of the same results as the video puzzle games including popular games like Sudoku and Boggle as well as card games like poker and blackjack. Activities that might have similar effects to the action games are most sports which not only improve response times but also promote strength and fitness.
So, while video games might sharpen your mind it’s probably wisest to ensure that you also get some much needed physical activity as well.
Source by Calvin O Brown