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Research shows playing first-person shooters improves learning abilities, cognitive function

Posted by on Jan. 31, 2013 at 2:16 PM
BJ
  • 9 Replies

 I found this interesting

Research shows playing first-person shooters improves learning abilities, cognitive function

A growing body of research indicates that playing first-person action games, particularly shooters, improves brain function such as cognitive abilities and learning skills — changes that have real-life applications, reports Scientific American Mind.

Brain skills improved by playing first-person shooters include more than hand-eye coordination, a long-held assumption: Studies cited by Scientific American Mind found that gamers who played shooters often fared better in tests of abilities such as spatial reasoning, spatial focus, visual acuity and decision-making.

According to neuroscientist Daphne Bavelier of the University of Rochester and the University of Geneva, video games "retune connectivity across and within different brain areas," which means that playing them confers skills that can be applied outside of the medium. Scientific American Mind called that the "holy grail of education."

The improvements don't require playing shooters for years, either — while gamers initially scored better on tests of spatial reasoning and visual attention, non-gamers who were told to play a first-person shooter regularly for a limited time evinced marked increases in their scores on those tests. Subjects in the studies cited by Scientific American Mind played games like Unreal Tournament 2004 and Halo: Combat Evolved.

In a 2006 study conducted by Bavelier and researcher C. Shawn Green, nine nongamers played Medal of Honor: Allied Assault for one hour per day for 10 days, while eight nongamers played Tetris for the same span. By training with the military shooter for less than two weeks, the nongamers were able to improve their scores on three tests of visual attention — a skill that's vital for activities such as reading and driving.

By training with the military shooter for less than two weeks, the nongamers were able to improve their visual attention

Other research that Scientific American Mind cited include a 2011 study by University of California, Berkeley, research optometrists Roger Li and Dennis Levi. They found that playing Medal of Honor: Pacific Assault for 40 hours helped cure amblyopia (lazy eye) in 10 adults, in addition to improving their spatial attention and depth perception skills. And according to a 2007 study by Douglas A. Gentile of Iowa State University, skill and past experience with video games correlates with a significantly reduced level of errors for laparoscopic surgeons.

Scientific American Mind pointed out a number of studies showing that playing violent games has a small effect in increasing aggression for a short time. According to the magazine, researchers are attempting to develop first-person games that can have similar positive effects on brain function, but without the violence and potential negative effects of shooters.

The full article is available to subscribers of Scientific American Mind, as well as select educational institutions and libraries. An excerpt can be found on the website of the author, Lydia Denworth.

[Thanks, Jeff and Jonathan!]

by on Jan. 31, 2013 at 2:16 PM
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Replies (1-9):
kirbymom
by Sonja on Jan. 31, 2013 at 3:08 PM

Fantastic! 

I also agree.  Thanks for sharing this!  :)

DesireMM
by Desire' on Jan. 31, 2013 at 3:18 PM
1 mom liked this

 I can't let my son know this. He will never want to stop playing. lol

usmom3
by BJ on Jan. 31, 2013 at 3:19 PM

 It made me feel good about all that time we spend playing games here hahaha.

Quoting kirbymom:

Fantastic! 

I also agree.  Thanks for sharing this!  :)

 

kirbymom
by Sonja on Jan. 31, 2013 at 3:33 PM

Doesn't it though?  There should be more valildation for homeschooling and the various ways of accomplishing them than there is out there.  I think we homeschoolers need to be the ones leading the way for that as well.  People like you and your family should be at the forefront for showing others how to UN-Homeschool.  :)   That it can be a great way to educate your child if they aren't able to get educated any other way. 

Quoting usmom3:

 It made me feel good about all that time we spend playing games here hahaha.

Quoting kirbymom:

Fantastic! 

I also agree.  Thanks for sharing this!  :)

 


kirbymom
by Sonja on Jan. 31, 2013 at 3:35 PM

All you do is have him write down what he is doing and how it works BEFORE he starts playing in order for him to be able to have that play time.  :)    

Quoting DesireMM:

 I can't let my son know this. He will never want to stop playing. lol


  

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LadyOphelia
by on Jan. 31, 2013 at 3:39 PM

WOOO HOOOO!! Scientific study on stuff we knew to be true but others said we were crazy!  If you think about it, there is problem solving (or frustration in my case), teamwork....which sometimes means teamwork with people not even from your country.  You can meet & learn about other places. My son has a "friend" that is from the UK. He is always talking to him about differences & what-not.

I found after my car accident, my brain was a bit scrambled (more than usual). I had a hard time focusing & reacting. It took some time getting back into playing & my hubby was incredibly sweet to me as he saw my frustration over things. But in time I started getting back focus & multi-tasking abilities. That's teaching an old dog old tricks....I know it helps kids learn the same.

oredeb
by on Jan. 31, 2013 at 6:08 PM

 yea!!! also like pounding nails when young helps!

SusanTheWriter
by on Jan. 31, 2013 at 7:06 PM

DS (12) got his first 1st person shooter this Christmas. I was a little hesitant, but it's not like he's holed up in the basement for days on end with it. DD started playing them, too. I'm going to figure out how to test those skills and see what I find.

kittyfaery
by on Feb. 1, 2013 at 9:16 PM
I finally gave in and bought my kids Call of Duty and I can believe this article. I am always amazed at how much my five year old keeps track of in the game. It is confusing for me! I used to be really anti shooting games but they were being exposed to them at friends and their cousins house.
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