Playing video games can be beneficial, study shows

Posted by egg3 at Sep 19, 2013 11:38 AM |
School of Psychology study reveals that video games can improve your motion perception – but only when walking backwards
Playing video games can be beneficial, study shows

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Who says that playing video games is a waste of time? Not researchers from the School of Psychology, who have found that playing first-person video games can enhance your perception of movement – at least while walking backwards.

Dr Claire Hutchinson and Rachel Stocks enlisted 16 action video game players  – who played for more than 10 hours a week – into the study along with 16 people who played action games for less than an hour per week.

Participants were asked to watch a screen showing a visualisation of 400 white dots moving on a grey background. The fewer consistently-moving dots it took for the participant to correctly identify the overall pattern, the higher their motion perception. The strength of the radial contraction of participants who played for more than 10 hours a week was found to be significantly higher.

The paper, 'Selectively enhanced motion perception in core video gamers', has been published in the academic journal, Perception.

While the findings suggest that video games don’t have much effect on motion perception at a broad level, the fact that prolific gamers were significantly better at radial contraction does show that games to have the ability to train your visual system in unique ways.

The work was funded by the British Academy.

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