Monday, October 26, 2009

First Person Shooters Help You See Better

This makes sense:
Playing action games Call of Duty 2 or Unreal Tournament 2004 improved contrast sensitivity, whereas playing Sims 2 (non-action game) for the same amount of time did not. Test subjects played 50 hours over 9 weeks.

At the end of the training, the students who played the action games showed an average 43% improvement in their ability to discern close shades of gray—close to the difference she had previously observed between game players and non-game [58%] players—whereas the Sims players showed none.
This could even explain why surgeons who play video games currently or who have in the past have been shown in one study to be better, faster, and more accurate than surgeons who have not.

In Everything Bad is Good For You, Johnson points out that the Sims provides more of a cognitive challenge than violent games, and that it usually tops the best-seller lists. He argues that this is because people want to stimulate their brain with more complexity. So, do you want to train your visual or cognitive processes? Your call.

(Thanks to Eide Neurolearning for the pointer.)